Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Meatless Monday Musings as a New Year Begins

At a weekly address in June of last year Pope Francis berated our “culture of waste” and urged us to follow the example of our grandparents stating, "Our grandparents used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food. Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value…Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry."

Anyone who reads this blog will know how much these words resonated with me. But let’s take this one step further. When food is discarded it is a waste not only of the food itself but also of all the resources and energy that went into growing it, harvesting it, transporting it, and preparing it. 

Our American food system is only one of the factors contributing to the increase in greenhouse gases. But changing the way we eat is one of the easiest actions we can take as individuals to help heal our planet, while making ourselves healthier as well This is why I will continue to be a Meatless Monday blogger during the coming year. 

It is my intention to get back to the basics in my posts this year, with recipes geared to eating lower on the food chain, saving resources, and also saving money [who couldn’t use a bit of that right now?]. There will be also be tips to help ensure culinary success, product reviews, food news, and suggestions for further reading.

I don’t have a recipe today, but I do have a great link to share.

One of the most prolific writers on the topic of “Eating Well” is Michael Pollan. The recently released PBS documentary, In Defense of Food, produced by Kikim Media, is based on Pollan’s 2008 book with the same name. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to accompany author/narrator  Pollan on his fascinating journey around the world to answer the question: “What should I eat?” The documentary first aired at the end of December; you can watch it for free here until January 28.

I attended a Michael Pollan talk and book signing in 2008, shortly after In Defense of Food’s release. His inspirational words that day changed how I thought about shopping and eating and were a big factor in my starting this blog.

Perhaps he will motivate you as well. I suggest his small volume Food Rules to get you started on your Michael Pollan reading list.

That’s it for today. I hope that as I continue writing in the new year that you will continue reading.

Happy Meatless Monday. Have a great week!

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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