Most of us live in a fog about food. There’s fast food on every corner. There are restaurants everywhere. There’s shows about food on 24/7. Grocery stores are stocked to the hilt with goods from all over the world. Sounds awesome! But it also sounds unreal doesn’t it?
There’s a reason for that. Because it is.
While many of us live in this unrealistic, wasteful, disgusting (I include myself in this absolutely!) and completely unsupportable system that surrounds us, we really have no idea what is behind this abundance we see. The amount of food we toss away without a thought is insane.
We have little to no idea of how overfishing is rapidly destroying a major food source for much of the world. We have no thought to the fact that our population is growing at such an accelerated pace that our food supply will be unable to keep up. And we are talking within some of ours, and definitely our kids, lifetime
As I was finishing reading Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw, he discusses the fact that for most of the top restaurants in our major cities, the reason those meals are so expensive isn’t just the quality of the food and the preparation. In many cases, such as fish, they will only use a very specific piece or pieces. They pay top dollar for a quality fish but the bulk of that fish is wasted, trashed. Just so you can have that ‘just so’ piece. You don’t have to spend much time looking at New York City alone to realize the level of waste that comes from just that one place. There are few chefs who try to really use the entire fish for other dishes. Education around that is required.
I got started on this thought stream recently after watching a BBC documentary The Future Of Food. Part 1 left me very depressed. When you really look at what is going on, it leaves you, and certainly did me, a bit empty and feeling like a selfish whore for the way we live in the industrial world. Part 2 was a bit more uplifting as they discussed some possible ways to alleviate the pressure.
The problem is that we need to start doing things now. There is no doubt there will be pain in the decades to come. Everything we can start to do now will help lessen some of the impact. Please. Take the time to watch the videos and think about changes you can make.
If you want to get very much more informed, the two videos I watched are available online.
The Future of Food – Episode 1 here.
The Future of Food – Episode 2 here.