“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed” ~Mohandas K. Gandhi

Two interesting pieces in the news today: tackle obesity, you save the planet. And more shark species are disappearing. Both come from the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston.

shark.jpgUnregulated fishing is wiping out sharks faster than you can sing the Jaws theme. There’s been a 50% fall in the numbers of all shark species in the NW Atlantic since the early 70s. For some species, it’s far worse: there has been a 95% fall in population for the tiger, scalloped hammerhead, bull and dusky sharks. There are just 5 left where there were 100 when I was born.

And during that same time frame, as we all know, we’ve become a bunch of fatties. Again, in Boston, the London-based International Obesity Task Force is screaming loud and clear that “Much of the present high-calorie-density food production has a massive carbon footprint and requires wasteful amounts of energy and water.”

gloop.jpgSo, is there a symbiotic relationship between salty, fat-luvvin’, wheaty, meaty pre-prepared crap food and the planet collapsing? Speaking purely personally, of course there bloody well is. Cheap crap meat encourages demand. Which (like any cash crop) takes more land away from healthy, sustainable, local provision and earmarks it for Billy The Blob four thousand miles away, who’ll devour it as a thoughtless snack between one of his five meals and it won’t even touch the sides. It’s not called ‘grazing’ for nothing.

I read a great line by William Golding (The Paper Men) this week: a creep talking to the alcoholic anti-hero: he talked of how our man “positively rape[s] the bottle”. Well, carry on like this and we’ll not just have raped the land, we’ll have disembowelled it, over-fried the innards and smothered them in tomato sauce.

The solution’s simple. And even I will try to follow my own advice: eat slow, eat luxuriously, never buy pre-prepared, eat long, linger, love it, cook before you’re starving, buy from small providers. Do one of those and it’s taking control of your own innards, remember. Hmm – all sounding a bit Slow Food ….have a look, see what you think….

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