Why care about FOOD?
Sure, you need to eat food to live, that’s a good reason to care about it. But you don’t have to pay much attention to eat to live. Food truly touches into every aspect of culture and society. It’s something you just can’t get away from. This is what has drawn me into a career based on food, and food education. Certain food issues REALLY get me going. Here’s a quick overview of why I do what I do and a link to an excellent article explaining more on these ideas.
- HEALTH – This one is kind of easy, you are what you eat. If you eat fresh, whole foods, minimally processed, then you’ll be healthier than if you eat lots of overly processed junk. What we eat has a HUGE impact on our chances of becoming obese, developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and plenty of other issues.
- ENVIRONMENT – I started early on the save-the-environment band wagon. In middle school I started an eco club and we got recycling in the classrooms. Only more recently did I learn that how we grow/raise our food has a massive (and lately, a NEGATIVE) impact on the environment. Fertilizer, pesticides, waste runoff, soil depletion and deforestation are all aspects of the environmental issue. Both agriculture and meat production have the ability to harm the environment or help it. For details on meat production and its environmental and ethical impacts, check out this report from Pew Charitable Trusts. Research shows it can be fixed, but will require major cultural shifts.
- POLITICS – This is a loaded one, I know. And it involves the other areas. Politics affect what people eat, what they can afford, and how it’s grown. And politics, more and more, is affected by money from giant agricultural companies. This is becoming a closed-loop system where alternative ideas and approaches have very little power. The financial interests of food corporations is not always (or often) in line with what’s best for the population as a whole or the environment. But the finances of these corporations holds sway in politics. Only as more people become aware of this AND do something about it, can we see a change.
If this intrigues you, and you want to learn more, here are some more resources: