Feed the World
Good day, good weekend, good Monday. You're probably looking at my title above and feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility now and asking yourself, "How am I going to feed the world? Who does he think I am?" Please understand that I meant this as our collective responsibility. And there has been some great news on that front of late. Last week's article about the sustainability of organic farming gave us some hope for the future of our food supply. This week's article from the Organic Trade Association in the U.S. tells us that organic is really taking off. American sales have exploded from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. Organic fruits and vegetables now account for 11% of all U.S. produce sales - this figure is probably higher in Europe, where Frankenfear is more prevalent.
So organic is the way forward for feeding the world and it's catching on... that's a good thing. Next up is a study featured on the CTV News website (that's Canadian Television, eh?) which concludes that we can double the world's food supply by doing one thing: eating less meat. Three quarters of the world's agricultural land, says the study, "is devoted to raising livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed." Factor in biofuels and you've got a lot of food growing around us that we're not eating. One of the study's authors, McGill University's Navin Ramankutty, says "If you ... eat meat one or two days less a week, you can hugely contribute to the amount of food that's needed." Amazing. One day a week you say? What about Mondays - would that work?
So we can turn this thing around with a little global restraint where eating meat is concerned... that seems do-able. And what if there were additional motivations for eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables? Something like a major Canadian study coming out of McMaster University and featured this week on the Time magazine site which found that eating more fruits and veggies could overcome genetic markers for heart disease? So you can be marked for death by your Mom and Dad's faulty genetic materials, eat a "prudent diet" including less meat and more fruits and vegetables and have no increased risk for heart disease? And this behaviour helps us feed the world anyway? What if news of this got out - do you think people would change the way they eat?
Let's hope so.
I'm coming to you a bit early this weekend as we are going to be away in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan. We will, with any luck, be eating at some or all of Seva, Jazzy Veggie and Brick Road Pizza. You'll have advanced notice this way on what groceries to buy - don't forget the organic spinach. This week's recipe is an example of Indotalian Fusion (a term I might have just made up), which I first enjoyed back in the late '90s at Allen's Pub on the Danforth when we were living in Toronto. Sadly, it is no longer on their menu. It was delicious. I hope you'll think so, too. Have an entirely fantastic weekend. Feed the world, yo!