The Current Food Crisis

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but we are in the midst of a food crisis. Oh, donÕt worry: We havenÕt run out of it yet, although I seem to have misplaced my ham sandwich somewhere between the kitchen and here. What I mean is that as a society, we have forgotten what we should put in our bodies for fuel. In the meantime, we scarf down bag after bag of Cheez Bitz (now with imitation butter flavoring!) while we try to remember the basic rules of food consumption.

Not that I recommend eating much of anything from our existing supply. Cows are mad, fish are poisoned and IÕm no longer on speaking terms with most chickens.

Long story; donÕt ask.

You could become a vegan. ItÕs a great lifestyle choice for people who like to feel smug around others. Vegans can safely brag about lower chances for disease and fatty buildup around the midsection. On the downside, fruits and vegetables are also infected with pesticides, bacteria or melancholia, making veganism no more safe an alternative than eating meat. Plus you donÕt get to eat cheese.

No wonder we take the easy way out, dining on prepared foodstuffs, chemically synthesized sustenance and snacks that are legally bound to include the words Ņfood productÓ in their names. But in the long run Š not that IÕm in shape for a long run Š all those artificial ingredients are killing us.

The problem is that humans are, as a rule, omnivores. Of course, some people are more omnivorous than others. We tend to eat everything put in front of us, sometimes including the pinky of a slow-moving waiter.

Frankly, itÕs a wonder the human race has been able to live as long as it has, considering how badly weÕve been eating for so long. That must be why so much fast food comes in paper wrappers; we can no longer be trusted with even plastic utensils.

What is an obese nation to do? Maybe a food revolution is the answer. It worked on television, at least, and most people on television look far better than you or me. As a society, we need to stand up to the people who make our food and insist they do a better job: more humane treatment of farm animals, more reliance on organic ingredients and less junk food that tastes delicious. We could buy more food locally to support the small farmer. Of course, to urban dwellers the local farmers are so small as to be nearly invisible to the naked eye.

Will something like that work? I donÕt know. I donÕt have the answers. I donÕt even have my ham sandwich.