The Why and What:
The term Food Citizenship is defined as “engaging in food related behaviors that support, rather than threaten, the development of a democratic, socially and economically just, and environmentally sustainable food system”. Food sovereignty “asserts that the people who produce, distribute, and consume food should control the mechanisms and policies of food production and distribution, rather than the corporations and market institutions they believe have come to dominate the global food system”.
Everyone is probably familiar with the $200 cost of the fast food $1 burger. Raising livestock depletes natural resources, including fossil fuels and topsoil. Much of rainforest land is being cut down to farm and raise livestock, which is then exported to the U.S. and ends up in fast-food hamburgers. According to the Rainforest Action Network, 55 square feet of tropical rainforest are destroyed to make every fast-food hamburger made from rainforest cattle.
Animal waste not only changes the pH of our water, it contaminates our water and our air. The ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane gases emitted from their waste stream cause 14.5% of all global GHG emissions causing global warming.
Moving from food consumer to food citizenship is “an agricultural act” that preserves American farming and rural life. This means we have a right to safe unadulterated food. It also means we can choose not to be passive, dependent, manipulated consumers by becoming more socially, environmentally, and economically responsible.
(Via Shrink That Footprint)
We need to go beyond “Meatless Monday” and flexitarianism. In terms of immediacy of action and feasibility of bringing about reductions in the shortest period of time, our practice for this entire week is to go vegan. If you cannot cut both meat and dairy, go vegetarian.
And not just because it may cut climate costs; but also because we are very concerned about the mistreatment of animals, the loss of the rainforests, the increasing threat of global warming, and with having clean water to drink and clean air to breathe for future generations.
I know that Valentine’s Day falls into this week, perhaps you could take that night off or if you are really motivated, you could make a rose petal salad.
In other words, get Vegucated! (A documentary produced by friend, Demetrius Bagley- who will be in a vegan residency in Cali this month- check him out on FB)
The Deep Dive:
The problem of the $200 burger, a 4 minute video.
And here, from the Vegetarian Times is more of the WHY.
The PETA Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit.
Is my lunch causing global warming? Try the low-carbon diet calculator here.
How our food choices can help save the environment here.
And for those adults who like comedy, try this Colbert segment on the $200 hamburger with author, Raj Patel here.