How to help with climate change: Embrace flavor

It’s amazing that climate change is still being debated as to whether it is happening or not. Some skeptics have conceded that climate change is happening, but argue as to whether it has been caused—or exacerbated—because of human’s reliance on fossil fuels and other natural resources.

Let’s face it—climate change is real and it is happening.

A little known fact is that the first scientists to ring the bell on the potential catastrophic implications on rising green house gases caused by burning fossil fuels were on the payroll of big oil companies in the 1970’s.

These scientists warned of environmental, social, and political upheaval as the world became destabilized. In response, however, these companies turned the subject into a political matter, and not a scientific matter, which led to the position we are in now—an ideological divide that is resulting in inaction and apathy.

Why does this topic elicit some much rage and denial?

Maybe it’s because deep down people are afraid of change or the unknown. Or maybe they see it as a threat to their life’s existence—that if humans are causing climate change then their SUV-driving and meat-eating lifestyle choices are to blame.

If we really want to point a finger then it is should be at society in general and the compounded effects of industrialization over the last 150 years. But finger pointing and lifestyle shaming isn’t going to help anything. We need progress, and progress starts with you.

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to become a vegan, denounce driving, burn nag champa incense, get your water from a mountain stream, or grow dreadlocks because you gave up showering.

If you want to be a part of the solution and are looking for actionable steps then start with your food and invite flavor into your life. A majority of our carbon footprint is comprised of our food system. Sure we can ship tomatoes across the world without them rotting, but even the organic food in the supermarket is devoid of flavor (not to mention debatable whether you can consider it “organic.”)

Take a trip to your farmers market, or better yet, to farms in your area. Get to know the people that are growing your food. Taste the difference between “conventionally” grown and raised vegetables, fruit, and meat and that of local, fresh, and organic food. Buy a cookbook. Take pride in feeding your family nutritious food. And then plant a garden. You’d be amazed at the contentment that you get from these simple changes.

Your health, your palate, your family, and the planet will thank you.