Thursday, June 3, 2010
Food for Thought Thursdays: We're All in This Together
By intent, Life Told in Recipes is not a political blog. But there are moments when something so cataclysmic happens that it just seems irresponsible to ignore what's going on in the world. So we decided we needed to weigh in on the horror that is happening in the Gulf Coast.
While the relationship between oil and food might not appear instantly obvious, the reality is they are intertwined in the same way that the butterfly flapping its wings in Africa creates a wind storm in Seattle. Nothing any of us does is an act without consequence, and the insatiable tastes we humans have for using up the Earth's resources without apparent thought is absolutely affecting the future of this planet and its inhabitants. The oil in the gulf is just one of the most recent and more horribly egregious examples.
The reality is that we all need to think about how we use natural resources and be more aware that nothing comes without a cost. With food, that means eating local food whenever possible — the energy spent getting produce from one part of this country to another is just one potential upside here — and supporting farmers, ideally local, who use organic and sustainable farming methods. Another option is eating one meatless meal a week. Scientists estimate that if every American lowered meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would lower greenhouse gasses as much as if everyone in the country switched to driving Toyota Priuses. (And it's good for your health; according to Johns Hopkins School of Public Health going meatless just one day a week can reduce consumption of saturated fat by 15 percent, thereby reducing your chances of heart disease.)
Sometimes major problems, such as global warming and the environment, can seem so large that it seems as if there's nothing we can do as individuals to stop it...and so too many of us do nothing. The reality is that most large problems are solved by lots of people taking small steps. It's time for all of us to starting walking together.
As part of our efforts, we're going to start offering one meatless meal a week here to help you get started if you're interested in taking one small step yourself. Please join us on Monday when we feature our first Meatless Mondays post. And, of course, if you're involved in clean-up oriented projects or you have ideas of your own for ways to be environmentally responsible eaters, please share them with us and your fellow readers by leaving a comment below.