I’m an outsider by choice, but not truly. It’s the unpleasantness of the system that keeps me out. I’d rather be in, in a good system. That’s where my discontent comes from: being forced to choose to stay outside. — George Carlin
I mentioned a few days ago that I’m really into food as of late. It’s a health thing, for sure, but it is also an environmental thing for me as well. I want to be personally healthy, and in order to do that I have to acknowledge that I have not made the best decisions in the past when it comes to what to put in my mouth. Food is something I’ve enjoyed for a long time without much in the way of thoughts, besides the “Ooh, that tastes good” or “blah, don’t like it” variety. That’s changed…although I still make bad choices sometimes, I usually have thought more about it. And when it comes to certain foods, like meat for example, I’ve chosen to remain on the fence for awhile.
I also want the planet to be healthy, because the two things are really tied together, and believe it or not the whole “process,” or the “behind the scenes” of getting all that food into easy to manage bits you can pick and choose from can have a huge impact on the planet. Larger than I ever imagined. And definitely larger than those silly twisty light bulbs that seem to have become THE most widely mentioned solution to climate change and energy efficiency. There’s definitely been more talk about food in the mainstream, more people want to lead longer and healthier lives, but very little of that talk has gone in the direction of the environment or the planet. And I think that should change, but I also know some of the strings that have kept that from changing…at least now I do after reading about it.
There are a few books that I recommend if you are interested in either of those two things, your own health or the health of the planet (or hopefully both). I’ve found there is plenty written on the topic but that they are scattered in terms of what sub-heading they’re classified under, so they are also sometimes hard to find if you don’t have specific titles. My favorites, or the ones I have found to be most informative, were The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and What to Eat by Marion Nestle. They’re both fairly long but well worth the time. There are hundreds of books written on this topic though, so if and when you find those they will lead you in whatever direction you want to go from there.
Of course once you get to the point where you’re thinking about food and the planet you hit up on a hard dilemma…do you keep contributing to the system, or do you start looking for alternatives?