How we eat is changing the world

April 9, 2019

Our food systems are getting pretty complex across the world. We have a few starting thoughts:

1. The current demands for certain foods across the world because they’re vegan “substitutes” or the new superfood is harmful to our ecosystems too. This is something we need to be conscious of as we transition away from a factory farmed world. The vegan movement in general needs to become far more inclusive, intersectional and understanding of local peoples, cultures and food supply chains.

Instagram user @iquitwaste has been speaking about this lately and it’s really worth reading. Here’s our caveat. Eating some of these foods occasionally is fine. We love that chefs are creative. We love that we get to learn how other people have been eating them for thousands of years & support them. And we actively encourage kids @skwoodlekids (our sister project) to try foods from places outside their bubble so they can experiment with different tastes and learn about other cultures & families. We’ve traded food between invisible borders for a long time. But these should be treats. They certainly should not be causing deforestation, water issues, the displacement of Indigenous peoples & local communities and the mass changing of lands. ⁣

2. Eat in season. It shocks us how many people don’t really know the costs of produce & whether something is expensive or not. If you know your baseline price for when they’re in season, you’ll know when the price goes up they’re probably not or in high demand. So don’t buy them. Helps you budget and help our world!⁣

3. Eat locally. In food-growing countries, it’s surprising how much of that they export and import (capitalism is definitely out of whack!). Check where your food is coming from. Are you in a banana region but eating from Asia? Amongst the oranges but yours are coming from Israel? Go to local farmers markets. Support organic. Get delivery of local produce.⁣

4. Cheap products produced on mass scale will always cause issues. Palm oil is a case in point. Companies really need to be better. They’re not going to do this themselves so they need regulation. And we need to stop eating processed foods wherever possible.⁣

5. Packaged food generally sucks. Find the time (or assign it to your partner or roommates!) to learn to make new things. Bake bread one week and figure out wraps the next. 

6. Factory farming and Big Ag (agriculture) is killing us. We need to advocate for legislation and help transition people employed in this industry; starting with constructive communication all together first. To help, we need to eat more staples. Support healthy alternatives. Have flexibility. ⁣

7. Poverty trumps everything. Eating processed foods. Packaging waste. Meat. Everything. You need to eat. We need to fix the system.⁣

Written by Lis Dingjan

Lis is the founder of Nowhere & Everywhere. With a background in law, international development & service design, she is a passionate advocate of human rights, climate justice, eating from the ground, exploring deeper, giving back a little more than you take and designing better systems. Lis spends a significant portion of time in the field in rural Cambodia.

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