I’ve been thinking a lot about the elements that characterize a sustainable cuisine but recognize the journey is never-ending because new aspects of the subject are constantly arising and offering fresh areas to explore.
For instance, the thrilling news was announced that a group of microbiologists at Cornell University have found a way to wipe out the deadly E. Coli bacteria in cattle by the simple means of feeding the animals their natural food, hay, instead of the usual feedlot grain-based diet during the week before they go to slaughter. This is yet another proof of the value of taking a natural, sustainable approach to raising the food we eat.
Like you, I am alarmed to discover that some things are not as bad as we had thought but are actually far worse. But some other things are in fact better because we are beginning to renew our respect for past knowledge and to use it selectively as a foundation on which to expand current science and to create new technologies to ensure there will be enough food for future generations.
Some conclusions from my exploration, I believe, hold true as a means of defining a sustainable cuisine:
- Our food must be safe and good to eat and nutritionally sound.
- It must be appropriate to the lifestyle of the person eating it.
- It must be readily available at an affordable price and shared fairly.
- Its production must not deplete or irreparably burden the environment.
Now it is up to us as individuals to put these principles into effect in our own lives to whatever extent possible.
There is no place in the discussion of sustainable cuisine for extremism, only for civilized debate; there are no sides to be on. Our survival and that of the Earth depends upon our ability to listen and our willingness to share what we have, whether this is food or knowledge.