September 16, 2009: This week the USDA announced the start of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, a series of coordinated programs designed to help develop local and regional food systems to benefit small farmers, strengthen local communities, and spur economic development. One key component of this initiative is to increase the supply and access to healthy, fresh, and locally grown food. In this video below, Mark Bittman, shares his views about what he sees as constituting healthy eating.
In Part 2 of this Cooking Up a Story: Food News interview, Mark Bittman, best-selling food author, and New York Times Columnist, lays out the central tenet of his life’s work as a food writer, and home cook. The “minimalist” view that we need to eat substantially more plant based foods, and consume substantially less animal products than what currently defines the typical Western diet.
Bittman’s argument is not (for the most part) with the hamburger in terms of the quality of the cow, his beef is with our wholesale substitution of plant based foods for meat products, and highly processed foods. This raises an interesting question, if as Bittman suggests, we consumed 90% less meat products, and processed foods, and correspondingly increased our intake of the remaining foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains), how would this impact our current agriculture system? What would be the effect on food sustainability, public health, and on our food economy, if such a substantial change in our eating habits were to take place? Tell us what you think.
Related: Food Matters with Mark Bittman-1