Op-Ed: Is smearing food on the ‘Mona Lisa’ a productive form of climate change protest?
By the end of this year, the world will celebrate the bicentennial of the invention of human-powered food
If you thought the food revolution of the last couple hundred years didn’t include humans at all, you’d be wrong. In fact, the entire history of mankind is about food, and about people.
As we inch closer to the bicentenary of the invention of human-powered food, we’re faced with a question: will mankind’s growing appetite for plant-based food and its ability to produce it sustainably be a threat to humanity’s environment? Here, we’ll look at how humans may be contributing to climate change, and how the global food system – which relies on humans to grow our food plants and harvest their products – may be contributing to global warming, too.
We’re seeing this in the food system right now. People are becoming concerned about climate change and how this issue is impacting their food choices and budgets. If you ask them where they get their meat from, they’ll likely tell you the grocery store or the fast-food chain, but if you ask them where they get their produce, they’ll likely say Whole Foods or a farm-to-table farmer’s market.
The fact of the matter is that our food system is the fastest growing sector in the economy, even though our consumption habits are more in line with our current lifestyle than they are with our past one. While there’s a lot of misinformation about the negative impact our growing and processing methods are having on the environment (see here and here), the truth is that the global food industry is growing at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the global economy, and is expected to increase at least 5% annually from now to 2020.
That fact, to me, is a positive first step in the food revolution. If we continue