So, you may be wondering why I titled these blog posts “The Dreaded Question.” On my last post, I stated that I get this question a lot on Part 1. I dread this question simply because it’s hard to explain everything that is wrong with our current food system without depressing everyone. There are many health advocates, doctors, and dietitian’s that stress the importance of healthy eating. You can’t even go into the bookstore without being bombarded by a million different books telling you a million different ways to lose weight, feel great, and be skinny. Go vegan, go primal, go gluten-free, etc. etc.
As a society, I think we have lost sight on what really matters in our life. I think we have lost sight on how many people truly don’t have access to ANY fruits or vegetables when telling consumers how to adopt a certain dietary lifestyle. I truly believe we have lost the instinctive ability to feed ourselves healthy because food (mostly junk food) is always within reach. Another huge factor in all of this is that we are forgetting who truly is at stake when it comes to growing and picking our food. Are these people being treated fairly? Don’t we want our farmers and our farm workers to be paid a livable salary? They are feeding us after all….
This is not to say that all farmers are created equally though. There are many corporate farms out there that are perpetrating the cycle of farmworker and subsidy abuse. <–See, depressing, right?!
We need to get to a place where we can support small-diversified family farming operations. We need affordable access to land for beginning farmers, we need common sense farming subsidies as well as pesticide application control. (Or possibly helping family farmers switch from conventional to diversified farming operations to reduce the amount of petroleum fertilizers and overuse of pesticides).
In the 2015-2020, Dietary Health Guidelines from Health.Gov, they state that “nutrition and health are closely related”. This is totally true, however, nutrition and health are mainly affected by our current food system. What’s grown, how it’s grown, who grows it, how it’s processed, how it’s transported, how it’s kept until it goes out for sale, what it’s packaged with…I could go on and on.
Take a look at how American’s are currently eating right now (ages ONE year and above):
Our eating patterns have drastically shifted due to the convince of processed junk food. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that there isn’t a place in our life where we OCCASIONALLY divulge, but this is crazy.
There are way more statistics to comb through, but these are important to get a baseline grasp.
In one of my instagram posts, I said that ANutritionistAndACook believes the discussion around food needs to be centered around the pillars of Sustainability: cultural, environmental, economic, and social. Some models of the pillars of sustainability exclude cultural, but as a nation built upon diversity, this has to be included in building a sustainable dietary preferences as well. This is a great example of what we mean from a city in Calgary:
To answer the question as to what I hope to do with my master’s in sustainable food systems. Well, there are many things I can do. I can go on to become a registered dietitian (which I’m hoping to do in the near future), there are media outlets, sustainability coordinator positions, and more. Over the next few weeks I’m planning on sharing some of my favorite podcasts, bloggers, books, and experts to follow for the push to a sustainable and inclusive food system!
Cheers to conscious living,