Monday, July 13, 2009

Food

Mary and Marco gave me a Birthday Present. Magazines. They know I love magazines so they purchased a variety knowing I would be alone for awhile. It took me two weeks to even open the bag but I did and I'm half way through the 5 magazines already. I generally read every magazine I have cover to cover. I can read a magazine almost as fast as Mary can read a book. I also learned a trick from Mary. It's taken me 16 years to figure it out but I started taking a bath at night and reading. It works. First it's quite relaxing. Second I get to read a great deal. Third it puts me to sleep and that has not been easy these last two weeks.

Last night I was reading National Geographic. This particular issue has a long article on the current food shortage. It really made me think today as I searched for food I wanted to eat.

The current food shortage at an all time low by the way, is being driven by a number of issues:
1. Large Population
2. Increasing Middle Class
3. Increased demand and production of Bio Fuels.

Some things to think about:

Something like 20 years ago the aveage person in China consumed 50lbs of pork/year. Today that is 70lbs. By the way that's not even close the the meat consumption in the USA. Can you say middle class.

40 years ago a man from Iowa felt he could help the food situation in India by introducing a new wheat. That wheat grew faster and produced much more wheat than what was being used in India at the time. To do this though the wheat needed food (fertilzer) and protection from bugs (pestisides). Not long after this form of farming was introduced in India people started getting sick. Cancer sick. Lets just get this straight. Those huge apples you are buying at the supermarket are not good for you. The really big ones all with that deep red shine. They are full of pestiside. That's going into your body and your body does not like it.

The current food shortage is driving prices for things like Rice sky high. High rice prices hurt the poorest 3rd of the population. So the people who struggle the most get hurt the most.

The next time you sit down to the dinner table look at the what's there. How did the food get there? Did your meat come from Nebraska, Bananas from Honduras, Olive Oil from Spain, wine from Argentina? No really, how did it get to your table. Ever thought about how crazy that is. Do we just blink and it's there? Is there food left on the plate when you are done?

I don't have the answers to this but I think we have to act individually. You know that story that goes "Someone in Africa is dying and you are throwing food away" , It's true! Does that mean you shouldn't eat well, heck no. I think what it means is buy what you can eat, buy fresh, locally grown if you can. Eat food that was recently alive. Give to food banks whenever you can. And take it from me, if it's been in the pantry for more than two weeks, you are not going to eat it. Stop buying the stuff you will never eat. Shop more frequently and buy less. Oh yeah, go out less too.

It's a good life....
Dave
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