Click on the link below to find an interview with Dr. Bauman by Nexus publisher Ravi Dykema about cultural influences that have affected our nutrition, how building community can improve our health, and the future of food and eating.
Here’s an excerpt:
“RD: Magazines and newspapers are filled with studies and stories about the obesity epidemic, increasing rates of certain diseases, the corporatization of agriculture, toxins in our food supply and so forth. How did it come to this?
EB: Well, let’s pick on three points. Number one, children are raised on television, and television is selling Happy Meals and processed foods. TV ads don’t say “Go grow a garden, pick some vegetables, chop them up and make homemade soup.”
Number two is the enormous amount of chemicals in the environment, which proliferate every year. They enter the food chain because they’re in the air and water, and a certain amount are put directly onto foods. So we’re all building up a body-burden of toxic, mostly fat-soluble, materials – plastics and things of that nature – that store in our body and disrupt our metabolism. People don’t know that; they don’t know they’re getting it in the food, water and air they’re taking in every day.
Then there’s a third factor, and that’s the issue of busy-ness and the high cost of living. In other cultures, people aren’t as busy. They take time to cook and shop, or to grow food, or to hunt their own meat. But most people who have work are overworking, and other people are unemployed or laid off and are looking for work, so their priorities are elsewhere. We have a consumer mentality. We’re not hunter/gatherers anymore. We’re shoppers.
Now, there’s another interesting aspect of this, and that’s the fast-food-organic culture. Some people – especially those with some money – will try to eat organic foods, thinking they’re doing the right thing, but they miss the big picture context. So, for example, you can go online and order a week’s worth of organic food in plastic containers; it will get delivered right to your door and you’ll pop them into your freezer and then later your microwave. And you can eat in 10 minutes and get right back to work. That’s not the solution.
In a healthy culture, people respect food; they’re involved with it, they take time for it. In Italy, for example, people take three hours for a meal. Slow food is an important movement, not because its proponents are super health-food oriented, but because they’re real-food oriented; the movement also recognizes the fact that the act of eating should be relaxed and pleasurable.”