Archive for the ‘environment’ Category
A couple of days after reading on Indi’s blog about the effects of a low calorie diet and Rajaratarala’s posts about his latest misadventures in farming and the dietary habits of rural Sri Lankans, I came across the following TED talk by Carolyn Steele. (Embedded YouTube video. MP4 download available at the TED site).
It’s an interesting look at the intricate relationships between humans and our food and how all of this has affected the placement of cities.
Especially important I thought was the point on how our demand for food (which isn’t helped by the amount we waste) is literally eating into the rainforests. Given the limited amount of arable land, this will mean that we will have food production issues far greater than that the sort you would find playing Caesar or Settlers.
Given that the population of the world is on it’s way to the Nine billion mark by around 2050, food will definitely be an even larger item on the global agenda than it is today. If Carolyn’s “Militarized shopping spree” comparison to the growth of the Roman empire is anything to go by, the latest acquisition of farmland in poorer countries by richer nations should also ring a bell (The Guardian, UK).
This brings us to the subject of vegetarianism. Surely the ancient Indians were on to a more sustainable system when they espoused a vegetarian lifestyle. After all,
- A higher portion of grain goes towards meat production, so cutting down on that would also make more land available for agriculture for human consumption.
- A pleasant side effect for those with a hindu/buddhist/PETA mindset would be the significantly less slaughter of animals, not to mention the less animals being maintained for food in awful conditions.
- Fewer cattle may have an impact on reducing the amount of methane gases being released into the atmosphere and causing global warming, but that’s just taking it a little too far…
So there’s definitely scope for businesses in the food industry for the future, especially if they adopt newer methods and possibly focus more on the vegetarian option. Neville from the USA has had an interesting experience after switching, too.
But even if you’re not so hot about switching to a full vegetarian diet (it will take me a long time before I can truthfully say no to a breakfast of bacon and eggs), perhaps reducing your meat intake could possibly help the world, one step at a time. You might want to read up on Cerno’s guide to insecure meat eaters while you’re at it.
On a wholly different note, the Stormtroopers365 by Stefan set is just awesome!
If you’re the type to be interested in an “environmentally sustainable and socially just society”, then you might be interested in the free copies of the Worldwatch magazine on offer (Note: Email registration required).