CONCERNS FOR FOOD IN OUR TIME
One of the dominant concerns of our time is the health or unhealth of our food. We have evidence that suggests much of our food is:
- disease producing, especially cancer producing.
- our foods are too fatty and contain too much cholesterol.
- our foods contain too much sugar and salt.
This increased knowledge of food produces several often-contradictory attitudes in us:
- a joking despair that nothing we eat or drink, except the most
undesirable food and drink seem healthy.
- a frantic activity (and often considerable expense) to find foods which
are healthier than others.
- lots of guilt surrounding our eating and drinking habits.
Another major area of discussion is how the methods of food production we use affect the environment of the world.
- Perhaps the major current concern is not with the food itself, but with
the packaging of food. Foods often come in plastic and other non-biodegradable packaging, threatening the environment.
- Another major concern of recent years is the cutting of forests to create
grazing lands for beef.
This whole increased consciousness of the ecological healthiness of food production causes significant numbers of people to alter their eating habits.
More and more people are concerned with the effects of the production of the food we eat of food on the producers.
- People are quite aware of the exploitative wages that Third World food
workers receive and the exploitation of many food workers in this country, especially migrant workers.
- People are becoming more aware of the competition for land to
produce crops, especially luxury crops like bananas, citrus fruit and our excessive demands for sugar, with the needs of local populations to have access to land to produce basic crops of survival -- corn, beans and rice.
- More information has surfaced in recent years pointing out how our
meat eating habits -- especially requiring well-marbled (highly fatty) meats, which require a great deal of corn feeding (often forced feeding). It becomes clear that the eating of great portions of corn by animals is in direct competition with the hungry of the world for access to edible grains.