What's wrong with What Americans eat

Mark Bittman: What's wrong with what we eat
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what's wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it's putting the entire planet at risk.

Not a coincidence, obesity is quite prevalent in affluent countries like US and it seems even this way what Americans eat seems to be causing problems to the rest of the world.
Fat People Cause Global Warming, Higher Food Prices
Two scientists write that obese people are disproportionately responsible for high food prices and greenhouse gas emissions because they consume 18% more food energy due to their greater body mass -- and require increased quantities of fuel to transport themselves and the food they eat. 'Promotion of a normal distribution of BMI would reduce the global demand for, and thus the price of, food,' write the authors, Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts of the evocatively named London School of Hygiene & Tropical edicine.

Still not convinced, read this Newyork Times article "Rethinking The Meat-Guzzler". One of the key take-aways from this article on typical consumption and the effect of producing that heavy meat demand how America is contributing to environment.

American eat close to 200 pounds of meet, poultry and fish

Americans are downing close to 200 pounds of meat, poultry and fish per capita per year (dairy and eggs are separate, and hardly insignificant), an increase of 50 pounds per person from 50 years ago. We each consume something like 110 grams of protein a day, about twice the federal government’s recommended allowance; of that, about 75 grams come from animal protein. (The recommended level is itself considered by many dietary experts to be higher than it needs to be.) It’s likely that most of us would do just fine on around 30 grams of protein a day, virtually all of it from plant sources.

Pollute the environment too

The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States — much of which now serves the demand for meat — contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Generates another 1/5 of Greenhouse gases by just eating

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

Read this NY Times article, you will find it quite disturbing with some global ill effects of the way Americans and other affluent nations eat.


[...] There was a significant hike in the prices of rice in US. Some varieties of rice is just not available any more in most Asian grocery stores. I heard that American top leaders including George Bush blaming India and China for the shortage saying that people from those countries are eating more as the middle class is becoming wealthy. As stupid as it looks, even if that is true it only expose the real issue behind US’s own terribly huge consumption. Read the other post where I learnt that the problem with what and how America eats is a lot bigger and worse than it appears What is wrong with what Americans eat. [...]

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