'Scuse Me While I Eat The Sky

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Eating Liberally Food For Thought
by Kerry Trueman

Barbie and I don’t have a lot in common. For one thing, I’m biodegradable and she’s not. But we do agree on one thing; math is hard. For example, how is it that Lisa Simpson’s been a vegetarian for thirteen years when she’s only 8 years old? Is it possible that an anti-oxidant-rich plant-based diet has the power not only to delay the aging process but actually reverse it?

But while eternal tweener Lisa’s the token treehugger in the Simpson household, it’s Bart who’s got the perfect prescription for how to cool Mother Nature’s fevered brow: don’t have a cow. Literally. The less meat you grill, the more you help the planet chill.

Now, before you dismiss me as some kinda free-range Chicken Little, clucking about the catastrophic consequences of our fossil-fueled food chain, you should know that I’m not the only one warning that burgers do more harm than hummers.

Activist/author Anna Lappé’s been looking up at the sky, too, but while I’ve been running around squawking that it’s falling, her brand new campaign Take A Bite Out Of Climate Change looks up and sees a sunny solution--a plant-based food chain founded on the ultimate renewable energy source, solar power.

Lappé’s upcoming book, Eat the Sky: Food, Farming, and the Climate Crisis, will no doubt help spread the word about the wonders of foods grown through the natural miracle of photosynthesis instead of that man-made marvel, synthetic fertilizers, and the power of a naturally biodiverse, balanced ecosystem to protect plants from pests and disease instead of pouring on toxic pesticides.

But in the meantime, she’s put together a wonderful, non-wonky website that lays out for the layperson why switching to a diet dominated by locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables is one of the single most significant things you can do to curb your carbon footprint.

This is a huge public service and a tremendous boon to me, personally, because my endless chanting of the “eat-less-meat” mantra elicits plenty of puzzled looks from folks who can’t grasp the notion that a veggie-centric diet does more to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions than driving a hybrid car. I have been trying to get this message out for a while, now (which, in the interests of full disclosure, may be why Lappé put me on Take A Bite’s advisory council,) but now I can just say, “Go to takeabite.cc and see for yourself!”

Lappé is on a mission to liberate us from a food chain that relies on a systemic abuse of land, animals and people. Industrial agriculture is essentially a failed coup on Mother Earth, a tragically arrogant attempt to overrule the laws of nature, and now it’s coming back to bite us on our ever-expanding asses. It’s fouled our air, water and soil, spoiled our health and worsened global warming.

But Take A Bite’s raison d’etre is not to bum you out about the ecological disaster we call Agribiz; its purpose is to provide you with all the information and resources you need to lighten up your carbon footprint in the most delightful and delicious way. So thanks to Anna and her crew for stepping up to the solar-powered plate. Now even us Henny Pennys can look up and say, here comes the sun!