On the state of food in 2020

 

They say journalism needs to put facts into context, be objective as much as possible and freely accessible to the public.

I will try to accomplish this during the next lines and write about the future of food.
It helps to know our diet all across the globe has been one of the seasons, was largely plant based without chemicals and consisted in preparing the harvest we could reap from the soil. This behavior lasted at least for the last two thousand years.

The rise of the industrial revolution brought us less hunger, more food hygiene and industrialized food, still lots of fresh vegetables and little meat. Increasing wealth brought canned meat, canned vegetables and sinking food prices, still a lot of cooking and eating was done in homes, with families congregating around the kitchen table. Many a father had the first pick and reached for the end piece of a well seared Sunday roast.

After the 1950’s people started to move faster, they took less time to learn from the Grandmothers about fixing that stew, baking that walnut studded pumpkin bread and if so, there was a good chance the pumpkin came out of a can. Which is no bad thing: Pumpkin, one of the few canned goods available without preservatives, saves us a trip to the grocer, shlepping home a 25 pounder of winter squash.

By the 90’s we had lost most of those family members knowing how to cook, can and preserve. Grandmothers had no successor in the kitchen. TV dinners and take out lunches packed in styrofoam became common place. Food waste increased, partly because no granny told you “ throwing out bread is a sin” anymore. Eating ethics along with priorities in life changed. A plastic plate of convenience food is easier to trash than a strawberry pie from your mom.

During the last 20 years we have seen a fragmentation of societies, not only in terms of eating. To scientists, those 2400 plus diets are an excellent way to gain weight and make us unhappy, not the opposite.

Voila, the rise of Vegans. They epitomize the synergy effect between an ethic mindset and physical wellbeing. Countless studies show how plant based food provides a sustainable alternative to our current situation.
” Sustainable “ is a funny word, it has that stale after taste of know it alls and tree hugging sandal wearers. What it means is that our children could still harvest where Nestle or Monsanto exploited resources. Our Grandkids could use our oceans for fishing, where by now more than 90% of commercially harvested fish is depleted down to 5-15% of the past. Or drink water with less plastic and chemicals in it. Do not get me started on air quality in our cities.

Those processes can be reversed and some programs have tremendous success. Efforts could bring back species which were looking extinction. I personally do not want to steal the steak off anyone’s plate, but I am confident, that very soon most meats will be laboratory made. Times are changing.
This is the Anthropocean, the age of man made earth. It will take a lot of self education to relearn about food, and it will take an active democracy to steer the mother earth ship into a sustainable future.

I remember that sticker on car bumpers in the early eighties : “ … will you learn you can’t eat money “

You could start with a home cooked meal though, and share it with a friend.