„The Stone Age didn’t stop because there were no stones anymore. It stopped because there were better ideas.“ – Dr. Winfried Bommert, Institute of World Nutrition.
Well, this was my first weekend at the Slow Food Youth Academy of Slow Food Germany. I am once again shocked by all the facts and the truth behind what some want to make us believe. And on the other hand I am more motivated than ever to drive a good, clean and fair food system together with the 25 change makers from the Slow Food Youth Academy in Germany.
But what is Slow Food?
It was born in the 1980ies during a protest in Rome against a McDonald’s branch. It’s not just an anti-reaction against fast food. It’s an anti-reaction against fast life. It’s about maintaining diversity. And it’s about a good, clean and fair food system, driven by over 100.000 members globally.
Some shocking facts around our daily food:
Are you a yoghurt lover? Did you know that yoghurt travels 1000km on average before you eat it? That the „strawberries“ in it are made of fungus on chipped wood? If you’re lucky the red colorant comes from beet root. If not then that’s artificial too.
If you are a meat lover, then this might interest you too: 80% of our arable land is used for growing food for animals in the food industry. So there is already enough food in the world. We don’t need to produce more, we just need to distribute in a fair way.
Also we lost 80% of the amount of insects during the last 20 years because of pesticides and over-fertilization.
Over 50% of our fertile ground is gone. To recover 15cm of soil, it takes 15.000 years.
We need 1,6 planets per year. We live at the expense of our future.
I think we can all agree that there is a need for action. So what can we do? Let’s take a look at the whole value chain:
Do not only EAT healthy food. BUY your groceries in a conscious way. Buy things that are not wrapped in plastic all over. Eat things from your region that don’t have to travel thousands of kilometers.
But it doesn’t stop there. Actually it starts much earlier in the value chain: At the producers. How are they paying their workers? How are they treating their animals? How are they growing their produce?
And talking about producers: Only 7% of the price we pay in the supermarkets stays with the producers. If you ever asked yourself how cheap prices in discounters are made, here is your answer.
The wealth of a nation is measured in the GDP. But that only means the quantity of WHAT is produced and not HOW it’s produced.
In 50 years ecological agriculture and eating vegan will be a matter of course. But we will have to answer the question of future generations: „How could you allow mass animal farming in your generation?“
Consumption is a responsibility and we consumers are co-producers. What we don’t ask for is not being produced.
We can’t wait until there are no stones anymore.
Eating is a political action. Vote with your fork and start today!