I recently read a book that frankly, pardon the language, pissed me off.
The book, entitled Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time, is the brand new release from Dr. Mark Hyman.
Dr. Hyman strongly believes that the most powerful tool to reverse the global epidemic of chronic disease, heal the environment, reform politics, and revive economies is food. His new book explains that we eat has tremendous implications not just for our waistlines, but also for the planet, society, and the global economy.
In Food Fix #1 bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman explains how our food and agriculture policies are corrupted by money and lobbies that drive our biggest global crises: the spread of obesity and food-related chronic disease, climate change, poverty, violence, educational achievement gaps, and more.
Pairing the latest developments in nutritional and environmental science with an unflinching look at the dark realities of the global food system and the policies that make it possible Food Fix is a hard-hitting manifesto that changed the way I think about food forever, and it provides practical solutions for citizens, businesses, and policymakers to create a healthier world, society, and planet.
Dr. Hyman is a physician and New York Times bestselling author. He is the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, a proponent of functional medicine and, the board president of clinical affairs of the Institute for Functional Medicine. He's the bestselling author of multiple books, including the brand new title we discuss on this show: Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-What prompted Dr. Hyman to write his new book…7:04
- Saw many patients w/ the same condition as a result of the food they're eating
- Food system is the main driver behind the problem
- Food policies make up the system
- Food industry is behind the policies; biggest lobby group in Washington is food and agriculture industries
- A handful of companies are the leading culprits
- $15 trillion industry; makes up ~17% of the global economy
- Employs over 20 million workers just in the U.S.
- The way food is produced is a major contributor to climate change
- Children w/ healthy diets vs. children w/ unhealthy show dramatic differences in brain size and IQ
- Processed food is a contributing factor to mental health issues
- CDC study: Health and Academic Achievement
-Why the true cost of food is not what you see at the store…13:58
- Take into account the cost of the entire life cycle of the food: production, storage, eating, waste, etc.
- Massive environmental destruction
- Who pays for deforestation, chemicals that destroy soil, climate change that results?
- Methods used for modern farming are killing the soil
- Obesity, chronic disease
- Food stamp recipients buy processed food and soda predominantly
- We pay for it via Medicaid and medicare
- The companies who cause the damage don't pay for their actions
- Regenerative farming is a sustainable farming method
- Farmland LP invests in conventional farms and converts to sustainable farms
-How food stamp programs contribute to the problem…20:33
- Food and farm workers are not paid a livable wage; they can't afford health care and are on food stamps
- SNAP = Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- No nutrition standards for SNAP assistance
- 70% of food purchased w/ SNAP is processed food, soda, etc.
- It's helped w/ security, but not w/ health
- Incentives such as lower premiums for healthy choices are more effective than penalizing unhealthy behavior
- Even hunger advocacy organizations are opposed to changes in the program; they are funded by the food industry
- Around 20% of Coca Cola revenue is from food stamps
- Wal-Mart nets $137 billion per year from food stamps
-Inconvenient and invisible truths related to the food industry…28:54
- The food system is driving most of the crises we see in the world today
-The monopoly of seeds in the food industry…34:15
- 4-6 seed companies control 60% of the seeds
- GMO seeds
- Farmers are stuck in the mix (indebted to seed companies, loss of autonomy in their operations)
- High suicide rate among Indian farmers
-The difference between dirt and soil and the dangers of monocropping…36:40
- A living organism: There is more microbial life in a handful of soil than anywhere on the planet
- Growing plants adds carbon to the soil
- Soil holds water (protection against drought)
- Depleted soil results in less nutrients in the produce
- Agro Forestry: trees as a part of the solution
-The problem of food waste…42:40
- We waste 40% of our food in the U.S.
- It would require an area the size of China to grow the food that is wasted
- Environmental problems from disposed food emitting gases in landfills
- What can you do?
- Start a compost pile
- Give away to farmer's market
- Many cities have mandatory composting or giveaway to the poor
- Unused food is being used for energy production
- Dan Barber
-How the food industry influences food policy at the national level…48:17
- Lobbyists are the only real influence on policy
- 187 lobbyists per member of congress (from all industries)
- Legislation is passed to protect big food companies from lawsuits
- PAC's are created to protect major corporations (dark money)
-How people can proactively contribute to a solution to this problem…55:00
- Be a “regenetarian”
- Choose food grown organically and regeneratively
- Have a compost pile
- Educate your children
- Start a community garden
- Get into the political arena at the local level
-Mark's personal diet and recommendations…59:18
- Eat a plant-rich diet
- Eat only regeneratively raised meats and fish
- Book: Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– Book: Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food by The James Beard Foundation
– Book: The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman
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