Monday, July 28, 2008

Eat Stop Eat for Sustainability (More reasons to consider Flexible Intermittent Fasting)

Here's an interesting bit of information I found today on

According to an article titled "Eat less to use less fossil fuel, researchers suggest" a scientific study out of Cornell University states that the US food industry uses an estimated 19 per cent of the total energy used in the nation.

This includes non-renewable sources of energy like petroleum and natural gas.

The researchers conducting this trial beleive that it is very important that we find ways to lower this fuel consumption.

So here is a great first suggestion - Consumers (that's us) should simply eat less food.

I know this suggestion is one that the 300 billion dollar food industry will fight against tooth and nail, but there is a sick irony to the fact that many of us are currently trying to find ways to lose weight, while at the very same time the average calorie intake in the US is almost 3800 calories per day.

This is easily 1200 and 1500 more calories than the vast majority of us need in order to stay weight stable.

So if we are eating more than we want to, and these extra calories are not only causing us to put on fat, but are also burdening our economy and our environment, isn't it logical that we should start to explore practical ways to cut back on how much we eat? (Eat Stop Eat anyone?)

Here are some other very interesting points from the article-

  • A vegetarian diet containing the same amount of calories as the current American Diet (mostly animal products and processed foods) would require 33 per cent less fossil energy.
  • On average, food in the US travels 2400 km (1491 miles) before it is consumed by an American. (How can anything that has been on a truck for 24 hours be considered fresh?)
The bottom line is that eating less would help our health, our waistlines, our economy and the environment.

If you want to take it one step further, even a moderate cut back on animal products combined with eating local when you can would do a lot to decrease the burden on the environment and the economy.

The argument for NOT eating less is slowly becoming horribly weak.

We know that starvation mode (or famine mode) is a nutrition myth (I explain the science behind this fact in the first episode of the Eat Stop Eat Advanced Audio files), and we know that eating less will not cause you to lose muscle (Episode 3).

Not only this, but when it comes to a vast majority of the diseases typically associated with Western Culture, many people (myself included) are starting to point the finger of responsibility squarely at overeating. And not overeating one single nutrient, but just overeating in general.

Here's my last point - Ever wonder why in the mainstream media, eating less in an attempt to lose weight has a certain stigma about it, while exercising for weight loss is completely acceptable?

In other words, the mainstream media is cool with the fact you want to lose weight, they just want you to keep eating as much food as possible.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but looking at the simple math, if the food industry is a 300 billion dollar industry, certainly a good portion of that money must go into advertising. And since advertising money is what makes the media industry profitable, it wouldn't really make sense to bite the hand that feeds, now would it?


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1 comment:

Jordan said...

I'm a little confused about the "3770 calories per American" figure. There are two interesting quotes from this article:

"'Irritated economists and officials in India can point to United Nations data showing that the average American consumes or discards 3,770 calories of food energy per day - roughly 50 percent more than the average Indian,' the Dallas Morning News noted."

"In fact, Americans throw away a staggering amount of food - 27 percent of what's edible, according to government data cited by The New York Times."

So the 3770 calorie figure may include food that's discarded, and we throw away 27% of edible food. Does this imply that we eat, on average, 2701 calories, or 73% of 3770? I wonder. That's still quite a bit, of course, more than enough to create a caloric surplus for most people.