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Sustainable Food

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Maggie Margaret

on 15 June 2013

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Transcript of Sustainable Food

Food for a Healthy
Planet & Body

One of the greatest ways human beings impact the
environment is through our food choices.
Our early ancestors spent the majority of their waking hours searching for food- hunting wild herds of game and searching for edible plants and roots.
The discovery of agriculture (the Neolithic Revolution) transformed our relationship with the planet and each other.

We altered the environment to meet our needs, planting crops, domesticating animals, and growing great cities.
But advances in science and medicine have led to a growing population and growing demands on the earth's resources for food.
In 1790, 90% of the American labor force were farmers.
Jefferson was a popular advocate for small-scale farming, who once said "Agriculture is at the same time the most tranquil, healthy, and independent occupation."
In the mid-19th century, agriculture began to industrialize.

Food is at once a fundamental human need, a connector of family and culture, and a matter of personal choice.

Sustainable food systems enhance the environment rather than deplete it, provide equitably for all people , and sustain the economic vitality of farmers.
Heavy does of pesticides & herbicides are administered.
Instead of small-scale farming, where farmers grow a variety of crops and raise a variety of animals...
Vast monocrops were planted...
(In the US, the main monocrops are corn, wheat, and soybeans.)

Growing the same crops year after year and dousing the soil with herbicides and pesticides threatens the health of farm workers, breeds resistant weeds and bugs, depletes nutrients, and pollutes water from synthetic fertilizers runoff,
One of the most serious negative impacts of industrial crop production has been the decline the honeybees (known as colony collapse disorder), who are very likely dying off due the use of pesticides. The current crisis arose during the fall of 2006 as beekeepers around the country reported massive losses—more than a third of hives on average and up to 90 percent in some cases.
"The two compounds that kept coming up when we tested these dead bees were the pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Those are insecticides that are applied to corn seed." - Purdue University Entomology Professor Christian Krupke.
The use of neonicotinoids (the pesticide group most often fingered in honeybee declines) has been banned by the EU for 2 years.

Genetically modified corn is one of the most
commonly grown crops in America and is in
most of our grocery store foods in the form
of additives and sweeteners. .

Rather than
grazing outdoors,
animals raised for food eat
mostly corn-based feed!


Animals are now raised in a manner dubbed by activists as "factory farming", referred to technically as a "confined animal feeding operations"
Many egg-laying businesses house one million or more chickens.

Thousands of animals are raised together in close quarters
Factory farm run-off pollutes the water and soil
and methane emission contribute to global warming.
In a sustainable farming system, modeled after natural ecology, plants and animals interact in a natural way and animal waste acts not as a pollutant, but as a fertilizer...
Sustainable agriculture mimics ecology by maximizing the use of a diversity of systems.
A look at Germany...

Sustainable agriculture systems are site specific and community-based, a collaborative effort to integrate production, processing, distribution , and consumption in a way that enhances the economic, environmental, and social health of a particular place.

Farmer's Markets
Community Supported Agriculture

Network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme.
Urban Farming
Community Gardening
Brooklyn Grange
Biological Concrete
Can small-scale sustainable farming feed large populations?

European countries have seen great success
with simple, back-yard farming methods...
A look at Russia...
So what can we do?
Can we shop our way into sustainability?
Sustainability is about finding balance.
- Buying from local, small-scale farms
- Growing your own produce
- Decreasing meat consumption
- Encouraging policy change

The industrialization of our food system has in many ways thrown off this balance, with highly-processed "fast-foods" changing the human diet quiet significantly.
Just as with environmental health, balance and diversity are the keys to a healthy diet.

Early man ate a diet high in fiber and vegetable matter, and low in fat, sugar, and salt.
Now, it's much more common for a diet to be high in refined sugar, fat, salt, and low in fiber.
Any fruit or 100% fruit juice is a part of the fruit group
Women require about 1 ½ - 2 cups a day
Men require about 2 cups a day
1 cup of fruit = ½ cup dried fruit
Provides you with Vital Nutrients

Refined Grains:
Bran and germ removed mechanically through “Milling”
Longer shelf life
Vitamin B, Iron and Dietary Fiber removed through the “Milling” Process
White Bread
White Flour
White Rice

Most vegetables naturally low in fat and calories
Important source of nutrients (potassium, dietary fiber, folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C)
Can protect against certain kinds of cancers
Females 14-18 should consume about 2.5 cups
Males 14-18 should consume about 3 cups

All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans/peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered part of the Protein Food Group
Girls 14-18 should get about 5 oz equivalents daily
Boys 14-18 should get about 6.5oz equivalents daily
Servings depends on protein being consumed
Function as building blocks of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
Important for Iron intake (esp. in teenage girls and women in child-bearing years) used to take oxygen to blood
Also important for Magnesium, Zinc and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Select Non-Fat or Low-Fat Options (1%, Skim)
3 cups recommended for Men & Women (less for children)
1 cup of milk=1 ½ oz. natural cheese= 2 oz. processed cheese
Important source of Calcium, Vitamin D, Potassium and Protein
Important for Bone Mass (Osteoporosis)
Eat lots of fresh fruit, vegetables & grains
Snack on nuts
Spice food with garlic, onions and aromatic herbs
Eat less fat cheese, yogurt, eggs & red meat (prefer fish & poultry)
Prefer olive oil

Typical American diet heavy on fast food, has played great role in obesity epidemic.
Obesity is defined as an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual's ideal body weight (Medical Dictionary)

Has fast-food improved?
Rates of type 2 diabetes have increased markedly over the last 50 years in parallel with obesity: As of 2010 there are approximately 285 million people with the disease compared to around 30 million in 1985.

Diet high in saturated fats, particularly from animal proteins, has led to an increase in cholesterol and heart disease.
How can we improve our nutrition?

- Balanced diet of natural foods
- Cheap produce from farmers market
- Buy in bulk (dried beans, rice)
- Drink water!
- Avoid processed foods
- Everything in moderation... even moderation!

Whole Grains:
Retain the entire grain kernel
Kernel consists of:
The Bran (Rich in Fiber)
The Endosperm
The Germ (Rich in Vitamin B, Iron, Magnesium & Potassium
Whole-Wheat Flour
Bulgur or Cracked Wheat

More nutrients and fiber than Refined and/or Enriched Grains (Milled and then nutrients are added back in)
Good source of Fiber, which aids in digestion
Fibers in Whole Grains fight against Type 2Diabetes, Obesity Heart Disease & Cancer
Women daily recommendation is 5-6 oz.
Men daily recommendation is 6-8 oz.
*At least ½ of the grains an individual consumes should be WHOLE GRAINS

German diet: preference for heavy and savory foods, Germany breakfast typically consists of various types of breads and pastries, eggs and salty deli meats. Lunch and dinner is often packed with meats and potatoes, especially sausage. Chocolate and beer are also favorites. Can you think of any risks associated with a diet like this?

German preference for meats, potatoes, breads, chocolates and beer is associated with a diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.

To encourage healthier food choices, the German Nutrition Society released a list of 10 dietary guidelines. Among these guidelines, is the recommendation of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking water, eating slowly, and limiting intake of sugar, salt and fat.

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