Why are you so passionate about making "good for you" food available and accessible?
We know there is a global food crisis. We have also heard that there is enough food to go around. Why is there this disconnect? The answer is simple: We in the West eat too much, and most of it is not nutritious and not easily digested.
The Western "SAD" diet (Standard American Diet) contains an appalling amount of processed food, bad fats, bad sugars, nutritionally void flours, too much meat, and almost everything we eat contains corn and soy. We live to eat, rather than eat to live, and we eat way too much. North Americans are the most overweight people in the world, and we are paying a heavy price for our greed in the declining health of our generation and especially our children's: diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, juvenile arthritis and cancer. In fact, Stewart kennedy, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association has stated, "We are raising the first generation of children that will not outlive their parents". This should sober us indeed. Our health span generally comes nowhere near our life span. In 2011, 48% of Ontario's budget was devoted to healthcare, increasing at a rate of 7.6% per year (Stats. Can). This is a sad reflection on the state of our health.
To resolve the food crisis will require an adjustment on the part of North Americans, to eat close to the ground and close to home. To quote Michael Pollan ("In Defense of Food"), we need to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants". The ironic thing is that we would be so much healthier if we ate this way: more veggies and fruits, and less meat, dairy and processed food.
Many ancient people groups ate this way and their diet included sprouting: they understood that any nut, seed, grain or legume needed to be soaked (the first stage of sprouting) before it could be eaten, and they ate many of their vegetables in sprouted form. Today there are cultures in the world who eat this way, with the result that their health span almost equals their life span: they enjoy quality of life as well as quantity of life.
Sprouts and micro-greens are one natural answer to the global food crisis, because as long as there is seed available, and people don't mind what they sprout, sprouting is accessible to anyone. But we need to address the global food issue by thinking locally first. Researcher Dr. Kevin Stolarick, The Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto, states,
If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, we would have an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year. Keeping our money circulating grows those dollars to $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs. (as quoted by Lynn Ogryzlo, - The Ontario Table)
Beginning within our own families, we need to cultivate a climate of thankfulness for the food we have, instead of instilling fussy eating habits. We need to stop using food (especially sugar) as a reward among our children. We need to eat more unprocessed foods, and prefer foods locally grown. And when we cannot obtain local food, that is where sprouting comes in: it is our indoor winter garden.
Thinking globally about food needs to start by growing and eating locally, and by at the very least cultivating interest in other parts of the world, if not becoming actively involved in global food projects.
If, community by community, we can catch these concepts, and instill them in our children, we can change global food policies.