Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The end of "The End of Food"

I think that I've had the book "The End of Food," by Paul Roberts http://www.theendoffood.com/ on the go for probably a year. I've read some of it, read entire other books, started still others, and gone back again since first opening the book. Recently, I decided to just finish the damned thing. I mean, it has been my topic of choice for the past 5 years or so; I should be able to do this.

It is a fact and figures laden look at how the current food system will fail (is failing) as the world's population swells to nearly 10 billion people. It is not a frothy thing. I wish I could make other people read this book, along with others, so they see a more educated, well put together, not to mention sober, argument for why we all need to change the way we eat. My drinking excursions with friends and peers usually degrade into a rant on one of a few topics: 1) bitching about work 2) fantasizing about being a small business owner with a knitting shop 3) Food politics 4) gastronomy.

Earlier this year, January I think, I read "Just Food" by James E. McWilliams and came to the conclusion that it was time to seriously reduce the amount of meat that I consume and, lo and behold, I actually acted on this conclusion. When I say "I" I actually mean my husband and I - two birds, one stone. We were not big meat consumers to begin with, or so I thought, but when at first we tried to only do meat once fortnightly it was a whole heck of a lot tougher than I had imagined. We relaxed the rule to once a week to get used to thoughtfully preparing delicious meals not centered on land animal protein. I may as well mention that I won't do meat alternatives because they are fake processed foods that are emblematic of what is wrong with the current agribusiness food system model.

We were ticking along quite nicely until we went to Morocco in April. Chicken was unavoidable. Chicken couscous, chicken tagine, chicken roasted on a spit - you get the drift. Then we came back to Toronto and work was hectic etc. etc. and now is the time to get motivated go back to thoughtfully preparing meals without meat again. Well, actually just not being lazy about food in general and making sure the cupboards and fridge are stocked is a main priority right now that requires effort. We need to move the last from the "effort" category to "habit" category. My two main weak points are breakfast and lunch. It is hard enough trying to get myself to the office (see previous post - yep still doing the same job), let alone getting breakfast and lunch sorted. End up wasting so much money on less than stellar cuisine at the establishments around work.

I am guilty of constantly craving a juicy hamburger. I had one yesterday. With a chocolate milkshake. The two do not cancel each other out to make a salad, as one person (the hamburger instigator) put it yesterday. But, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world," as Ghandi said. So I soldier on.

I finished the book. So now what? How do I effect change? I'm not satisfied simply by changing my own thought and behaviour patterns with regards to this issue. What is the next step? I'm putting that out into the blogosphere to see what comes back.