I recently listened to a lively call-in show on which experts (dieticians) and callers (complainers) discussed food politics. Among the many maladies that food and eating inflict on us are 1. the impact of food production on the environment, 2. the zealousness of vegans and those who challenge the vegan diet, and 3. obsession, hysteria, stubbornness and fear.
Without going into particulars or even science, I would like to say a few words about food. We need to eat to live. First I’ll get my own guilty concern out of the way. While we in the privileged West argue about the value of quinoa and acai berries, there are people starving to death in Yemen. There, I said it. Let’s get some perspective on this.
No, this will not be a blog about food insecurity, because we really don’t like to either think about it or believe it’s a thing.
Salad series 1
Let’s take the first point as above: the impact of food production on the environment, and subsequently, the human race around the world. Many foodistas will argue that factory farming of animals—beef, poultry, pork—is a resource-heavy enterprise. Lots of water, grain, fossil-fuels. Resources that could be better used producing food for the entire world. Except one has to ask oneself, if mass hypnosis overcame U.S. meat industrialists, ranchers, and chicken-moguls and they switched to producing emmer, wheat, barley, millet, and potato starch, would they also be inclined to sell to poor countries? That remains to be seen.
Chick peas and soy beans are already big here. Rape seed and grape seed (must be lots of grape seeds coming off wine-production, wouldn’t you think?) are cooking oil sources. Dairy products are of great concern for a variety of reasons. The lipophobe shuns butter, cheese and 4% milk! The idea of it! Manure is viewed as a smelly hazard when it’s an excellent source of both compost and methane—fuel, get it? All of Paris heats their homes with it! They eat horse meat over there, too, though. Non-fat yogurt will suffice, because my god, my microbiome is all out of whack! Continue reading