This Zoom session is from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST: Combining Scholarship and Activism: An Intergenerational Exchange. Information about the session and registration is HERE. Bob Gottlieb and I will address how to combine food policy scholarship and activism in discussion with two much younger colleagues, Ivonne Quiroz and Lo Anderson.
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I participated in a panel with Charlie Rose last night on the science of obesity. With five people around the table, it was hard to get a word in edgewise, but I did the best I could (take a look and judge for yourself). The central issue for the conversation was whether obesity is the result of genes or the environment. If it’s genes, let’s find a drug and solve the problem. If it’s environment, things get much more complicated because no drug can fix a society that makes food available everywhere, at rock bottom cost, in enormous portions. Genes matter, of course; not everyone who overeats gains weight. But rates of overweight started to zoom up just in the past 25 years or so, too recently for genetics to have changed. While the science types are working hard to find a magic–and highly profitable–bullet, people need to find ways to handle a food environment that encourages overeating. I’m in favor of policies to make it easier to eat more healthfully, ranging from restrictions on marketing junk food to children to elimination of farm subsidies. I’m sure you can think of more. I’m collecting a list. Send suggestions.
In the meantime, I have a bit more to say about these issues at Eating Liberally.
Is it really better for health to eat foods that are low on the food chain–grassfed beef, for example? I tackled the subject briefly over at Eating Liberally, where I will be answering questions about healthy and sustainable eating on a regular basis from now on. I cover the grassfed issue in more detail in What to Eat, of course.