[TedTalk] 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.
Mark Bittman is a bestselling cookbook author, journalist and television personality. His friendly, informal approach to home cooking has shown millions that fancy execution is no substitute for flavor and soul.
FILMED DEC 2007 • POSTED MAY 2008
Snippets from video:
“I’ll never stop eating animals, I’m sure, but I do think that for the benefit of everyone, the time has come to stop raising them industrially and stop eating them thoughtlessly.”
There’s no question, none, that so-called lifestyle diseases — diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers — are diseases that are far more prevalent here than anywhere in the rest of the world. And that’s the direct result of eating a Western diet. Our demand for meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates — the world consumes one billion cans or bottles of Coke a day — our demand for these things, not our need, our want, drives us to consume way more calories than are good for us. And those calories are in foods that cause, not prevent, disease. Now global warming was unforeseen. We didn’t know that pollution did more than cause bad visibility. Maybe a few lung diseases here and there, but, you know, that’s not such a big deal. The current health crisis, however, is a little more the work of the evil empire. We were told, we were assured, that the more meat and dairy and poultry we ate, the healthier we’d be.
You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer.
A hundred years ago, guess what? Everyone was a locavore: even New York had pig farms nearby, and shipping food all over the place was a ridiculous notion. Every family had a cook, usually a mom. And those moms bought and prepared food.
Think of the frozen chicken nugget. The chicken is fed corn, and then its meat is ground up, and mixed with more corn products to add bulk and binder, and then it’s fried in corn oil. All you do is nuke it. What could be better?
Less meat, less junk, more plants. It’s a simple formula: eat food. Eat real food.
We can continue to enjoy our food, and we continue to eat well, and we can eat even better. We can continue the search for the ingredients we love, and we can continue to spin yarns about our favorite meals. We’ll reduce not only calories, but our carbon footprint. We can make food more important, not less, and save ourselves by doing so. We have to choose that path.