Thoughts on Food
January 17, 2010
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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