"Tell me what you eat and I shall tell you what you are." Famously written by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in her book The Physiology of Taste published in 1825. Diet can define who you are, I'm not talking about Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or the Atkins Diet. Your diet represents the food you consume everyday. Food can dictate a lifestyle choice, a passion, or a neccessity. Regardless of the reason why you consume it can greatly effect your life and how you live it. Food is what sustains you. Ultimately food is needed for survival. Our bodies derive valuable nutrients from our food that we need to function on the most basic level. What we put into our bodies influences our health and well being. Nutrition starts at the source. The food that we consume comes from somewhere. Where it is from, how it is raised, and how it is grown can impact its nutritional value on a consumer level. Establishing this connection and developing a transparancey can be one of the most influential movements in the culinary industry.
As our population rapidly expands so does the demand on our natural resources. There is a direct correlation between making the right food choices and the preservation of our environment. Heavily processed foods and mass agricultural production have taken an emmense toll on our environment and our bodies. The more naturally a product is raised the more nutrient dense it is and therefore better for your health. For so long consumers have lived in the dark when it comes to where our food comes from. Establishing a connection between how our food is grown, raised, produced and manufactured is essential to our health and environmental sustainability. The introduction of hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides in our food effects not only our health but our environment. "Agriculture alone is responsible for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With almost half caused by livestock production." (Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, The Nutrition Source) The increased demand for cheap readily available fast food and heavily processed food has taken a toll on our environment and our health.
Future policy in the culinary industry should reflect the environmental impact as directly related to our health. We are often blinded by our obsession with fad diets and caloric intake versus what is actually nutritious for our bodies. Your body is your temple. Taking care of your body means taking care of the environment securing longevity and environmental sustainability for generations to come.
There is so much information that depicts the food processing industry. Countless documentaries, books, podcasts and research have been exposing society on the benefits of naturally grown and raised food and its health impact on the human race. I have never been a "dieter" I never subscribed to any of the fads. Not because I didn't neccesarily believe they worked, but more because I have no will power to sustain a strict schedule. I also don't like the idea of deprivation. Cravings are a natural part of being human. I attribute a craving to something my body needs and neglecting that indulgence could therefore be detrimental to my health. Or I could just be justifying my innate need for refined sugars, deep fried foods and other things consideredd to be bad. Whatever it is I believe more in balance. In the summer I crave greens in the winter I crave carbs. I did however become obsessed with veganism. I even observed the diet for 4 months. I watched 'What the Health', 'Cowspiracy', 'Food Inc' I read books and researched living a plant based diet. The transition wasn't an easy one but I was determined to understand and feel its claimed benefits on my body and for my concern with environmental sustainability. It can be hard to distinguish what information is correct amd what information is false. Ultimately I concluded that research can be found to support or debunk the theory. A change needs to be made in the production of our food, especially livestock but that doesn't neccesarily mean it needs to be eliminated from your diet. Credible sites are important in determining what dictates your dietary habbits. In curating this blog I used a Harvard School of Study. I can trust the information from this site because of the clout it posses in academic fields. The person who wrote it is also a determining factor in crediblity. Someome with a degree or a standard of credientials can be a reliable source. An unreliable source for example when researching my vegan diet was a book called the Kind Diet written by Alicia Silverstone. Although being a well known actress, she has little credibility in a nutritional academic field. The information age can ultimately be positive. However vetting your sources is essential in the full comprehension of your research.