Culture, Environment, Food

Our food and climate change

Domesticated animals constitute nearly 70% of the animal biomass on the planet and contribute to nearly 15% of the global emissions. Those emissions are more than the emissions from all forms of transport together. This is known for quite sometime but the livestock biomass is growing at the expense of forest land and wild animals. This, I think, is largely due to the increasing population driven by a globalized consumerist culture with similar food habits.

Sure, there are fewer humans dying out of hunger in the 21st century than ever in the history of mankind. But the enhanced food security is at a tremendous cost to the environment and other species. We already see that the technological innovations to increase, say, rice or milk production, arguably, have resulted in inadvertent health effects on humans.

Mr. Wali, one of the proponents of Millets based diet in this part of the world argues that one must consume a variety of millets not only to maintain better health but also to reduce stress on the ecosystem as millets can grow in arid conditions.  But the key point is to have diverse sources of food. I liked his idea and have taken onto Millets based diet for sometime now. I think we need to enjoy our freedom more responsibly and adapt our food habits as necessary. We don’t need everyone eating rice or eating beef and lots of it all the time.

In times to come we need to decouple religion/culture and food and perhaps have a market regulator for food people eat, if necessary. With right wing/nationalist uprising everywhere, it’s definitely not a piece of cake 🙂


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