Currently showing: Food security > Diet/alternatives

19 Apr 13 14:48

Had lunch at our company restaurant and - looking around - became aware once again how thoughtlessly we consume meat daily, just because it's on the menu!

What if each of us ate meat only 2x/week - at most - and not just thoughtlessly every day just because it's there on the menu?

OK, cattle farmers probably wouldn't be thrilled. But this would be a big step forward in terms of reducing our global food(t)print across all industrialized countries.

So my personal commitment for a sustainable food supply is to eat meat only when I really feel like it - and not just because it's on the menu.

Category: Food security: Diet/alternatives

Tags: #Meat.


Rashunda Tramble - 22 Apr 2013, 9:51 a.m.

Congratulations on taking that first step!

Matt Singleton - 25 Apr 2013, 2:54 p.m.

A good question, Urs. This could also link to longer lives and climate change, of course ... my wife and I only eat meat at weekends in the hope that this will help the environment and help us health-wise. It means we can spend a little more on meat when we do eat it and get it from a local butcher - more sustainable and very tasty!

Alicia Montoya - 28 Apr 2013, 9:42 a.m.

Exactly. I eat meat on special occasions. It's healthier, more sustainable... and makes it feel like a treat! Win, win, win!

The problem we face is, as with many things (such as the need for increased exercise due to our now much more sedentary lives), our culture has not caught up with our reality. And the problem is, while culture can take generations to change, our bodies and this planet need action NOW, not in two generations. Another problem is world population keeps growing, and this, together with prosperity, means the demand for meat has exploded. Our seas are over-fished to the point where we're pushing Africans to eat monkeys, lions, leopards.. ("bush meat") to meet their protein needs, once met by the fish we now so irresponsibly over-fish and whose stocks we are rapidly depleting:

So next time you're about to buy/order steak or fish, think twice and try something new for a change! Indian, Middle eastern, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines have a plethora of delicious vegetarian options that will surely delight you if you'll just give them a chance :)

Gavin Montgomery - 29 Apr 2013, 6:49 a.m.

The design gurus at Dunne & Raby have taken this idea a little further, suggesting that we she could actually modify ourselves. It's a slightly cooky website, they're "design gurus" after all, but it's a cute idea:

I'm not too sure too many people will buy into the idea of wearing complex equipment to augment their digestion (and you have to wonder why they wouldn't just invest in table top kitchen devices or outsource the production process to large conglomerates) but the idea of "bottom up" production is a good one. Rooftop farming, for example, gives people the power to grow at least some of their own food and will become increasingly relevant as the prices of soft commodities start to rise.

I could add that buying meat is already prohibitively expensive for most people, particularly in Switzerland, which explains the popularity of cervelat and other processed meat-like products. It's unlikely that a meaningful percentage of the world's population will voluntarily or spontaneously adjust the habits of a life time but market forces will inevitably force a change in behavior.

Rashunda Tramble - 3 May 2013, 2:48 p.m.

"It’s unlikely that a meaningful percentage of the world’s population will voluntarily or spontaneously adjust the habits of a life time but market forces will inevitably force a change in behavior."

Good point Gavin. I don't think there will be a big shift to vegetarianism any time soon in Western culture, at least voluntarily. With that said, I think each person has to make the decision that's best for their bodies. Full disclosure: I'm a vegetarian and it's the best thing for my body.:-)

Alicia Montoya - 4 May 2013, 9:14 a.m.

Hmmm, I agree that there probably won't be a sudden shift. However, I do think it's worth informing people about alternatives and expanding their horizons so they are able to make other choices. Until I arrived in Switzerland, I was an ignorant, global consumer. This country (and books like "No Logo" for textiles and "Not on the label" for food) has helped me learn a lot about the way my goods are produced and the sustainable options I have as a consumer.

Speaking of urban farms, here's a great project in Switzerland:

And here's a crowd-sourced one in Berlin I contributed financially to:

Rashunda Tramble - 6 May 2013, 4:45 p.m.

I've heard of Urban Farmers. I'm very, very curious as to how much a box will cost.:-)

Isabel Durrer - 13 May 2013, 3:30 p.m.

BBC published today another solution to the meat issue: Insects! "Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report." But I must admit, I still struggle with the idea of eating insects....

Alicia I like to Urban Farmer's Box! I haven't heard of this idea before and I love it!

Carolina Flores - 21 Oct 2013, 7:18 a.m.

Guess eating animals (and choosing which ones to eat or not) is more a cultural issue. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the flesh of some animals disgusting and the flesh of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals is not a necessity for survival, as is the case in much of the world today, it is a choice - and choices always stem from beliefs. I personally have gone vegan and don't eat animal products at all since some months and I have never felt better before!

Carolina Flores - 21 Oct 2013, 7:20 a.m.

… and yes idurrer! I eat worms and ant eggs some years ago before going vegan. They where yummy!

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