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Eat to Live!

Eat to Live!

Something a friend always says is, "you need to eat to live, not live to eat." And while I've generally followed that advice across my life, I've not been super disciplined about it. That all changed with the discovery that I inherited the same heart condition(s) that runs on both sides of my family.

This month, and maybe even through the end of the year, that topic will be our content theme. As we think about food and our health, we have to move away from diets and fads toward a way of living that we practice every single day. Our habits are hard to change, mainly when they are established by the cultural systems in which we live - meaning they are subconscious patterns that have been hard-wired into our brains. They are just the way we think, and thus the way we behave and make decisions. They seem normal to us.

But when we look at all the challenges we face around food, it has to change. We have to approach the foodways system with a different mindset, reconfiguring how we optimize its operation and outcomes. Our approach needs to reflect a shift toward optimizing multiple forms of capital (natural, human, relational, intellectual, to name a few) rather than our historical singular emphasis on financial capital.

A lot of it has to do with institutions and systems that allow us to have the plentiful food we do. But equally important is how we as individuals eat because ultimately, that drives food production. And if we insist on local, fresh, clean food, that will eventually be the foodstuffs produced. That may seem far-fetched given the centralized and ingrained system we are in, but it's not. The human ability to adapt and evolve is remarkable, and our foodways system always transforms into what it needs to be.

We'll examine different parts of the foodways system and what needs to change. For example, today, I posted an article about water running out in a critical aquifer in the Midwest. We have to have water to grow healthy food - any food for that matter. How do we solve that problem in a way that benefits everyone, from the farmer to the consumer?

Enjoy this content because I'm certainly going to enjoy writing it!

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