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Sitopia: How Food Can Save The World
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Food waste is a global problem, but causes differ depending on where you are. In undeveloped world it's due to lack of infrastructure; in developed world it's down to oversupply. In US, farmers produce 3800 calories food per person, double what can be safely consumed.
If Western nations limited food prod to just 130 per cent of their nutritional needs, and developing countries could reduce post-harvest losses to levels of developing world, one third of the global food supply could be saved,and world hunger wd be abolished.
When people move to cities they swap traditional rural diets based on grains and vegetables for lots of meat and processed foods.
Epicurus belived that key to happiness was learning to savour simple pleasures. He has been completely misunderstood - today people think he was advocating gourmet tastes - the very best you can afford. He didn't mean the pursuit of pleasure - of sex or of fine foods - he meant things like a cold glass of water after a hike on a hot day. Savour everyday pleasures rather than crave rare treats.
We have about 40 million olfactory cells, one fiftieth of what a dog has, yet we can distinguish between one billion smells.
The shape, colour and texture of food all can alter its taste. Context matters: a strawberry mousse served on a white plate is rated sweeter than one served on a black plate. Blumenthal's famous bacon and egg ice cream was rated more 'bacony' or 'eggy', depending on whether pig or chicken sounds played in the background.
First Gulf War, American chains like Burger King etc moved in, first to feed the troops, and then to feed the natives. Today, 88% of Kuwaitis are overweight or obese, making Kuwait the first nation to overtake the US as the fattest on earth.
Cultural differences between French and Americans. With food, French want quality, not quantity; Americans the reverse. A key way to see the difference b/t traditional and consumerist societies is the way they manage pleasure. Traditional care about context - the people and environment you relax in and with. Consumerist prioritise delivery - 24/7 is expectation.
To enjoy life to the full, needs have to be postponed. To experience max pleasure, it has to be worked for and looked forward to. If our needs are met too easily, we miss out on joy.
Every Sunday in HK, thousands of Filipino maids gather to share a picnic. Congregate in cantral business district to share food and stories from home. Women from different regions gather in specific locations, so you get a food map of the Philippines.
As Ind Revn gathered momentum from the 1770's onwards, Parliament forcibly enclosed land in order to boost agricultural prod to feed the rapidly expanding cities. Between 1761 and 1844, 4m acres of village based open strip fields were transformed into today's privately owned farms. Over the same period, another 2m acres of commons and wastelands (public woods, marshes and moors free for all to use) were brought under private cultivation. Village life was cut off at the roots. No place to catch a rabbit, to gather wood for fuel, bracken for bedding, or wild herbs and berries. Rural poverty forced everyone into the cities, and into the factories.
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