Food: We Are What We Eat

Food Is Our Common Ground

People, no matter where they live, or what they do, have one thing in common, the need to consume food. Humans also share this common need with all living beings large and small.

What we eat varies due to personal preferences, ethics, financial ability, for in our world, food is a commodity and no pay, no eat, is the rule; culture and political and religious beliefs also play a role when we choose our fare.

Regardless of our food choices, the one choice that we cannot and usually do not want to make is to not eat. We eat or we die

If we eat but do not get the nutrition that our body requires from the food we choose then we become ill. If we do not eat enough, even of good food, then we weaken and become ill.

In North America, we often complain of our fast paced lives and how busy we are; this reality is well reflected in our food lifestyle, fast food dominates the food scene. Drive-thrus and delivery, microwaves and frozen entrées have replaced cooking; which, along with growing our own food, is a basic survival skill.

How many people would suffer greatly, if they could no longer pick up or order in their supper or no longer pop something into the microwave and wait a few minutes for dinner?

How many days food do you have in your pantry or storage cupboards? When was the last time that you preserved any food?

How long would your food last if the transportation system broke down and the food you buy was no longer on the grocery store shelves and the pizza place was out of dough?

North Americans have let the food supply system slip out of their grasp and the very item, the second most important need that we have, after air; water being the first, is in the hands of companies that are in many cases far away.

We can live for up to three weeks without food, but only 3 days without water.

Food is trucked, flown and put in box cars so that it can be shipped to its destination. How fresh can it be if it has been sitting in a container for 2 weeks before it reaches your plate?

Do you know how far your last meal traveled before it became a meal?

Tomatoes, for example are being bred for their ability to travel rather than their flavour. So we get tomatoes that can travel but are tasteless.

Even the fast food that we so dearly love relies on transport to deliver the bulk of what it serves.

Transportation requires the use of fossil fuels to power the truck that carry much of our food and the airplanes that fly in the foods from distant ports. The price of gasoline is rising in many places as is the price of food, they are connected.

The agriculture industry is one of the biggest users of fossil fuels, not just for transportation, but for the production of pesticides and fertilizers as well.

There is an episode of West Wing where President Bartlett is speaking to his chief of staff. The topic is the news that mad cow disease has raised its head in the United States. The President says and I am slightly paraphrasing this: “Often what we take for granted is the very thing that turns around and bites us in the ass”.

The conditions that the animals that we consume are kept in are all too often appalling to say the least; this means that before they are killed they suffer. This reality is the reason that many people become vegetarians.

There are a number of food based movements that are working to address food quality, local economies and the sheer pleasure of preparing and sharing a meal with friends and family. The organic movement has become big business, the push to local food ahs drawn nation attention and the slow food movement has spread across nations.

If we have any real interest in improving our quality of life, our environment and address issues such as poverty and hunger then we only need to look inside our cupboards and refrigerators and begin to change with what we put in them on shopping day.

Food is our common ground; we all eat so let’s give our next meal some thought.

Slow Food

Local Food

Fast food Nation

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Comments 21 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Bob, this is serious stuff! I am not surprised you tackled this issue given your love for gardening. Thanks for having us all slow down a bit before we take a bite.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

it is serious and it is something we can address

Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

Great hub! I really miss the fresh garden vegetable we used to grow and the home grown meets that we raised and "processed" (for a lack of a better descriptive word). It was good to know how your food was grown and where it had been before it reached your table. Those were the good old days!

Bonnie Ramsey

crazycat profile image

crazycat 8 years ago from Philippines

It's always good to check the benefits or nutrients we could get in every food that we take or eat. We have to choose what is healthy and essential for our body.

funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

I specially loved this one! And yes, we truly are what we eat!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

thanks for the comments.

TheWiseMountain profile image

TheWiseMountain 8 years ago from Calgary

I once saw a TV program on the move towards local grown foods and the following that is catching on as we as a human race start to become more and more responsible for the earth.

The prediction is that in about a generation or two, we will start seeing sub-cities that have locally grown produce.

Personally I like the idea of freshly grown stuff - right now these items are expensive, but I hope this changes one day.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

we will start seeing sub-cities that have locally grown produce. This is an intriguing idea.

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Great Hub, I wish everyone reads it and try to help the local communities. We buy mostly from the Coop here, they are great quality and great price. Only rarely we buy it from Groceries stores, which gets from everywhere.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

thanks C. We have no coop and only a small idependent.

firefly07 profile image

firefly07 8 years ago from UK

well said! Unfortunately here in the UK things are very similar to North America - everyone is too busy and you just need to go into the supermarkets and see the shelves stacked with 'ready meals'. I'm beginning to fear that there is a whole generation that has no idea of how to make a meal from fresh ingredients.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick Author

What makes me even more nervous is that fresh ingredients will bwcome too expensive.

ejb profile image

ejb 7 years ago from Kent

This is a very interesting article, and i really enjoyed it :-)

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for coming by.

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Bob Ewing, Wonderful article really makes you think! Great video as well! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

gesuenderleben profile image

gesuenderleben 6 years ago

I enjoyed reading your hub. Thanks!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome and thanks for commenting.

Melanie Munn 6 years ago

You are what you eat is right! If you don't have time to prepare a healthy and fresh meal, try a meal delivery service so that you don't end up at a fast food restaurant!

bbqsmokersite profile image

bbqsmokersite 5 years ago from Winter Haven, Florida

Here in Central Florida, we are seeing an uptick in the number of restaurants who practice "slow food" or sustainable food production practices. If they don't raise or grow it themselves, they seek out local producers who do it the right way - humanely and safely.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Thanks for the input, a good trend to see.

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