A few weeks ago, I attended a lecture by Ricardo Salvador at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Salvador is the director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and is an expert in sustainable agriculture. In his lecture, he highlighted the fact that there is a serious threat to humanity’s prospects on the planet. As a matter of fact, according to Stephen Hawking, humanity currently has about 100 years left on the planet.
Agriculture is at the core of our ability to survive. However, today’s agriculture system is so dependent on the exploitation of people, animals, and nature that it is doubtful that the current model will promote our survival. So many of the foods we eat are the product of migrant labor, animal exploitation and environmental degradation. Migrant labor the modern equivalent of slavery. Similarly, the way animals are raised for food exploits people, animals and the environment. Finally, intensive farming methods and the use of pesticides are polluting soils and waterways. These abusive farming techniques are harming us, and putting our future on this planet at risk.
So many of the foods we eat are the product of migrant labor, the modern equivalent of slavery. Similarly, the way animals are raised for food exploits people, animals and the environment. For example, in a recent article in Edible Nutmeg Connecticut, Tom Truelove of Truelove Farms writes, “When we eat industrialized chicken, we’re purposefully ignoring the costs. The chicken industry can be brutal on anyone below the level of middle management. The growers are often shackled to disadvantageous contracts, the slaughterhouse workers are routinely exploited, and the chickens themselves lead brief and squalid lives.” Finally, intensive farming methods and the use of pesticides are polluting soils and waterways. These abusive farming techniques are harming us, and putting our future on this planet at risk.
Mark Bittman makes the same point in an article he wrote in grubstreet.com He notes that, “The work of real foodies includes farming, battling for universal free (and good) school lunches, struggling to close CAFOs, increasing access to fruits and vegetables, reclaiming land from monoculture, and way more.” And, he is right. To be a foodie, one has to take responsibility for being aware of how a food was produced, by whom (and in what conditions), and what effect its production had on humans, animals and the environment.
In my cookbook, Live, Eat, Cook Healthy: Simple, fresh and delicious recipes for balanced living, I wrote about the need to choose organic and sustainably-farmed/raised foods for our health. However, I realize now that we have to make a deeper commitment to organic and sustainable farming practices for the health of our planet and humanity as a whole. We have a duty to more than ourselves to make the right choices because these decisions affect other human beings, animals and the planet.
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I recently traveled to Croatia
with my family. HERE are some
pictures of my trip!
Here are a few of my favorite articles for this month:
- A new study in the journal Science, demonstrates that neonicotinoids – a common insecticide – limit the ability of bees to survive their winter hibernation. READ ARTICLE
- While we know that soda is bad for our health, diet soda is not much better. Recent studies have shown that large consumption of diet sodas puts people at risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Here are some tips to help you kick the soda habit once and for all. READ ARTICLE
- According to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General, weeds are becoming resistant to an herbicide containing glyphosate. As a result glyphosate use increased over 150% from 2002-2012. READ ARTICLE
- Here’s a great article about an Iowa farmer doing what it takes to protect the land he farms. READ ARTICLE