Thursday, July 1, 2010

Feeding the world organically

A recent bounty from our organic garden...

There was an article in Organic Gardening I read awhile back that was a conversation with Michael Pollan (who's great of course). I found it really interesting, but especially this paragraph:

"But 'can organic feed the world?' is a question really up for grabs." He pauses. "The honest answer is, we don't know. I've seen research that suggests with really smart rotations and cover cropping, there is enough nitrogen to do it. I also think that if we changed our relationship to meat, we probably could. Half of all the grain that we're growing now is fed to livestock. If we were eating more food directly as plants, then we could feed the world organically. It really is the world's appetite for meat that forces us down that fossil-fuel path."

Very interesting, right? Most of you know we eat a 100% organic vegan diet at our nest so it's something we're very passionate about! I so wish all people around the world would have easy access to organic food.

So if meat is one of the biggest barriers to this, which I do believe, what needs to be done? Well first, you could go veg :). Or if you just really really love meat and/or truly feel like your body needs it, then why not treat it as just that - a TREAT. Have it once a week or a couple times instead of every day or at every meal. Many people have sausage for breakfast, turkey at lunch, and then chicken/beef for dinner. That's ALOT of meat people....way way way too much. Even daily intake of meat is too much in my opinion. The environmental effect of that is phenomenal but it can also be very detrimental to your health. People often question vegans/vegetarians about where they get their protein. When a healthy vegan/vegetarian gets a great amount of it, more than adequate actually. Whereas, the typical meat eater gets WAY too much and their bodies can't do anything with it. Instead, their livers have to try to excrete all of the excess which can cause damage. So just something to think about and research further...

Of course if you go with the second option and just minimize your meat intake, then for sure go ORGANIC and local if possible. Do a search for local farms where you can go tour and get a glimpse of how the animals are treated. You won't see everything obviously, but at least you'll hopefully get an honest look. No matter what the company advertises, you will never know how big farms treat their animals or what conditons they live in and I promise you that more than likely, you would be horrified.

Or even better than buying meat, go out and get your own meat, fish, etc. from out in some true wilderness somewhere! It takes some skills obviously, but this is a much more humane and healthier option in my opinion with much less of an environmental impact. IF you're going to eat animals, eating what you yourself catch, shoot, etc. is the way to do it!

OH and I really do think this whole theory also applies to other animal products as well - butter, eggs, animal's milk, etc. etc....if you really love them, treat them as treats and get the best/healthiest there is (local, organic, etc.)! If you don't really love those things, then why not take them out of your diet completely? I promise there are much healthier (and very delicous) alternatives out there! Many people say that organic is "too expensive". Well, if you cut out or even greatly lessen the amount of animal products you buy, I promise it makes an organic diet much more affordable!

So could we really feed the world organically if we changed our relationship to meat? I think it's truly a powerful idea...

We are busy getting things ready for a combo 4th of July/family birthday party. We're so excited to host a fun-filled day! I wish all of you a wonderful weekend and Independence Day with your loved ones!


Stephanie said...

We're not vegetarians, but we don't eat meat often. When we do, we buy organic - it tastes better (really) and it's better for our bodies too!

Dog Island Farm said...

Lovely blog.