NY Times Food Writer, Mark Bittman, gave a TED talk in December 2007 on what’s wrong with our food.
While I’m forever in debt to Mark for bringing us the famous No-Knead Bread recipe, and I appreciate his critique of industrial agricultural techniques in the TED video below, I think his arguments fail to see the whole story.
He says that animal products aren’t in any way necessary for human nutrition, and that’s just not true. Sally Fallon did an excellent job debunking this in Nourishing Traditions (a FoodRenegade Must Read). While I agree with him that Americans over-consume hunks of meat, he misses one of the key reasons why we need animals — their fat. Our bodies are adapted to cooking with animal fats — butter at low temperatures and tallow or lard at higher temperatures.
When it comes to meat, Americans err in two ways:
1) We eat just the muscle meat without making use of the whole animal. We eschew organ meat, don’t make bone broths, and trim or drain off the fats.
2) We raise our meats in an industrial system that produces unhealthy animals, thereby making all resulting animal products from dairy to hamburger unhealthy for us.
Other than this flaw, I found the following talk — particularly the fascinating history of food in the U.S. and his critique of the “organic” label — to be humorous, informative, and worth while.