Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hot Mess explains the problems with making our food system more sustainable and climate-friendly

When I last looked at my most popular environmental topics to blog about, I identified them as energy, food, and water.  That may have changed, as I also blog a lot about climate, but I consider that closely linked to energy.  It's just focusing on the output instead of the input.  Yesterday, Hot Mess uploaded a video that examines the connections among all these topics, Our Food System is Rigged feat. Sheril Kirshenbaum.  Please watch.

The way we eat is unsustainable for the climate. Our food system contributes a massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions and touches basically every facet of our life. Modern diets also contribute to millions of lost lives every year from all the negative health outcomes. The answer is pretty simple on paper: We need to convert more of our diet to plant-based foods, and away from red meat. But in practice? It’s nowhere near that easy. How can something so necessary be so hard? We talked to food policy expert Sheril Kirshenbaum to learn more.
The answer is pretty simple on paper: To help fight climate change, we need to convert more of our diet to plant-based foods and away from red meat. But in practice? It is REALLY hard to do, because the global food system is so huge, so wasteful, and so unequal, that in some ways it’s rigged against healthy eating. We didn’t make this video in order to sound hopeless, though. We just want everyone to have an honest look at how hard a problem this is to solve.
Yes, unraveling the issue is difficult, but I agree with Hot Mess that it needs to be done.  That's why I keep blogging about all parts of the problem.

This isn't the first time Hot Mess has examined the connections between food and the climate.  Last year, the channel posted Beef is Bad for the Climate… But How Bad?

Beef production emits more greenhouse gases than basically anything else we eat, so let’s look at the scale and impact of our bovine pals - and importantly, what we can actually do to make beef less bad.
Every semester, I point out how environmentally unfriendly beef is.  The thought of it made me buy turkey hot dogs the last time I went to the store.  I've also been trying to eat less meat overall to reduce my environmental footprint.  Here's to hoping I serve as a good example.


  1. No one wants to touch the Third Rail of Environmentalism; Over Population.

    1. Well, my students have given two presentations on overpopulation and I have a population label about the issue, so it's not no one. However, don't expect the U.S. to ever address the issue the way the Chinese have. First, it's not needed; we're actually on track to have the population start shrinking in a century. Second, it's not in our nature. The American way to control population is to restrict immigration and start deporting immigrants already here. I said that to my students four years ago and, behold, it's happening. Sometimes, I don't like being right.

  2. I'll read those.

    Meanwhile, I got a 24 ban for 'hate speech' for saying " A whole lotta dumb assed white folks right here need to be sterilized...or euthanized." Dog fuckers...

    1. I'm sorry to read that. It's the result of either one of the people in Our Doomed Present reporting you or Facebook itself monitoring the group. If it's the former, we don't need reactionaries gaming Facebook's community guidelines reporting our group's admins, so I'll ban them if I figure out who it is. If it's Facebook, there's not much that can be done other than typing "yt" instead of "white," like some of my African-American friends do there to avoid being caught up in a keyword search.