Benefits of Eating Less Extend Far Beyond Personal Health
If we ate fewer calories we would reduce harmful farming and industrial practices, and begin treating animals more ethically.
If eating fewer calories became our mission as a nation with respect to food, we would get dramatically healthier. We would also create a more enduring conversation about the importance of food in our lives, reduce harmful farming and industrial practices, and begin treating animals more ethically.
Texas State University professor James McWilliams has long bucked trendy nutritional habits. His book Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly makes the case against the local food movement. Now, he's telling people to just eat less.
"The most important—and most radical—benefit of advocating a reduction in caloric intake is that it would equate food reform with social justice. Specifically...it would minimize navel-gazing foodie discussions among the educated elite—people like me (and likely you) who tend to view food choices as a form of identity politics—and focus on those who have the least culinary choice and are, as it turns out, the most victimized by a calorically dense food system."
McWilliams notes that the poor are most at risk of being obese because they fear food scarcity. That fear causes them to overeat, and when they live in food deserts, they eat food that is empty of nutritional content. Real food reform, he says, means tackling social injustice.
In his Big Think interview, Dr. Mark Hyman presents ten ways you can cut food addiction "by regulating your hormones, by using food as medicine, by changing the information going in your body and upgrading your biological software."
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