It’s (Not) All In the Taste

So far, my internship hasn’t produced much blog material, but today I took a break from the somewhat monotonous assessment of vending machines and helped out with a taste test. It turned out to be a much more thought provoking experience than I would have guessed.

The city just switched vendors for its machines, so there are a bunch of new “healthier” products offered that city employees may not have tried before. Here’s a picture of a typical snack machine on city property:

photo

The health department and the vendor wanted people to be able to try the healthier snacks for free so they would be more inclined to buy them if they liked them. After posting flyers on all 18 floors of this building that houses most of the city government departments, we set up a table on a random floor by the elevators. I cut up some cereal bars and granola bars for people to sample, and we dumped out chips from individual bags into bowls. There were surveys for people to fill out after they had tried everything, about their preferences and about their attitudes about healthy eating and the vending program in general.

There was a huge turnout, so much so that we ran out of two of the snacks, and plates, and surveys. There were a range of reactions and attitudes about the snacks from the employees. For example,  some people loved the Kashi Hummus Crisps; some people thought they tasted like “flavored cardboard.” Some people were excited about there being more healthy snacks offered; some people were eager to tell us about their pursuit of healthy eating in general. Some people were adamant that they didn’t care what was healthy as long as it tasted good. One woman apologetically told us “I don’t like anything that’s good for me.” Another woman seemed quite annoyed with our efforts to offer healthier options; she said people don’t want to eat the healthy snacks. I told her maybe they should, and she replied that “It’s fine to eat fatty stuff at work.” It was really hard not to respond to that, but a confrontation would have been pointless in this situation.

What struck me about that interaction was that some people are still completely blind to the importance of good nutrition.

Another feeling I had was guilt. I felt guilty the whole time because I was pushing these snacks as “healthy” when honestly they are barely recognizable as food at all. A Nutrigrain bar is half as many calories as a chocolate bar, but it’s not really any more nutritious. Pirate’s Booty is more natural than Cheese Curls, but it’s not filling and also completely processed and refined so that you don’t recognize its origin anymore. These are not the fresh, whole foods from which I believe people should make most of their diet. The machines don’t even offer any mixed nuts or dried fruit. A Baked Lays bag of chips doesn’t give you a serving of vegetables or fruit or whole grains or protein. It’s fewer calories than regular fried potato chips, but to me they’re still pretty much empty calories.

I had to appease my guilt with the assurance that these snacks are in the right direction. I do suppose I’d rather someone eat Pirate’s Booty than a package of Pop Tarts. But how much does it suck that those are the choices most people face because either they don’t know that whole foods are the best for them or they feel they can’t afford whole foods?

Actually, if there was one thing on which all the employees seemed to agree, it was that the snacks in the machines are way too expensive, “healthy” or otherwise. I’ve heard this at most of the sites I’ve visited as well. All chip-like bagged snacks are 1.50, and all bar-type snacks are 1.25. I admit that this is a bit ridiculous, especially considering that only about 6 chips come in a bag. One woman said something like, “I like the idea of healthier snacks, but they’re way too expensive. Like, why do we have to suffer if we want to eat healthy?” I wanted to say to her, Honey, you hit the nail on the head.

One of my ultimate nutrition and food movement idols, Margo Wootan of Center for Science in the Public Interest, has said that eating healthfully in our world is like swimming upstream. I am fortunate enough and have enough information and intention that eating healthfully feels pretty easy for me.  It’s so ingrained in me now that I couldn’t imagine living any other way. Before today I knew in theory that it was hard for most of the public, but today made me confront Margo’s metaphor in person.

Going forward I need to be able to sympathize with the average American who has no clue how to overcome this unhealthy food environment if I have any hope of affecting real change.

What’s a barrier to eating healthfully for you?

The Fault In Our Food

This is my belated Meatless Monday post. Meatless Monday this week was kind of a flop. It turned out to be too hectic around here and too few people home to cook, so we picked up a couple vegan black bean burgers from our favorite Italian market. They’re the best veggie burgers ever. I put some tomato paste on top and ate it with a seaweed salad, which is random but I love seaweed salad. Doesn’t it look like a real burger? I wish I could make them myself. One day.

Image

As you may be able to gather from the title, I recently saw the movie The Fault In Our Stars. I read the book about a year ago, it broke my heart, and I loved it. I really thought the movie did it justice. In fact, I’ve never cried so much at a movie in my entire life. When I was watching it, I couldn’t bare to see the characters hurt so much.

Image

Now, it occurred to me that it’s strange that fictional suffering can rip us apart emotionally while the very real suffering that goes into the food on our plates goes largely unknown, ignored or, increasingly, intentionally forgotten. Why is it that we can’t turn away from Augustus and Hazel’s tragic love story, but nearly every time we eat meat or dairy or eggs, we are turning away from hundreds of millions of suffering animals?

It’s not unnatural or, in my opinion, inherently immoral, for humans to kill animals for food. But factory farming is unquestionably unnatural, immoral, and by most standards, incredibly cruel. I will not allow you to ignore the truth any longer. For your disgust and dismay, here is an abbreviated list of faults in industrial animal agriculture:

  • Cattle are fed a corn diet during the last chunk of their lives, when they have evolved to eat grass. They are fed corn because it’s a lot cheaper and a lot easier to swell a cow to the gigantic sizes that our Western appetites demand on corn than on grass. Just like we now know the wrong diet can make humans sick, the wrong diet definitely makes cows sick. The only way to keep cattle alive and growing on this diet is to pump them with hormones and antibiotics, which creates a whole new set of problems for them and for us. Not only that, but they are also fed parts of other animals, even their own species, which is the practice that led to mad cow disease.
  • Pigs and chickens are crowded into barns by the ten thousand and often into cages where they can barely move. Chickens in cages stacked on top of each other urinate and defecate into the cages below them. Regardless of the situation they all sit in their own waste, which is suffocating and unsanitary. Again, only way to keep them alive for slaughter is to feed ’em those trusty (not-so-much) antibiotics. Chickens get so crowded that they get cannibalistic, so the farmers cut off their beaks. And without being able to move and exercise, animals’ bone density worsens and they grow fat and sick just like humans who don’t move.
  • Hogs, poultry, and cattle have been bred over several years now to grow as economically efficiently as possible, which means really big in the shortest possible amount of time. Farmers have bred their livestock to grow obese as adolescents by default. I think it’s hardest on the turkeys. They can’t even fly (yes, turkeys used to be able to fly) or have sex. Can you imagine?
  • The young are taken from their mothers very prematurely, which is hugely distressing to both mother and calf/chick/lamb/piglet.
  • The process of slaughter attempts to be humane, I’ll admit. The procedure is to stun the animals before they’re killed, so that they don’t feel anything. But sometimes the stunning doesn’t work on the first try. Horrifyingly, because of the pressure to do in as many animals as possible in the shortest amount of time, workers often don’t ensure that the animal is unconscious before hanging it upside down, skinning and slicing it. A shocking percentage of animals are slaughtered while conscious, scared, struggling, and obviously in pain. Whatever regulations are in place for this process aren’t enforced, and it’s completely unacceptable.
  • This video also sums it up pretty nicely.

Sometimes we can’t prevent the unfair, unnecessary, painful, and premature death of a young person from cancer. It’s awful, and I’m not trying to equate Hazel or Augustus or any truly suffering human to a food animal. But there is so much unnecessary suffering of literally billions of animals that could be prevented, that we are ignoring every time we pick up a burger or a chicken finger or spear a sunny side-up egg. I am nowhere near running out of reasons to give you to eat less meat, but I think this is the one that would get the most people if they made themselves confront the truth. I realize that another solution would be to reform agriculture, which is definitely a must, but understand that it is not possible to produce as much meat as cheaply under sustainable, humane conditions, which is why agribusiness resists reform. Basically, either way, by individual decision or widespread reform, you’d be eating less meat. But no one needs as much meat and dairy as we’ve got, and no one really wants any meat produced cruelly, right?

So give Meatless Monday a chance, for Pete’s sake!

Did you know that in the book Hazel is a vegetarian? 😉

 

Navigating the GMO Maze Part II

I want to continue addressing GMOs in what I hope is a diplomatic fashion. In my last post I wrote about what genetically engineered food is and that it is most likely generally safe for people to eat, but not regulated or tested as rigorously as it should be.

The next pressing issue is whether GMO-associated practices help or hurt us and the environment. Evidently scientists are in agreement that insect-resistant plants have drastically reduced the use of more toxic insecticides. Insect-resistant corn, for instance, produces a substance called Bt, a natural insecticide originally produced by a particular bacterium that organic farmers have been using forever. This will be all very well and good until insects evolve resistance to Bt.

The situation is somewhat similar for the herbicide-resistant soybeans. While growing this crop has dramatically increased the use of herbicide, Roundup is a relatively safe, biodegradable herbicide. Unfortunately, weeds have increasingly quickly been evolving resistance to Roundup as a result. The next step would be for scientists to develop soybeans resistant to a more toxic herbicide, and the vicious cycle starts again.

I think that generally sums up the primary ecological dilemma of current genetically engineered crops. It’s just not sustainable the way it’s currently done.

The economic dilemma is what bothers me more. I don’t know what the general public knows about the corporation Monsanto, but I think that people interested in food and food science probably get tired of hearing about how evil Monsanto is.

Monsanto is the biggest baddest biotechnology company out there. They’ve patented a bunch of GE crops as well as the herbicide Roundup that is obviously meant to be sprayed on the Roundup Ready soybeans. Monsanto pushes its products on farmers and consumers just like any other business out there. Some critics have gone as far as to say that Monsanto is attempting to monopolize our food system using biotechnology. I can’t say for sure whether that’s an exaggeration or not, but they certainly monopolize the GMO seeds. Patents on these seeds allow Monsanto and others like it to consolidate power.

Passionate proponents of GE food and members of the biotech industry have claimed that this is the way to ensure the continual feeding of the world. They say that scientists will engineer crops to feed the hungry and provide limited nutrients to the malnourished. I’m not saying this isn’t possible; I’d love to believe that it is. The truth is, though, that so far GMOs have mostly benefited the companies selling them, and certainly have not made a dent towards ending world hunger.

It seems like the problem we have with the biotech industry is the same problem we have with the food industry encouraging obesity. The food and biotech companies both inevitably care about making money than about human or animal health or the environment. And the solution is also similar, I believe. The government needs to step in and make it easier for people to make the choice that is the best for their health and the most consistent with their values. I think that includes requiring labels for genetically engineered foods, but if we’re going to do that then we ought to have labels for about a zillion unsavory farming and processing practices and ingredients. It also means reforming agriculture in such a way as to promote health and ecological sustainability over corporate interests.

I think genetic engineering of food has enormous potential. This potential won’t be realized with the current industry model.

To end, here are two quotes I’ve found in my research on GMOs that I think are well put:

“…we shouldn’t stop just because there are unknowns. Every technology has unknowns. We just have to be as thoughtful as we can.” Margaret Smith, plant breeder at Cornell University

“You can accept that GM is safe–the narrow scientific issue–without accepting that it’s a good idea for the American food system, or has contributed much of value.”- Michael Pollan, author of best-sellers The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, Cooked, and Food Rules

I got most of my information from the wonderful yet very long series on genetically modified food written by Nathanael Johnson found here. If you want more details I suggest you read it, or pick the posts that most interest you.

Now I really want your thoughts on this one: how do you feel about GMOs? Did my posts inform you or change your opinion at all?

Navigating the GMO Maze Part I

For quite a while now, I have been unsure about where I stand when it comes to so-called GMOs: genetically modified organisms. People seem to take an extreme stance on this topic, whether pro or anti-genetic engineering. According to many of these vocal advocates, either we have no choice but to turn to genetic engineering or die of starvation as the earth gets warmer and  more populated, or we’re poisoning ourselves and the environment by consuming genetically modified food. When you hear from each side, both are convincing, but both are unavoidably biased. It’s kind of like comparing accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Israelis and Palestinians. I struggled to find an unbiased source of information, but I believe I found a few, which I will provide for your reference. I will now share with you what I’ve gathered, not to convince you of anything, but to try to clear this emotional haze surrounding what is primarily just another technology we have to approach cautiously like any other. I’m doing this in two parts so as not to overwhelm you. 

Let’s start with a definition, because some of you may not know exactly what a GMO is, even though I’m sure you’ve heard of them by now. In simple terms, a scientist genetically modifies a food by taking a gene from one organism that promotes a desirable trait–or silences an undesirable one–and inserting it into another organism. To give you the most relevant examples, upwards of 95% of the corn and soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered. The corn has been modified with a gene from a bacterium to produce an insecticide known as Bt. The farmers don’t have to spend money or time spraying insecticides on the corn to keep away pests. The soy has been modified to resist an herbicide called Roundup. This is desirable because farmers can spray the herbicide throughout the growth of the soy to kill weeds without harming their crops. I believe a significant percentage of sugar beets are also genetically engineered (GE) now, as well as canola grown in Canada. These are the only widespread examples of genetically engineered food that have been on the market for at least two decades now. 

Because these crops are so widespread, expect to find them in all animal products (because most of the GMO corn and soy goes to animal feed) and processed food that isn’t marked organic or non-GMO. 

A lot of people are under the impression that there is something inherent in the genetic engineering of a food that makes it harmful to ingest. There simply is not scientific evidence to suggest that this is true. Granted, I have not perused the research myself, but I have read the reports, blogs, and news articles of experts who have, or who have interviewed scientists who have. People have been consuming GE corn and soy for literally decades now, and no one has been acutely, or chronically at this point, been harmed by virtue of the genetic engineering of the product. There are all kinds of problems with the abundance and cheapness of corn and soy in the food supply, but that’s another story. 

Because of the imprecision of genetic engineering, a scientist can never be sure of the exact effect a gene will have when transferred from one organism to another. This means that there is always some level of risk of creating a harmful crop. For instance, there was a group of scientists at one point who transferred a gene from a brazil nut to a soybean. If consumed by a person with an allergy to a brazil nut, the reaction could have been extremely serious, even fatal. This sounds terrifying, right? Good thing that safety testing revealed this problem, and the crop was never commercialized. 

Something people don’t realize is that any risks that come with genetic engineering are probably also risks involved with more conventional plant breeding techniques. Farmers have been selectively breeding plants to try to promote desirable traits for a very long time now. Scientists have been mutagenizing plants’ DNA randomly to find desirable traits for longer than GMOs have been around. These techniques are less precise and just as likely to produce a harmful crop as genetic engineering, but no one complains about them. 

You may hear from anti-GMO activists that safety testing for GMOs by the federal government is voluntary and not mandatory. Evidently, though, these regulations are only voluntary in theory. No company has skipped safety testing a new GMO product, because the FDA could pull it off the market if they did. 

There are some problems with the regulation of GMOs, however. The testing is done by the company independently, not the government agency responsible for assuring safety, and the specific testing is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the FDA were to require mandatory pre-market approval that was open to public review, there would be a greater assurance of safety and greater public confidence in the technology. It is also illegal as of now to require the recording of all products containing GMOs, so if there were a problem, it would be very difficult to trace. 

There are clearly kinks that need to be worked out, but they are more in the regulatory system than the scientific one. Know for now that you can keep eating your favorite snacks without worrying about the transgenic ingredients poisoning you. 

For Part II, I’ll go into the environmental consequences of GMOs and whether GMOs only have advantages for corporations. Hope I’ve given you something to think about for now! 

 

Would you like a drug-resistant infection with that?

 

 

I know I mentioned in my last post that my next one would be about my views on GMOs. Unfortunately, my research took longer than I expected and I didn’t want to skip the weekly meatless Monday post, so the next one will be the GMO one, I promise. Today, as I hope you know by now, was my fourth meatless Monday as chef. I’m definitely getting a little bit more efficient at chopping, tossing, sautéing, etc, you know, the basic things. It’s actually so liberating to feel like I actually know how to cook the basics now. I almost told someone the other day that I don’t know how to cook, because I’m so used to telling people that, but I corrected myself. Of course, I don’t know how to cook meat, but that’s beside, if not counter to, the point. Perhaps I should learn to cook fish though. But not on Meatless Monday.

Anyway, today’s dinner was sort of Middle Eastern/Indian themed. I made “Egyptian” lentils and brown rice with caramelized onions (YUM), spiced with cumin and cinnamon. I swear there are few things I love to eat more than caramelized onions. SO glad I know how to make them now. For our non-starchy vegetable I roasted cauliflower with curry and chopped peppers and onions. Roasted cauliflower is also a delicacy in my book.

Image

 

I wanted to serve it with naan, a delicious traditional Indian bread, but store-bought naan isn’t the best, apparently. Regardless, the cauliflower came out great. I feel like a pro at roasting now :). The lentil and rice dish came out pretty good too, except that the lentils got a little mushy. I cooked them for the minimum amount of time the recipe suggested, but I guess it was too long. This is why you make notes on the recipe, folks.

I just want to keep reminding you that these are flavorful, satisfying, and healthy meals I’ve been preparing. Check out the other ones here, here, and here. You don’t need meat to enjoy a meal–in fact the one I made today was vegan–or to get enough protein. Actually, you don’t need animal products for any nutrients except perhaps Vitamin B12, but you can get that from a supplement if you’re at risk of deficiency. Again, I don’t advocate everyone cut out animal products from their diets entirely, but in my view plant strong is clearly the way to go for optimal health, among other things, like the following.

Now we get to my reason of the week for eating less meat: overuse of antibiotics and ensuing antibiotic resistance. This, to me, is one of the most terrifying and compelling reasons both to eat less meat in the short term and to reform industrial agriculture in the long term.

Briefly, the problem is that conventional (as in non-organic) farmers routinely put antibiotic drugs in the feed of livestock. Why would a farmer feed an animal a drug if it wasn’t sick, you ask? The conditions the animals are subject to in factory farms are so unnatural and unsanitary that antibiotics are necessary to keep them all from getting sick and dying before they get to our plates. Antibiotics also increase the growth of the animals under these conditions.

So why is this bad? When you start using antibiotics too often and indiscriminately, the targeted bacteria evolve resistance to the drugs. Then you use a different or a stronger antibiotic, and the bacteria evolve resistance to that one too. These drug-resistant bacteria that develop in the animals and the antibiotics themselves end up in the meat (and milk and eggs) sold to us in grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food establishments. As you can imagine, if, or should I say when, these bacteria cause infections in humans, they’re very hard to treat. This is becoming a widespread problem; more and more doctors are diagnosing patients with infections that are resistant to one or more antibiotics. I actually came down with a case of strep throat earlier this year that was resistant to the first antibiotic I was prescribed. Luckily, the second one nipped it. My roommate had an infection that took three drugs to treat.

If this continues, at some point, we are going to run out of effective drugs. It is feasible that we could revert back to a pre-antibiotic age where people die from simple infections that a short time ago were easily cured.

For now, eat less meat, and eat organic when you do. Organic farmers aren’t allowed to give their animals antibiotics unless they’re actually sick, and then the individual animal can’t be sold as organic.

As for the future, we need to speak out. If this problem scares you like it scares me, then support policies that reduce the antibiotics used to farm animals. If this leads to more expensive or less available meat, then so be it. It is kinder, healthier, and more environmentally friendly to sustain the human population on mostly plants anyway. Switch to Meatless Monday!

 

 

Joining the Food Revolution

Today I finished two things: my third week at my summer internship, and a game-changing book called The Food Revolution by John Robbins.

As far as the internship goes, I really like it. The office is a perfectly pleasant, air conditioned place to be. I have my own cubicle (tehe). My supervisors are great and I feel like a respected member of the team. I don’t feel intimidated to ask questions, which is a relief for me. I’ve been assessing a bunch of vending machines on city property for compliance with nutrition standards and then entering in the data into a spreadsheet I created. I think I mentioned that it’s not exactly glamorous work, but it’s what needs to be done to make sure that the policy is being implemented correctly. I feel like I’m getting an idea of what it takes to actually enact a measure of city law that might not be the most convenient or cheap for everyone. It is slow going, but it takes these first steps to build up to….

a Food Revolution.

See how I segwayed there? Anyway, if you have taken an interest in what I’ve been writing, then you should ABSOLUTELY read this book.

51etBs8wSvL

And I have been delighted to hear that many of you have liked what I write, so thanks! But also read The Food Revolution. Robbins informatively covers most of the problems of our U.S. food system that I find to be the most pressing, the reasons we need a food revolution:

  • the relationship between the conventional Western diet and obesity and chronic disease
  • the lack of adequate food safety regulations
  • the absolutely horrible ways most of the livestock grown for food are treated
  • the effects of unkind and unhealthy treatment of livestock and our health
  • the consequences of agricultural practices on the environment, natural resources, and climate change
  • the relationship between the current food system and world hunger
  • the need for caution toward and much better regulation of genetic engineering of food (by the way, look out for my next post on GMOs; I’ve been mulling it over for quite a while now)
  • through it all, the lack of regard of food and biotech corporations for the health of people, animals, and the environment

He is very convincing in his argument that we need a drastic upheaval of our current food system towards a more nutritious, sustainable, kind one for humans, animals, and the planet. In other words, the very reason I started this blog. He inserts two opposing quotes about each of the topics he addresses, which juxtaposes the food industry point of view and the scientific point of view very effectively to show that corporations, by design, do not have our best interests at heart. He is also very convincing that one solution that addresses all of those things is for everyone to eat fewer animal products, especially red meat. In fact, the reason I really want you to read it is that he gets across what I think is the most important concept in all of this:

“To me it is deeply moving that the same food choices that give us the best chance to eliminate world hunger are also those that take the least toll on the environment, contribute the most to our long-term health, are the safest, and are also far and away the most compassionate toward our fellow creatures.”

Isn’t that powerful?

Just beware that Robbins might seem a little superior in the way he describes his lifestyle as bare minimum and non-indulgent–he is not shy about revealing that he left a corporate fortune (his dad was co-founder of Baskin-Robbins) to lead a kinder life. He gets a tad lovey-dovey and spiritual but also writes a bit angrily at times. I think it’s warranted when you consider how screwed up things are right now. He certainly fired me up, anyway. The more I read, the more passionate I felt about changing food policy and people’s food choices. My boyfriend, after reading the beginning, thought Robbins was a little radical to expect to win over your average Joe. I didn’t think he was too radical, but I guess I’m a bit biased. 😉

The point is that this book will help you better understand these food issues. I’m really glad you read my blog, and I hope I can provide some conversational and personal insight into issues that you otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of. I like to think I’m a lot more informed than the average consumer, but John Robbins is a dude who knows a lot more than I do about everything about the food system, so give his book a read if you want to learn more. BE INSPIRED, I DARE YOU.

Why You Should Care About Cow Farts

Meatless Monday is upon us once again. I’ve decided that every Meatless Monday I’ll try to explain one reason why we should be eating less meat as a population, until I run out of reasons. This will take many weeks, I assure you. Just want to be clear, I’m not advocating that everyone become a complete vegan, but that a plant-based diet, at least a diet with less animal products than is typical today, would be better for all people, animals, and our planet in the long run. But I’ll start with my cooking ventures.

I really wanted to make roasted brussel sprouts this week because I haven’t had them in a while, and they’re simply divine. If you haven’t tried them, please try them immediately! They put yucky steamed brussel sprouts to shame. I actually left them in the oven for too long (who knew you were supposed to take them out as soon as you turn off the oven? =P), but they turned out just the way I like them, nice and caramelized. I made a sauce with olive oil, horseradish, and dill to pour over them, which tasted awesome.

Image

For the main course I made a barley risotto with cannellini beans, kale, and parmesan cheese, according to this recipe from Whole Foods. It turned out great; the picture did not, but it gives you the idea.Image

I did everything myself this week except the salt and pepper seasoning in the risotto–my mom still knows what and how much to add by tasting much better than I do. But I’m feeling much more confident about cooking now. Next week I’m thinking Indian =).

Now to address the title of this post. When you think of global warming, you probably think of pollution from factories, transportation, and other fossil fuel-burning machines. Today when I mentioned this to my mom, she was surprised, as I imagine you are, to discover that beef production contributes more to global warming than all forms of transportation combined. It takes 18 times more fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef than to produce 1 calorie of protein from corn or soybeans. One can only imagine how much more carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere that amounts to. And let’s not forget that clearing fields to produce grain for livestock feed and for cows to graze removes trees and rainforests that could help absorb some of the extra CO2.

At least an equally dangerous problem is that of methane emissions caused by beef production. When cows fart, they emit methane, which is a greenhouse gas 24 times more potent than carbon dioxide. I understand it may be hard to take this seriously, but apparently cows fart a lot, enough that livestock are responsible for 25% of the world’s human-based methane emissions. Methane levels in the atmosphere have tripled over the last century. All those greenhouse gases are pushing the temperature of the earth up faster and faster. I imagine I don’t have to tell you how catastrophic the consequences of global warming will be if we don’t act to reverse these trends now.

Eating a plant based diet–eating less meat period–will reduce your carbon footprint more than any other change you could make.

Try Meatless Mondays! I’m gonna keep nagging you til you do.

What will it take for you to eat less meat? Seriously, I want to know.