Here’s a warning before you read this week’s blog: the message it delivers about food is bleak. But there is a reason to read it: it doesn’t have to be this way because we can do something to change it.
Let’s face it. When it comes to food, the current state of affairs is sobering. Our supermarkets are overflowing, but our health is failing. We are living in a world that is dependent on fossil fuels, and we are facing climate change issues that could alter the face of the planet forever. And, while these things may seem unrelated, we have learned – in a talk given by Michael Pollan – that they are closely intertwined.
Here are the facts:
In 1940, we produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil fuel energy we used, and now those same 2.3 calories of food energy take 23 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce. That is highly processed, colored, pesticized, and chemicalized “food”; the food we eat in abundance.
According to Pollan, processed food contributes as much as 37 percent of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from its heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery, packaging and transportation, not to mention animal waste by-products.
This modern way of obtaining our food means that when we eat from the industrial food system, we eat oil and spew greenhouse gases to the detriment of our world.
It wouldn’t be such a bitter pill to swallow if somehow this way of eating made us healthier. Fact is it does not. Four of the top 10 killers in America today are chronic diseases linked to diet: heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
But, enough with the bad news, you get the picture. What can we do as consumers to change the course of this development? It’s time to wean ourselves off of a diet of fossil fuel foods, and put ourselves back on a diet of contemporary sunshine.
It is time for the rebirth of America’s food culture.
Here are four simple ways you can take part:
- Teach your children that food comes from the sun – and not fossil fuel – by planting a garden at home or at school;
- Eat real food (the kind that comes from the ground);
- Cook. That way you know exactly what it is you are eating; and,
- Have one meatless day per week. Meatless Mondays are becoming popular in restaurants in New York City. Why not try it at home?
We felt it important to share this information with you. We understand that we are all in this together, and together we shall turn tables on this fossil fuel food nation. Here in California our backyard gardens are getting started and we are tuning up our vegetable recipes to share with you. We will be back next week with seasonal spring dishes, straight from the sun. Come and cook with us!