Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sustainable Eating: A New Year's Pledge


My New Year’s resolution is to eat sustainably. This means that I’ll do my best not to contribute to the processed food market that’s run entirely on greed with an absolute disregard for human health. If you’re familiar with the books Fast Food Nation, Fatland, or anything by Michael Pollen you know the industry of which I speak. I’m done putting money in those people’s pockets, at least when I know I’m doing it.

This doesn’t mean that I’m a vegan, vegetarian, Paleoist, low carber, Zoneian, or belong to any type of cult following. It simply means that I’ll reflect on the food that I eat and where it came from and make my decisions from there. Given the strange food culture we’ve created this is going to be anything but simple to accomplish.

The broad strokes look like this. I will only eat animals when I know who killed them and how they spent their time on earth. For practical purposes this makes me vegetarian, at least until I make it up to Bozeman to delve into Josh’s freezer full of elk. I can’t eat fish because every fishery in the US has a mercury warning associated with it due to coal processing. The oceans are even worse. The only sustainable ocean creature to eat seems to be squid because their populations are booming as their natural predators are disappearing. I’ll do the best I can to buy local and avoid mass produced products made from the by products of genetically modified corn and soy production.

The broad strokes will be challenging, especially when traveling. Beyond this my goal is to do a better job producing my own food. I don’t garden and barely cook, so this is going to require a lot of learning. But at the rate we’re soiling our own cage these are likely to become survival skills in my lifetime so I’d better become proficient.

I’ll be writing more on mercury in the future. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Robert Kennedy Jr. You may not know much about mercury but consider that “1 out of every 6 women in the US now has mercury levels high enough to put their kids at risk for major illness.” He doesn’t get to mercury until 7:30 if you want to scroll ahead, though he’s making a case in the intro.

7 comments:

voodoo child said...

Steve, I myself just watched Food Inc. yesterday and was sickened by it all, including my unawareness at the situation. My goal for this year and those beyond are to begin purchasing "cleaner" food from local growers and to convince others to do the same. I too will have to take up cooking :/

screwdestiny said...

I, too, watched Food Inc. and it made me want to make a lot of changes in the food I buy. But I like to eat meat. And it seems terribly unfair that there is no sustainable way to get meat where I live. It's probably like that in a lot of places, actually. *sighs*

This is a great resolution. Good luck with it.

Steve Edwards said...

I feel shame in that I've known about this long before Food, Inc, or even Fast Food Nation. I was a vegetarian for years from the late 80s to mid 90s. Went back to eating meat because I was getting injured a lot. It helped. Then I was poor and mobile and spent a while eating whatever was available. I've spent the last number of years in dietary experimentation, true, but no matter how I slice it if I continue to support these companies knowingly it's just an excuse. Transitions are always difficult but they also tend to lead to life's fullest memories.

David L Bell said...

Good for you Steve! I have made a similar choice toward consious eating. Althought I began down this path with mostly altruistic reasons it's the personal health benefits have been the primary reason I have stuck with it.

J J said...

You can still consume meat products but buy local from field raised animals. Many local farms have their animals right there where you can see how they are raised. Support your local farmer and in doing so you are improving the environment. I grew up homesteading in the 60's and 70's, I no longer raise animals but certainly have an organic garden. I applaud everyone who is doing their part to get the word out and educate the masses to the terrible conditions of our nation's food source. bodynsoil.blogspot

Steve Edwards said...

Thanks for the link. Yep, that's the plan. I can eat meat when I know where it came from, thought I'm currently testing a veggie version of the ABCDE diet. We just found a local buther with very strict standards and will support them if we want meat.

Blake said...

Bravo, sir. I applaud you for this effort. It is absolutely appalling what has happened to the food industry in the US.

I think the greatest travesty here is that so many people do not know about any of this. If more people were aware of this, perhaps there would be enough movement to make some changes (i.e. the Truth movement against cigarette companies).

Thanks again,
Blake