I just finished reading “The Food Matters Cookbook” by Mark Bittman… twice. The cookbook is based off of his NYT bestseller, “Food Matters” and he reviews the concepts of “Food Matters” in his introduction. I found the concepts so insightful that I had to read them twice.
Both books are based off of the idea that we should be eating responsibly, eating like food matters. He encourages “us to concentrate on eating more plants and fewer animal products and processed foods.” The statistics he presents about our consumption of animal products is astounding… like the fact that each American eats 200 pounds of meat a year. Or that producing meat uses 20 times as much fossil fuel as does vegetables. Or that at least 70 percent of our calories come from animal products or processed foods.
I don’t know about you, but those statistics are startling to me… and gross. Producing processed food is cheap and quick… necessary for our busy everyday lives. And yet “these cheap products still come at a cost: we wind up paying for the cost of obesity and other dietary diseases in our health care system.” This price tag is $840 billion annually, according to Bittman. Ouch.
So what can we do? We should be looking towards the food that our own earth gives us… fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. What I like best about Bittman’s advice is that he doesn’t advocate that we totally eliminate meat and processed food from our diet, merely cut back. Can I eat at least one less meal each week that doesn’t have meat in it? Sure. Will my decisions help the environment, our society, and my health? Absolutely.
You don’t have to search any harder for more natural foods, you just have to think differently. That is what I have learned by having food allergies… the food my body wants is readily accessible; I just have to cook it and not automatically grab the pre-packaged grab bag just because that is what I am used to doing.
Now I’m off to make a surprise meatless dinner… stay tuned for the recipe.