Thoughts on Food

Recently I watched the movie “Food Inc.” Wow. And Gross. It’s message was nothing new to me. I have read a number of books and watched a number of T.V. programs on the type of industrial food we eat and the impact on our health. But this movie connected the pieces in a very visual way; it pushed me one step further in my thinking.  I truly believe our society needs to change how we grow (if you can call what we do now growing), market, transport, sell and cook food. Both the Environment and our health can not sustain what we are doing.

The best point made in this movie was that our food is artificially cheap. It seems cheap, but when you look at the money it costs us in health care and damage to the environment, it is actually very expensive.

There have been signs of improvement over the last 5 years. “Organic” brands are easy to find in your local supermarket. People seem more aware of food and cooking has become trendy again. People talk about ‘local’ food. Everyone wants to be a ‘Foodie.’ It is time to take the next steps. Step 1: We need to push our governments to change food legislation. Clear food labeling, changing food processing policies that favor very large plants where bacteria can contaminate huge amounts of food, and ending subsidies that keep unhealthy food cheap; our governments need to be involved. Step 2: Get people to buy, cook and eat ‘real food’ most of the time.

I am looking forward to Jamie Oliver’s new program “Jamie Olivers Food Revolution” which air’s in prime time on ABC starting in March. Previous to this, most programs that address either, getting people to cook simple healthy food or, exposing how most food is produced, have mostly been on the Food Network or the Discovery Channel. In those audiences they are preaching to the converted. ABC in prime time will reach a whole new audience. Hopefully it can get the message out to enough people to start to have an impact on our governments.

In the mean time, as “Food Inc.” suggests, our family will be doing our best to ‘vote with each bite.’

Here are a few books and programs on this topic that really made an impact on me:

Books: Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivores Dilemma”

Programs: Jamie Oliver’s “School Dinners” and “Ministry of Food” series

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2 responses to “Thoughts on Food

  1. Accidents January 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I taught Pollan’s _In Defense of Food_ this past semester to a class of college freshman. While I’m sure they all continue to eat pretty poorly (the university doesn’t make it easy for them–living in a dorm without their own kitchens, surrounded by fast food and vending machines) they were really impacted. My class was able to see Pollan give a talk at the university as well, which was great for them as he’s a very dynamic speaker.

    The issue of processed foods making us sick is one that is so obvious, and yet virtually ignored, it’s frustrating and scary. And yet, it’s also so hard to escape these fake foods.

    I’m glad this is something a theme for your blog! Keep writing, please!

    • amoment2think January 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you!

      I have seen Pollan interviewed a couple times and I agree, he is a great speaker.

      I think one of the biggest challenges this whole movement faces is that, as you mentioned about your students, many people find it hard to escape the processed foods. Our family is certainly not perfect and we always have to make choices about what we would like to buy versus what we can afford. I think that is why it is so important for us to press the government to get involved. It is hard enough to try and make healthy choices, but when food isn’t even labeled to tell you what you are really eating, it seems the odds are stacked against the average individual or family.

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