Our environment is damaged and we are experiencing the consequences of this damage every day, even if we can’t see it. Poor health is on the rise with more and more people are experiencing allergies, obesity, diabetes and cancer. The statistics are shocking! 36% of the US population are now obese, children are suffering from dermatitis and eczema, gluten intolerance and the numbers of people suffering as a result of disorders and dysfunctionalities have risen dramatically. Why? There are a number of important issues in agricultural food production and consumption that have had significant impacts on the environment and human health such as soil biodiversity, desertification, water usage and pollution, energy, climate change, chemicals, food safety, and biotechnology.
The standards of the food we all consume are subject to extremely powerful lobbies and commercial interests dominate the industry. Under the weight of such influence, it is always junk food that triumphs.
Nutrition needs to be based on environmental principles and we have to look at what we eat through the lens of ecological health. Western societies cannot afford the health burden of their current diets, let alone the environmental footprint left behind because of how the food is treated, processed and preserved. The Western diet is living proof of an unsustainable means of progression.
One major problem about Western diets is that most people choose their food based on cosmetic appeal. What’s even more worrying is that a large percentage of these people throw their food away because they haven’t had a chance to use it. If you have never thought about the environmental impact of food production, now is the time to start. Food consumption accounts for 28% of the world’s ecological footprint and most of us contribute to it without knowing.
We all have a responsibility to the world we live in, yet most of us are acting irresponsibly. Producers destroy the natural world day by day in order to produce more and more food which is filled with chemicals. We, as consumers, go to the supermarket every day to buy attractively packaged poison before bringing it home to eat and causing damage to our health. Either that or we throw it away because we don’t need it.
How can we claim to care about the earth if we do not think about our own individual actions? We live in a world contaminated by preservatives, amplifiers and sugars, which act like drugs. Half of the products on our supermarket shelves are not organic and I’m not even sure they are edible.
What should we do? The solution is not an easy one and it is a big task when you consider that 100% natural produce no longer exists. However, we can start small. We can try to buy more products from local markets and bio shops. It is more expensive but it is better to buy less and better quality than to buy more which is unhealthy and will be wasted. You can start by controlling the process yourself. Do not spend your money on things that harm you. Always remember that you are what you eat.
If we make the right choices together we will have the power change the world. Together we can influence the producers and change what they produce. If no one buys junk food then the manufacturers will have to offer healthier foods. Demand creates supply – it is the most basic law of economics. Let’s start changing the demand by making healthier choices. You are what you eat. Let’s start to eat consciously because our choices matter.