Comments on Bachelor Redux
commentson 8 February 2003 : 12:39, Benjamin sez:

I've been vegetarian for two years now. I read Fast Food Nation the summer before last in Berkeley.

Remember? You said you could relate to my feeling physically light and were more convinced by the health reasons why one should do it than by difficult to pinpoint ethical reasons.

I highly recommend that you read the New York Times magazine article entitled An Animal's Place. I agree with 90% of it. It makes important points about how people can rationalize almost any type of behavior and that one should not ignore where the food is coming from. My only difference with it is that i think people should press for change using consumer demand, and that the conditions for workers as well as animals (as fast food nation puts into stark relief) needs to change.

the new food pyramid put together by a 15 year study that was reported in scientific american last month has affected my eating habits. Now I feel quite a bit more full and don't have to constantly be hungry, while remaining veggie. Salient results cited in the article include: eat lots of legumes, vegetable oils, and whole grains. Use sparingly: red meat, pasta, and potatoes. moderate alcohol is good as are vegetables "in abundance" (my favorite phrase).

It's the most concrete data about nutrition that I've seen.

Finally, I'm considering starting to eat fish again, but neither Fast Food Nation, nor "An Animal's Place" mentions the fishing industry except in passing. I need to talk to some fish market folks who have been in the business for a long time and know whether some fishing practices are more environmentally sustainable than others, and what are the most responsible practices in the fishing industry that I want to support with my occasional dollar.

Whether or not you eat your fried chicken, I would be very interested in your response to the two articles linked to above.

commentson 8 February 2003 : 16:00, Justin sez:

Thanks for the pointers Benjamin - the NYTimes had a piece over a year ago where one gentleman adopted a cow and followed its lifecycle from birth to death. It didn't seem to affect his consumption if I remember correctly - it just made him think about it.

Food is an area where the personal is political. I like to deny it sometimes, but reading something like Fast Food Nation whether or not you agree with his premise, it says that we affect the world with our consumption patterns.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by this idea - I'm torn between a great appetite, capacity to eat and curiousity about tastes, and some consciousness that I consume more than my share of meat and seafood. I can moderate, I like to experiment and be conscious. But I still relish that feeling of a full belly. And I love to experience culture and human generosity through eating widely and heartily. Maybe I should disassociate those things.

Seafood isn't a much better way to get at it - feeding all who can afford to eat what they want seems to be a nasty business. For example, Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo shows some of the bloody underbelly of the otherwise elegant-seeming sushi. Specific tastes take specific species out of the ocean before they can reproduce.

Those are two good looking, long articles you've linked to here - I'll save them to my harddrive and take them with me this weekend as I head north into the mountains.

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.