November 28, 2008
"You don't have to wait for Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama or Collin Peterson to get their act together on this issue. You can act now. There are alternatives. You can vote with your fork." -Michael Pollan
In his convesation with Bill Moyers, Michael Pollan stressed that we need to redefine our relationship with food. We need to take a hard look at how America's food policies trade rules, farm subsidies, and regulation affect larger issues including global warming, healthcare, and even homeland security. But, stresses Pollan, we needn't wait for policy makers and economic trends to make changes.
Below are a few of his suggestions for voting with your fork:
- THINKING: Think of the dollars you spend on food in a different way. You're not just a consumer. You're a producer too. And you can produce another kind of agriculture depending on where you choose to spend your money. Vote with your fork, for a different kind of food.
- SHOPPING: Go to the farmer's market. Get out of the supermarket....You will find that you are supporting local agriculture, 'cause you'll care about the quality of ingredients.
- GROWING: Plant a garden if you've got space. And if you don't, look into a community garden where you might rent a little bit of space.
- COOKING: Simply by starting to cook...you declare your independence from the culture of fast food. As soon as you cook, you start thinking about ingredients. You start thinking about plants and animals, and not the microwave. And you will find that your diet, just by that one simple act, is greatly improved.
- TAKE TIME: I am saying that we do need to invest more time in food. Food is just too important to relegate to these 10-minute corners of our lives... We watch cooking shows like crazy on television. We've turned cooking into a spectator sport. If you would merely invest the time you spend watching cooking shows in actually cooking, we'd find you've got plenty of time to put a meal on the table.
- GLOBAL WARMING AND LOCAL EATING: Why don't we experiment with a meatless Monday in America? Why don't you set the example in the White House? And on Mondays you don't have meat. That's a lot easier to do. You know what that would do to climate change? That's the equivalent of taking 30 million or 40 million cars off the road for a year... In the process of doing it, we will be making a substantial contribution on greenhouse gases, and we will realize that we're not helpless.
See also>> What can I do to help save the planet?
Published November 28, 2008.