1. We spend an enormous amount treating chronic illnesses caused by our diet choices. Conservative estimates are in the 500 Billion range. The food industry in a symbiotic relationship with the health industry–our food makes us sick, our healthcare system treats us and sends us home with a bill. Why isn’t this a more prominent part of the health care debate?
2. For various complicated reasons having to do with the cold war (see Larry Norman’s Great American Novel), food prices rose exponentially in the ’70s causing that political-social genius known as Richard Nixon to restructure our agriculture system, setting up the modern subsidy system, which pays farmers to a) develop a monoculture of either soy or corn, and b) dump that soy and corn into a bad market causing food prices to plummet. The problem being that monoculture goes against 10,000 years of agricultural wisdom and has devastated our environment.
3. As a result of #2 above, food corporations must process food to give it value in order to maximize profits. Processed food is at best less healthy and at worst very, very unhealthy, which explains why we have the healthcare problem stated in #1, and why diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity have skyrocketed since the ’70s.
2. It takes 10 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef. This is unethical for two reasons: 1) In consuming it 1lb of beef we are stealing 9 lbs of grain from someone who needs it more than us. 2) The greenhouse gas emissions from the process is killing our planet. Cows that eat grass do not compete with humans for crops that we can eat, and are less harmful on the environment, and may actually reverse the effects of greenhouse gasses (carbon fixing). Looks like my beef stew recipe needs amending.
3. Swine flu is not caused by eating pork. However, swine flu came into existence in a pork processing plant as a result of the way that we process pork (think back to the first outbreak of H1N1, there were multiple report of how UN health officials traced the origin of the flu to a pork processing factory in Mexico).
4. Holy Shit! The Bible was right! Which animals were the Israelites allowed to eat? The ones that chewed the cud i.e. ATE GRASS. Which animals weren’t the Israelites allowed to eat? The one’s whose production and processing is harmful to the well-being of humans and the planet.