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Energy wastage through food PDF Print E-mail
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When you look back at old movies the one thing that comes across very clearly is how slim people were in those days. Now we have two generations of people who have been treated to all the excesses of modern society.

Vast tracts of prime rain forests have been cleared to create pasture land for enormous herds of cattle to satisfy this publicity created junk food craze.

The present generation will probably die before their parents due to this lifestyle of food and lack of exercise.

The main loser in this whole scenario is the environment due to agricultural methods, transport and excess wastage. The energy required to deliver a hamburger to a fast food outlet in the developed countries far outweighs the energy the eater derives.

Kiwis for instance are flown half way round the world when locally grown fruit can offer the same benefits. Trendy vegetables are on sale in markets for the "in people" to eat with no regard to the cost of the energy needed to get  them there. Most of the produce is wasted anyway but buyers seem to think if its expensive then it must be good.

Governments make lots of noises about food and its world trade effects but when the chance is there to really make a difference nobody takes the lead to get the whole issue sorted. The rich waste more  and the poor can die.

Countries that have in the past been the bread basket for a whole region are now abandoned, as clearly shown in Zimbabwe and other African states. The population rely on food aid and the leaders are allowed to get richer from the associated fraud.

Europe continues to overproduce and store vast amounts of food that is eventually either destroyed of used for cattle feed.

The obesity crisis in the developed world highlights where food is wasted, showing that starving people could be saved just by the food overeaten. The health services of these countries would save significant amounts of treatment and could concetrate on really sick people.

Maybe a form of rationing could be introduced by removing the externally sourced foodstuffs with incentives to eat locally produced goods. Meat, a crucial part of this problem, could be changed to improve diets.Instead of heavy fat laden items less unhealthy commodities could be promoted.

The large fast food chains would need to be much more severly regulated and nutritional advice made more readily available. The clearly dangerous items on the menu should carry strict health warnings Jumbo size items on the menus banned completely.Packaging would need to be strictly controlled and be much more environmentally friendly.

All items on the menus should be locally sourced and where possible coordination between transport companies to avoid duplication of journeys. Profits could be maintained as costs would be reduced.Incorrect land use adds to the problem. World war 2 showed how production of local food can be started very quickly and be successful. A good opportunity to make use of community service instead of the mindless actions in place now.

Cloud cuckoo land maybe but without drastic action the global food crisis will deteriorate into a form of chaos that will lead to violent confrontations. Its already happening in many parts of the world.



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