bittman and colbert: cheeseburgers, SUVs, and the environment.

i’m busy planning the go game event for sxsw interactive in austin next week, but here are some entertaining/educational tidbits for your day. first off, other people joining michael pollan on my list of intellectually crush-worthy public figures are mark  bittman (kickass cookbook writer and food blogger) and steven colbert (i know you know who he is). i just read and loved bittman’s newest book, the smart and straightforward food matters, which he discusses in this clip from yesterday’s episode of the colbert report:

i am a dumbass when attempting to embed things, so you can watch here via serious eats.

one of the most interesting topics covered by food matters and mentioned in this clip concerns the impact of industrial food systems, especially meat production, on the environment.  i find it interesting that this isn’t discussed much in terms of what the public can do to help affect climate change, an idea that i’d like to talk about in more detail at some point. if you’re interested in learning more, here’s an article that bittman wrote for the new york times back in january.

to distill some sound bites from the video and article,  in case you don’t have a six minute attention span, know how to read,  or you’re actually ‘working’ right now…

‘serving a family of four a steak dinner for four is the equivalent of driving around in your SUV for 3 hours with all the lights on at home [in terms of energy consumption].’

‘if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius.’

oof. pretty fascinating stuff.  we all know about driving less and turning lights off, but not many people connect meat consumption to climate change. does he mean we should stop eating meat? not at all – that’s a pretty unpopular and unrealistic idea for most people. but cutting down on meat consumption and eating sustainably raised meat would be healthier for our bodies as well as the planet. read the book!

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4 thoughts on “bittman and colbert: cheeseburgers, SUVs, and the environment.

  1. otown brown says:

    which is exactly why the world needs gourmet vegetarian SAUSAGES!!

  2. Very well said. I also reduce my meaty meals, though we are very light meat eaters to 4-5 times a week but that’s one meat a day, none for breakfast and rarely for lunch. I do love good meat but nothing like eating it in moderation. I love vegetarian meals as well but good vegetarian meal is time consuming to prepare.

    Check out Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen—Secrets of Making Great Foods

    On Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

  3. Kwang says:

    I have followed the eat meat for only one meal per day for quite some time… great way to be healthy and do your part regarding climate change and food.

    Also… choosing chicken instead of beef or pork is another way to reduce your impact.


    • mei says:

      smart. i noticed that i’ve been eating a lot less meat without necessarily trying, but aiming for one meal a day of meat is a good way to keep track. unless of course it’s a bacon smackdown, and then it’s day-o-meat.

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