Opinion Piece: The future of Vegetables: Nutrient-Density & Bio Availability Pt. 1

“Forks Over Knives” No Longer Available On Netflix
July 10, 2020
Plant Based Vegan Diet
Opinion Piece: The future of Vegetables: Nutrient-Density & Bio Availability Pt. 2
July 14, 2020
Show all

Opinion Piece: The future of Vegetables: Nutrient-Density & Bio Availability Pt. 1

A Recipe From The Ground Up

For the purpose of this piece, I will present a proposal, join some well-researched dots, and make an educated conclusion. I will begin with a snapshot or a zeitgeist of our connection, or lack thereof, with food today. Unfortunately, to be blunt, it is lost & disassociated with both tradition and its origin. I would argue that we are in dire need of this connection now more than ever, and particularly how it can help us learn from the past.

Our ancestral dietary choices, compounded over thousands of years have shaped our brain's reward structures and therefore our relationship with food today. Our own parents enjoy a myriad of foods that either they could not afford or were simply unavailable to them when they were younger, which is a stark difference in just one generation. Today’s youth and I include myself in this group, have access to more ultra-processed foods than any group in the history of humanity that came before them. Sadly, they are consuming these highly processed, nutritionally empty foods at a rate unseen before with the negative health consequences previously undocumented.

Grains, nuts, beans, fruit, and vegetables - the very foods we have developed both agriculturally and biologically to thrive off as humans are becoming increasingly uneaten and obsolete. Additionally, at a time when more nutritional research is available than ever before, we have grown increasingly confused with what is deemed healthy or the “optimal” way to eat. Whole or Natural foods have lost their place our plates because replacement processed and tastier has pushed it aside with the heavily advertised promise of better health.
Whether or not you consider the moral or environmental arguments of eating animal products, the nutritional or health perspective of adopting a plant based diet is quickly gaining adoption & is self-evident to many, and this lifestyle is only gaining momentum. The plant based lifestyle has made its way into the public consciousness but is heavily debated and rejected with often biased misinformation with very little nuance. And yet the proverbial elephant in the room is that despite endless discussion in mainstream, governmental, and social media on healthy eating, obesity, diabetes, and diet-related illnesses increasingly kill more people every year. The confusion around what is “good for us” has never been so complex.

Documentaries stream into bedrooms changing how younger generations think about food, only to be debunked or counter-argued almost immediately after by a google search, YouTube video, or disagreeing peer. Like the tobacco industry in years gone by, this sometimes-unintentional confusion can inadvertently present business opportunities to multinational corporations and food companies vying for market share. This is not conspiracy or “evil” at work, it may simply be well-intentioned people genuinely trying to help consumers live healthier lives or offer their product to a growing market. Sadly, we now live in an environment where most of the world’s population is simultaneously overfed and malnourished.

With a steadily rising global population, the future of food appears to many to be globalized and mass-produced, with an increasingly disassociated approach to what healthy eating actually is, alongside a rapid turnover of food trends. However, the future of health is not in a highly engineered, lab-grown meat or 3D printed steak. It lies, quite simply, in what our ancestors ate.
The above piece was contributed by Plant Based Ireland Reader Joseph Roche

Please note that the above piece reflects the opinion of the reader only and does not reflect the opinions of the Plant-Based Ireland Organisation or its members, employees, and associates.