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Mark Bittman Lecture Highlights and Household Spending on Food by Country

March 15, 2013
Mark Bittman spoke at the Congregation Rodeph Shalom on  the evening of March 13, 2013.  His presentation was excellent – a charismatic speaker whose humor had me nodding and smiling away at a sad topic.  That topic is the state of food in our country as it relates to health.  Here are the highlights:
  • Eat what you want, trying to eat more plant based or real foods on the continuum of junk food to real food.  For Mr. Bittman, this means vegan before 6 pm.  Do what works for you – you know your body and willpower best.
  • 80% of the farmers in the US are over the age of 70.  Change is imminent.
  • Massive change is needed politically to see the health of the nation change in 20 years.  I tried to think of something optimistic to write here, but I’m at a loss.  I’ll refer you to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future for policy information.

There was a statement during the Q&A portion of the evening from the audience that struck a nerve in me.   “Organic local food is so expensive” which can also speak to eating healthfully in general, organic or not, is expensive.   There are many choices to be made on how you spend your money.  For those who can afford it – if you have a designer purse, $200 pumps, weekly manicures and the latest Blackberry model, how on Earth is this a bigger priority than what you put in your body?  As exemplified on the chart below,the US spends less money on food than any other leading nation .  It seems that keeping up with the Joneses has nothing to do with health, and has everything to do with appearances.  Your dollar is your vote.   Consider your wants versus  your needs with every purchase.

What’s your personal food policy? Move toward more plants. Moving toward the right direction is empowering. -Mark Bittman

US spends less on food

As printed in The Economist on March 12, 2013

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