The following 7 minute video gives a great introduction to the challenges and solutions surrounding America's current food system. It also serves as an overview of a new exhibit at the Yale Peabody Museum, Big Food: Health, Culture, and the Evolution of Eating, that will be running from February 11 to December 2, 2012. Open to the public, and great for adults and kids alike, this exhibit is a wonderful interactive resource to help you learn more about your food, where it comes from, and why that's important. And the video even features our friends at Common Ground High School in New Haven!
Learn more about the exhibit here, and check out some interactive online food games related to the exhibit here. Below is an excerpt from the Peabody Museum's website:
Food is fundamental to life. Yet, our eating habits have become
incredibly complex, involving many aspects of daily life far beyond
addressing simple nutritional needs. Our world is characterized by
environments that promote increased consumption of unhealthy food and
sedentary lifestyles; over-nutrition and obesity now surpass
under-nourishment as the world’s leading food and nutrition problem.
So why is it that our current food system promotes larger portion sizes, unhealthier meal options, and less exercise? As the video points out, the answers are complex, but there's certainly more to it than meets the eye. A recent article on the Spirit of Change Magazine's blog points to farm subsidies and fossil fuels as major contributing factors in the prevalence of cheap unhealthy foods. Of course, this is only another part of a much bigger picture, but it is an important part that's worth taking into account. Here is a particularly compelling excerpt from that article:
The truth is, food in the grocery store is not cheap. We pay for it in advance with our tax dollars, which support farm subsidies that go to support an ecologically problematic industrialized food system. We pay for it with the lives of our soldiers and with the unfathomable military expenditures that support our national reliance on fossil fuels, upon which the industrial farming model is completely dependent. The prices only look cheap because we are paying for them someplace else: through our taxes, and via the destruction of our soil, water, and natural resources through irresponsible farming practices.
Our food system has traveled down a long and winding road to get to where it is today. Because of this, the issues surrounding our food are fraught with complexities and ambiguities, but that doesn't mean that we have to get bogged down by them. Just remember to buy local and organic as much as you can and really honestly know where your food comes from and who's behind producing it. That's the easiest way to ensure that you are getting whole nutritious food for yourself and your family. Check out our Winter Food Project webpage or CT Organic Farms webpage for information about farms, farmers markets, and CSA programs in your area at this time of year.
Have a great afternoon!