In 2008, enough food was grown to feed 11 billion people; however, most of it was fed to animals and a lot was used as fuel…and a lot of people went hungry or ate unhealthily. A recent video illustrates, via stop action animation, the words of food activist Michael Pollan as he debunks some of the myths about food and agriculture,. Pollan asks the vital question “to what use do we put the food we are growing?”
Pollan also counters the assumptions that organic agriculture is too expensive and too impractical for widespread use, quoting research showing that in the developing world, switching to all organic methods would result in 182 percent of current yields. He states that like the overall economy, agriculture, currently dominated by fossil-fuel energy in the processing and transport, needs to rely less on fossil fuels in the future.
This video by Marina Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle, is an entry in a video competition sponsored by RSA and Nominet Trust. RSA — the UK-based Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce — is a non profit committed to “finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.” You can show your support by voting for the video here.
The above video omits the most famous of Pollan’s Food Rules, which neatly summarizes the personal action we can all take to move toward a more just, sustainable world: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (By food, Pollan suggests we eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and some fish and meat, while avoiding “edible food-like substances.”)
While this is a great mantra to live by, it can be tough to follow in a world of subsidized soy beans, high fructose corn syrup and processed everything. In this video, well-known artist Maira Kalman talks about the role of cheese doodles in her family life and how Michael Pollan didn’t hold it against her. The two collaborated on an illustrated version of Food Rules.
Image: Still from YouTube video by Jacimovic and Detalle
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