“A study done two years ago found that a 20% shift of retail food spending in Detroit redirected to locally grown foods would create 5,000 jobs and increase local output by half a billion dollars. A similar shift to Detroit-grown food by those living in the five surrounding counties would create 35,000 jobs – far more than ever will come out of the multibillion-dollar bailout of the auto industry. The experience of microenterprise organizations around the country suggests that each of these jobs can be created for $2,000-3,000 of public money–a tiny fraction of the price of the last stimulus.”
“As eaters, we find ourselves increasingly in the grip of a nutritional industrial complex, comprised of well meaning, if error prone scientists and food marketers only too eager to exploit the always moving target of today’s nutritional consensus. Together and with some crucial help from the government they have constructed an ideology of nutritionism, that among other things, have convinced most of us of 3 destructive myths, that what matters most is not the food but the nutrient, that because nutrients are invisible and incomprehensive to everyone but scientists, we need expert help in deciding what to eat and that the whole purpose of eating is to promote a narrow concept of physical health, because food in this view is foremost about biology, it follows that we must try to eat scientifically, by the nutrients and the number and under the guidance of experts.
Nutrionist thinking has become so pervasive as to be invisible. We forget that historically people have eaten for a great many of reasons other than biological necessity. Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family, about spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world and about expressing our identity. As long as humans have been taking meals together eating has been as much about culture as it has been about biology.
We are becoming a nation of orthorexics: people with an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating … people with an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Orthorexia from the Greek ortho – right and correct plus exia – appetite equals right appetite. Though Orthorexia is not yet an eating disorder recognized by the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders academic investigation is under way. The scientists haven’t tested the hypothesis yet but I’m willing to bet that when they do, they’ll find an inverse correlation between the amount of time people spend worrying about nutrition and their health and happiness. This is after all the implicit lesson of the French paradox, so called not by the French Quel paradox, but by American nutritionists who can’t fathom how a people who enjoy their food as much as the French do, blithely eat so many nutrients deemed toxic by nutritionists could have substantially lower rates of heart disease than we do on our elaborately engineered low fat diets. Maybe it’s time we confronted the American paradox. A notably unhealthy population preoccupied with nutrition and diet and the idea of eating healthy.” – In Defense of Food
Growing Food – Ecology Action