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Industrial Food

I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is a really fascinating read.

I’d never really thought about how much the way in which we get our food has fundamentally changed in the last century. Moving from the simple energy chains of sun-plant-human, or sun-plant-animal-human, to these incredibly complex systems we now have is just a tremendous change. I really don’t think it can be overstated. It’s drastically changed the most fundamental process in life- the way we get and use energy. And when much of life can really be explained as a competition for energy- access to it, and the financial advantage of gaining control over it- the consquences of this shift are just enormous.

But, as my brother Joel says, it’s easy to be eloquent about the problem. How then, to respond to this newfound understanding?

My friend Erin’s dealing with it by going vegan. I think that makes heaps of sense.

I’m doing something different. I’m trying to go local- like all good yuppies- but I’m also trying to opt out of the industrial food system. That means buying very simple products.

It’s hard work. I am making everything from scratch. Bread, pasta, tortillas, not to mention all the vege dishes. On the upside, it’s a lot harder to eat heaps because preparing food is such hard work. Maybe making the connection between preparing food and what we actually eat is the problem. If you have to work for all your calories, suddenly you consume less of them…

Just a thought

2 thoughts on “Industrial Food

  1. I think it makes sense too 😉

    I may have accidentally eaten a small amount of fetta today but I couldn’t taste it. Sigh! I’m still aiming for perfection.

  2. hi erin
    it’s hectic hey? when you really start thinking about how f%^&ed up we’ve made our most basic need! i have been trying to eat more local but i agree that local is not necessarily the answer. like you said, it’s about getting yourself out of this industrial food madness. i don’t think you have to do everything yourself – if you can find small producers who make things responsibly you can use them to get bread and pasta etc.
    i liked your thought on obesity too. i made a similar connection when i was speaking to some indian women farmers on a recent trip i took there (to study organic farming). they were talking about how people in cities have to earn the RIGHT to eat – and that we should honour the food we put in our mouthes, because someone has worked really hard to grow it and nature (and for them, god) has helped grow that food. i couldn’t help thinking how the fact that we have lost our connection with the growing of our food is also at fault for large-scale obesity…

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