What’s wrong with what we eat | Mark Bittman


I write about food. I write about cooking. I take it quite seriously, but I’m here to talk about something that’s become very important to me in the last year or two. It is about food, but it’s not about cooking, per se. I’m going to start with this picture of a beautiful cow. I’m not a vegetarian — this is the old Nixon line, right? But I still think that this — (Laughter) — may be this year’s version of this. Now, that is only a little bit hyperbolic. And why do I say it? Because only once before has the fate of individual people and the fate of all of humanity been so intertwined. There was the bomb, and there’s now. And where we go from here is going to determine not only the quality and the length of our individual lives, but whether, if we could see the Earth a century from now, we’d recognize it. It’s a holocaust of a different kind, and hiding under our desks isn’t going to help. Start with the notion that global warming is not only real, but dangerous. Since every scientist in the world now believes this, and even President Bush has seen the light, or pretends to, we can take this is a given. Then hear this, please. After energy production, livestock is the second-highest contributor to atmosphere-altering gases. Nearly one-fifth of all greenhouse gas is generated by livestock production — more than transportation. Now, you can make all the jokes you want about cow farts, but methane is 20 times more poisonous than CO2, and it’s not just methane. Livestock is also one of the biggest culprits in land degradation, air and water pollution, water shortages and loss of biodiversity. There’s more. Like half the antibiotics in this country are not administered to people, but to animals. But lists like this become kind of numbing, so let me just say this: if you’re a progressive, if you’re driving a Prius, or you’re shopping green, or you’re looking for organic, you should probably be a semi-vegetarian. Now, I’m no more anti-cattle than I am anti-atom, but it’s all in the way we use these things. There’s another piece of the puzzle, which Ann Cooper talked about beautifully yesterday, and one you already know. There’s no question, none, that so-called lifestyle diseases — diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers — are diseases that are far more prevalent here than anywhere in the rest of the world. And that’s the direct result of eating a Western diet. Our demand for meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates — the world consumes one billion cans or bottles of Coke a day — our demand for these things, not our need, our want, drives us to consume way more calories than are good for us. And those calories are in foods that cause, not prevent, disease. Now global warming was unforeseen. We didn’t know that pollution did more than cause bad visibility. Maybe a few lung diseases here and there, but, you know, that’s not such a big deal. The current health crisis, however, is a little more the work of the evil empire. We were told, we were assured, that the more meat and dairy and poultry we ate, the healthier we’d be. No. Overconsumption of animals, and of course, junk food, is the problem, along with our paltry consumption of plants. Now, there’s no time to get into the benefits of eating plants here, but the evidence is that plants — and I want to make this clear — it’s not the ingredients in plants, it’s the plants. It’s not the beta-carotene, it’s the carrot. The evidence is very clear that plants promote health. This evidence is overwhelming at this point. You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer. Not bad. But back to animals and junk food. What do they have in common? One: we don’t need either of them for health. We don’t need animal products, and we certainly don’t need white bread or Coke. Two: both have been marketed heavily, creating unnatural demand. We’re not born craving Whoppers or Skittles. Three: their production has been supported by government agencies at the expense of a more health- and Earth-friendly diet. Now, let’s imagine a parallel. Let’s pretend that our government supported an oil-based economy, while discouraging more sustainable forms of energy, knowing all the while that the result would be pollution, war and rising costs. Incredible, isn’t it? Yet they do that. And they do this here. It’s the same deal. The sad thing is, when it comes to diet, is that even when well-intentioned Feds try to do right by us, they fail. Either they’re outvoted by puppets of agribusiness, or they are puppets of agribusiness. So, when the USDA finally acknowledged that it was plants, rather than animals, that made people healthy, they encouraged us, via their overly simplistic food pyramid, to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, along with more carbs. What they didn’t tell us is that some carbs are better than others, and that plants and whole grains should be supplanting eating junk food. But industry lobbyists would never let that happen. And guess what? Half the people who developed the food pyramid have ties to agribusiness. So, instead of substituting plants for animals, our swollen appetites simply became larger, and the most dangerous aspects of them remained unchanged. So-called low-fat diets, so-called low-carb diets — these are not solutions. But with lots of intelligent people focusing on whether food is organic or local, or whether we’re being nice to animals, the most important issues just aren’t being addressed. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like animals, and I don’t think it’s just fine to industrialize their production and to churn them out like they were wrenches. But there’s no way to treat animals well, when you’re killing 10 billion of them a year. That’s our number. 10 billion. If you strung all of them — chickens, cows, pigs and lambs — to the moon, they’d go there and back five times, there and back. Now, my math’s a little shaky, but this is pretty good, and it depends whether a pig is four feet long or five feet long, but you get the idea. That’s just the United States. And with our hyper-consumption of those animals producing greenhouse gases and heart disease, kindness might just be a bit of a red herring. Let’s get the numbers of the animals we’re killing for eating down, and then we’ll worry about being nice to the ones that are left. Another red herring might be exemplified by the word “locavore,” which was just named word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary. Seriously. And locavore, for those of you who don’t know, is someone who eats only locally grown food — which is fine if you live in California, but for the rest of us it’s a bit of a sad joke. Between the official story — the food pyramid — and the hip locavore vision, you have two versions of how to improve our eating. (Laughter). They both get it wrong, though. The first at least is populist, and the second is elitist. How we got to this place is the history of food in the United States. And I’m going to go through that, at least the last hundred years or so, very quickly right now. A hundred years ago, guess what? Everyone was a locavore: even New York had pig farms nearby, and shipping food all over the place was a ridiculous notion. Every family had a cook, usually a mom. And those moms bought and prepared food. It was like your romantic vision of Europe. Margarine didn’t exist. In fact, when margarine was invented, several states passed laws declaring that it had to be dyed pink, so we’d all know that it was a fake. There was no snack food, and until the ’20s, until Clarence Birdseye came along, there was no frozen food. There were no restaurant chains. There were neighborhood restaurants run by local people, but none of them would think to open another one. Eating ethnic was unheard of unless you were ethnic. And fancy food was entirely French. As an aside, those of you who remember Dan Aykroyd in the 1970s doing Julia Child imitations can see where he got the idea of stabbing himself from this fabulous slide. (Laughter) Back in those days, before even Julia, back in those days, there was no philosophy of food. You just ate. You didn’t claim to be anything. There was no marketing. There were no national brands. Vitamins had not been invented. There were no health claims, at least not federally sanctioned ones. Fats, carbs, proteins — they weren’t bad or good, they were food. You ate food. Hardly anything contained more than one ingredient, because it was an ingredient. The cornflake hadn’t been invented. (Laughter) The Pop-Tart, the Pringle, Cheez Whiz, none of that stuff. Goldfish swam. (Laughter) It’s hard to imagine. People grew food, and they ate food. And again, everyone ate local. In New York, an orange was a common Christmas present, because it came all the way from Florida. From the ’30s on, road systems expanded, trucks took the place of railroads, fresh food began to travel more. Oranges became common in New York. The South and West became agricultural hubs, and in other parts of the country, suburbs took over farmland. The effects of this are well known. They are everywhere. And the death of family farms is part of this puzzle, as is almost everything from the demise of the real community to the challenge of finding a good tomato, even in summer. Eventually, California produced too much food to ship fresh, so it became critical to market canned and frozen foods. Thus arrived convenience. It was sold to proto-feminist housewives as a way to cut down on housework. Now, I know everybody over the age of, like 45 — their mouths are watering at this point. (Laughter) (Applause) If we had a slide of Salisbury steak, even more so, right? (Laughter) But this may have cut down on housework, but it cut down on the variety of food we ate as well. Many of us grew up never eating a fresh vegetable except the occasional raw carrot or maybe an odd lettuce salad. I, for one — and I’m not kidding — didn’t eat real spinach or broccoli till I was 19. Who needed it though? Meat was everywhere. What could be easier, more filling or healthier for your family than broiling a steak? But by then cattle were already raised unnaturally. Rather than spending their lives eating grass, for which their stomachs were designed, they were forced to eat soy and corn. They have trouble digesting those grains, of course, but that wasn’t a problem for producers. New drugs kept them healthy. Well, they kept them alive. Healthy was another story. Thanks to farm subsidies, the fine collaboration between agribusiness and Congress, soy, corn and cattle became king. And chicken soon joined them on the throne. It was during this period that the cycle of dietary and planetary destruction began, the thing we’re only realizing just now. Listen to this, between 1950 and 2000, the world’s population doubled. Meat consumption increased five-fold. Now, someone had to eat all that stuff, so we got fast food. And this took care of the situation resoundingly. Home cooking remained the norm, but its quality was down the tubes. There were fewer meals with home-cooked breads, desserts and soups, because all of them could be bought at any store. Not that they were any good, but they were there. Most moms cooked like mine: a piece of broiled meat, a quickly made salad with bottled dressing, canned soup, canned fruit salad. Maybe baked or mashed potatoes, or perhaps the stupidest food ever, Minute Rice. For dessert, store-bought ice cream or cookies. My mom is not here, so I can say this now. This kind of cooking drove me to learn how to cook for myself. (Laughter) It wasn’t all bad. By the ’70s, forward-thinking people began to recognize the value of local ingredients. We tended gardens, we became interested in organic food, we knew or we were vegetarians. We weren’t all hippies, either. Some of us were eating in good restaurants and learning how to cook well. Meanwhile, food production had become industrial. Industrial. Perhaps because it was being produced rationally, as if it were plastic, food gained magical or poisonous powers, or both. Many people became fat-phobic. Others worshiped broccoli, as if it were God-like. But mostly they didn’t eat broccoli. Instead they were sold on yogurt, yogurt being almost as good as broccoli. Except, in reality, the way the industry sold yogurt was to convert it to something much more akin to ice cream. Similarly, let’s look at a granola bar. You think that that might be healthy food, but in fact, if you look at the ingredient list, it’s closer in form to a Snickers than it is to oatmeal. Sadly, it was at this time that the family dinner was put in a coma, if not actually killed — the beginning of the heyday of value-added food, which contained as many soy and corn products as could be crammed into it. Think of the frozen chicken nugget. The chicken is fed corn, and then its meat is ground up, and mixed with more corn products to add bulk and binder, and then it’s fried in corn oil. All you do is nuke it. What could be better? And zapped horribly, pathetically. By the ’70s, home cooking was in such a sad state that the high fat and spice contents of foods like McNuggets and Hot Pockets — and we all have our favorites, actually — made this stuff more appealing than the bland things that people were serving at home. At the same time, masses of women were entering the workforce, and cooking simply wasn’t important enough for men to share the burden. So now, you’ve got your pizza nights, you’ve got your microwave nights, you’ve got your grazing nights, you’ve got your fend-for-yourself nights and so on. Leading the way — what’s leading the way? Meat, junk food, cheese: the very stuff that will kill you. So, now we clamor for organic food. That’s good. And as evidence that things can actually change, you can now find organic food in supermarkets, and even in fast-food outlets. But organic food isn’t the answer either, at least not the way it’s currently defined. Let me pose you a question. Can farm-raised salmon be organic, when its feed has nothing to do with its natural diet, even if the feed itself is supposedly organic, and the fish themselves are packed tightly in pens, swimming in their own filth? And if that salmon’s from Chile, and it’s killed down there and then flown 5,000 miles, whatever, dumping how much carbon into the atmosphere? I don’t know. Packed in Styrofoam, of course, before landing somewhere in the United States, and then being trucked a few hundred more miles. This may be organic in letter, but it’s surely not organic in spirit. Now here is where we all meet. The locavores, the organivores, the vegetarians, the vegans, the gourmets and those of us who are just plain interested in good food. Even though we’ve come to this from different points, we all have to act on our knowledge to change the way that everyone thinks about food. We need to start acting. And this is not only an issue of social justice, as Ann Cooper said — and, of course, she’s completely right — but it’s also one of global survival. Which bring me full circle and points directly to the core issue, the overproduction and overconsumption of meat and junk food. As I said, 18 percent of greenhouse gases are attributed to livestock production. How much livestock do you need to produce this? 70 percent of the agricultural land on Earth, 30 percent of the Earth’s land surface is directly or indirectly devoted to raising the animals we’ll eat. And this amount is predicted to double in the next 40 years or so. And if the numbers coming in from China are anything like what they look like now, it’s not going to be 40 years. There is no good reason for eating as much meat as we do. And I say this as a man who has eaten a fair share of corned beef in his life. The most common argument is that we need nutrients — even though we eat, on average, twice as much protein as even the industry-obsessed USDA recommends. But listen: experts who are serious about disease reduction recommend that adults eat just over half a pound of meat per week. What do you think we eat per day? Half a pound. But don’t we need meat to be big and strong? Isn’t meat eating essential to health? Won’t a diet heavy in fruit and vegetables turn us into godless, sissy, liberals? (Laughter) Some of us might think that would be a good thing. But, no, even if we were all steroid-filled football players, the answer is no. In fact, there’s no diet on Earth that meets basic nutritional needs that won’t promote growth, and many will make you much healthier than ours does. We don’t eat animal products for sufficient nutrition, we eat them to have an odd form of malnutrition, and it’s killing us. To suggest that in the interests of personal and human health Americans eat 50 percent less meat — it’s not enough of a cut, but it’s a start. It would seem absurd, but that’s exactly what should happen, and what progressive people, forward-thinking people should be doing and advocating, along with the corresponding increase in the consumption of plants. I’ve been writing about food more or less omnivorously — one might say indiscriminately — for about 30 years. During that time, I’ve eaten and recommended eating just about everything. I’ll never stop eating animals, I’m sure, but I do think that for the benefit of everyone, the time has come to stop raising them industrially and stop eating them thoughtlessly. Ann Cooper’s right. The USDA is not our ally here. We have to take matters into our own hands, not only by advocating for a better diet for everyone — and that’s the hard part — but by improving our own. And that happens to be quite easy. Less meat, less junk, more plants. It’s a simple formula: eat food. Eat real food. We can continue to enjoy our food, and we continue to eat well, and we can eat even better. We can continue the search for the ingredients we love, and we can continue to spin yarns about our favorite meals. We’ll reduce not only calories, but our carbon footprint. We can make food more important, not less, and save ourselves by doing so. We have to choose that path. Thank you.

100 thoughts on “What’s wrong with what we eat | Mark Bittman

  1. the human race is corrupted by nature… the people who profit over animals will do anything to make sure we keep eating them – including making doctors lie that animals are a must of our daily diet.

  2. Not every scientist believes in Global Warming. This fool, as well as millions of other people have been conned by Al Gore and other chicken little, "The sky is falling" paranoids. It has been proved that during the Middle Ages, the earth was warmer and that the earth goes through cycles. Poor guy is guilt laden because he has achieved something in his life. I wonder if he walks, or rides a bike every where he goes. I doubt it. He probably has a couple of cars, and flies on airplanes.

  3. It's 2014 and now this guy is so lame. Look at the charts. The world is not warming. Your gig is over. Give it up. 

  4. It is my contention that local and organic food cultivation and production will save the world. Local organic food is good food. There's no doubt about that statement anywhere. And for the following reasons I believe it will save the world.

    Local food is close. When people buy local the cost of shipping decreases dramatically. Not just the monetary cost but the cost of fuel for trucks, the cost of wear and tear on roads and highways, the cost of CO2 and other emissions from the process of shipping… the list goes on. I don't think there's a need to delve into those costs to show how decreasing them will benefit everyone.

    Local food is observable. When people can see their food being grown or raised there is a decrease in anxiety about where their food comes from and what it actually is. People may not realize they have anxiety about food but the root of the anxiety around all the food related ailments in western society is ignorance. People see reports on the news or read articles on what is good or what is bad and a lot of it can be contradictory as it comes from unknown or suspect sources. Now what do you do? More research, more suspect sources, more food coming from who knows where and from who knows what… Go and look at your food being produced. You will know it's good food that is good for you.

    Local food is small scale (relatively speaking). This means even if a local producer is growing or raising only one thing the detrimental effects of monoculture production are eliminated. When you look at a strawberry farm in southern California you see vast swaths of natural desert sucking up water from Lake Mead hundreds of miles away in Nevada. That farm is a huge patch of land where both the flora and fauna are so restricted by manipulation that the species diversity approaches 1. And large amounts of time and energy are spent to keep it that way. Potato farms in Idaho do the same. They bring logistically difficult amounts of water in from hundreds of miles away to water similarly species deficient swaths. The redirection of fresh water, commoditizing water, and species deficiencies are not good for anyone or anything. (If I were to provide supporting documentation for that statement this writing would run very long. If you require supporting documentation you can email me or Google it.) Smaller local patches of monocultures require much less time and energy per acre, can use local water sources and maintain species diversity through smaller monocultures abutting other smaller monocultures.

    Local food provides income for locals. Putting your hard earned dollars back into your community is just good. No need to explain. It just is. A local producer provides for you as you provide for the producer. And the producer pays taxes in your community (municipality, province / state, country).

    Local will help get people out of cities and into rural areas. Support local and you support jobs where local food is produced. People working in the food industry, be it production, processing, markets and restaurants will no longer have to live in the ever increasing financial costs of living in the city. Production, processing, markets and restaurants will be local to people working in those industries. No longer will the proximity of a supermarket be a feature on a realtor feature sheet but the feature will be where to get food that is good for you right where it is produced. As a bonus less congestion in cities means getting around in cities is easier and less stressful.

    Organic local food reduces the the amount of herbicides and pesticides, man made or not, being concentrated in the soil where the food you're eating is being grown or raised. In my opinion this is good. If you believe this is a controversial subject then err on the side of caution and eliminate their use until you know for sure.

    What are some of the big issues we talk about around the kitchen table and water coolers? CO2 and global warming, taxes and how they are appropriated, obesity / diabetes and other diet related diseases / malnutrition, what industrial food actually is and what it means and availability of fresh water. Buy local food. Buy organic food. Do your part. Even when you're travelling buy food that is local to that community or region to support the place you've traveled to. You'll save the world where ever you are.

  5. Get over global warming, this is an old TED and now we know the planet is getting colder. I agree we should eat more plants than meat "alot more". Still the planet is not going to be distroyed. I agree we should eat differently. What is true is that the #1 warming gas is water vapor. Another truth most of the animals are in the ocean. Plants need co2 inexchange they create oxygen. Get rid of co2 and we all die. This planet is a durable system yes we should be smart about the way we live but ferar mongering is what these very liberals blame Fox New and Sarah Palin of. The word hypocrisy comes to mind.

  6. I was very excited to hear what Mr. Bittman was going to say, but turned it off as soon as  he said this:  "Start with the notion that global warming is not only real, but dangerous.  And since every scientist in the world believes this….we can take it as a given."  I understand that ClimateGate where leaked emails showed that the leading global warming researchers were admittedly falsifying evidence was a year off.  Still,  what an AMAZING way to start your entire argument.  "Start with the notion that my final conclusion is true….okay, now…here's the rest of my argument."  It would be like if I said, "Start with the notion that letting me sleep with your wife will save her life, now, let me explain to you directions how you can get to my house."  If it QUACKS like a duck…and this man surely is a QUACK!

  7. I totally agree with this guy he gave a balanced argument about food( much better hen those vegans) but i think the growing middle class around the world is the root of this problem, that meat no longer become a luxury but more of a necessity(im talking about ppl around the world) and meat are forced to be produced in such huge amounts with such high efficiency(capitalism didnt help). Furthermore, people are wasting tons of bilions of food annually and this can be used to feed so many other people, so next time cook and order what you can eat only 🙂

  8. i eat one big bowl of cooked rolled oats with rice and veggies and soy and at least 3 whole fruits a day. i eat only one portion of lean meat a day. surely this is a healthy diet?

  9. Yeah, I like his quote about animals. …"the time has come to stop raising them (animals) industrially and stop eating them thoughtlessly.

  10. Whilst I totally agree that we are not meant to eat grains and refined carbohydrates in the quantities that we do nowadays, the notion that we should not be eating animal products is rubbish. Human beings have eaten a meat heavy diet for almost all of our existence. I agree that dairy consumption is contentious however. 

    I'd like to make clear as well that whilst we as humans are meant to eat meat, I do not agree with modern farming practices. 

  11. I raise cattle and horses. Trust me – Horses Fat far more than cattle. Should we start eating horses?

  12. It's disappointing how speakers ruin their TED talks by injecting their unfunny and offensive political jokes. Whatever happened to keeping to the middle so that you can reach ALL people, not just the ones you're pals with?

  13. The presence of rBGH in the cow's blood stimulates production of another hormone, called Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1, or IGF-1.

    It is IGF-1 that is directly responsible for increasing milk production. rBGH use raises IGF-1 levels significantly.  When cow's milk is consumed by human non-infants, it behaves as a cancer-accelerator.

     IGF-1 is not destroyed in the pasteurization process nor during human digestion and is therefore biologically active in humans, being associated with breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

  14. I've listened to this a couple of times and I think that Michael Pollan has defined the issue in as even handed a way as possible. My choice in life is to eat vegan. I wish everyone would. Realistically however, what we need is for meat eaters to become highly discriminate in their choices. Go for quality over quantity and cut way back. So…all my meat loving friends, I encourage you to really think about how much and how often, and what kind of meat you will consume.Learn about factory farming, learn about feedlots, and let that knowledge guide you in your consumption of meat products.

  15. It's a good lecture, but promotes selfishness. 
    What he preaches its pretty much : "Eat local and organic, but because its better for you… if in the process animals are treated better, cool, if not… too bad , I didn't really care anyway."

  16. This dude is a fucking moron. Sits there and rants about how the production of livestock is one of the main contributors to global warming and human sickness. Then he concludes by saying he will never quit eating meat. He thinks he's doing his part by only eating animal products three or four times a week instead of eating them everyday like the really bad meat eaters. 

  17. I see in all the comments that no one has mentioned, that all factory farm animals eat GMO grain, and are given many antibiotic and hormone shots, sooo besides the posion of GMO's, think about the next pandemic, and wonder why people are given antibiotics and still dying.  Everyone will be dying because your eating the meat, eating antibiotics, and are IMMUNE to additional antibiotics.  I've given up meat and all dairy. I get all my protein from many other sources.  Besides losing 50pds doing that ( I am 5'4, and was 175 and rising) I look and feel sooo much better.  I hope more people will learn that meat and dairy is NOT what it use to be, and learn what their doing to animals in factory farms, and STOP eating meat and diary foods, except for honest ORGANIC companies where you can still buy your dairy, or make nut milks yourself.  Learn about GMO's and/or juicing, or how to make nut milks on youtube.  Study and learn!  The internet can be a great teaching tool!

  18. I won't listen to this talk, I'm here only to see vegans in the comment hijack the conversation toward their cult's beliefs…

  19. Global warming by humans a given????  Not so much..

    Check Don Easterbrook for a start.   A lie repeated does not become true.  It may become profitable though.

  20. why did he call minute rice the stupidest food ever? I imagine that stuff isn't whole grain, but surely that alone doesn't make it the stupidest food ever.

  21. "EVERY scientist agrees"???
    TOTAL hogwash!..
    Has TED joined the MSM?…Apparently so!
    I agree global warming is an issue but extreme comments like this do more harm than good!

  22. I can't believe my health teacher is making us students watch this… Lmao, china is a bigger contributor to global warming than cows…

  23. where do they find these people? No wonder people find science boring, when there are boring, condescending speakers like these out there.

  24. I don't think it's contradicting in any way that he's saying that he is sure that he'll always eat meat. I mean it sounds kinda strange that he himself is not convicted by the arguments he is bringing but at least he is being honest with the audience. He probably knows that a lot of people listen to this and nothing will change in their life either. so it makes him authentic, although the statement is not underlining his thesis in any way.

  25. Great talk! I hope it will inspire people to change the way they are eating. In my view, veganism is the best way. A well balanced vegan diet is much healthier than a diet that contains meat/fish/birds/eggs/milk, contributes less to pollution and avoids the confinement, torture and killing of sentient beings.

  26. Great talk. I think the answer is to encourage less meat consumption. Sure, being vegan/vegetarian is great, but it's not something everyone can do (assuming everyone can have a vegan/veg diet is both classist and ableist – you could also say it's racist). Pretty much everyone, however, can cut their meat consumption, and pretty much everyone should, for their health and the health of the planet. I think vegans and vegetarians scare people, because most people really can not and/or will not make such huge lifestyle change – telling people the only way they can save the environment is to stop eating animal products is like telling someone the only way to save the environment is to have no biological children, people won't listen because you're expecting them to change their entire lives. Cutting consumption, rather than eliminating it, is something we all can do very easily. Let's push for that.

  27. Michael Greger does walk the talk, and gives huge amounts of info to the world for FREE – no ads, profits go to charity. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-cancer-does-lunch-meat-cause/

  28. The people that are being so defensive and unwilling to take what he has said into account will realise eventually how ignorant they are- believe me I was like this 3 years ago LOL.

  29. Semi-vegetarian?????? Is he not saying the production of livestock is dangerous?? Then why only semi-vegetarian??????????

  30. Although there are a few good points that Bittman makes, overall this video is nothing but repetition of many of the lies that Americans are being propagandized with.
    1) Global warming – What a laugh! It has been proven over and over that this whole global warming crap has been created by a specific group of "funded" scientists and that the majority of true scientists call it a lie. The earth is NOT warming, it is actually cooling; documentation and actual evidence proves that organizations like NASA have been manipulating and changing data to keep this fraud alive. What is being shoved under the rug is that government is manipulating the weather through geoengineering and using the results to push their "climate change" agenda.
    2) Meat is NOT bad for you. Processed meat products and commercial mega farm production of animals is what is bad for you because of the chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics that they contain. Anyone who raises their own meats for consumption are not being poisoned by this crap and are just as long lived and healthy as the claimed "vegan/vegetarians".
    3) Greenhouse gases, just like global warming, has been created by government elitists to push their agenda of producing the single biggest tax revenue – CO2. What the majority of science ignorant Americans don't know is that CO2 comprises only 0.03% of the atmosphere, and CO2 along with methane are nothing but TRACE GASES. Reducing CO2 will also have a major negative effect on the growth of plant life on this planet considering that it is the one gas that is REQUIRED by plants to survive! Wake up idiots!
    4) Plants can be just as detrimental to you health as any other food, mainly because they absorb and store the chemicals that are being dumped on them by the bigagri businesses and that are in the air from the geoengineering. People are developing cancers and diseases whether they are on vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivore diets, mainly because chemicals, metals, hormones, antibiotics, etc. are being put in EVERY form of food and liquid produced for human consumption, even many organic sources.
    5) If you are really interested in reading or seeing videos that prove what government is doing go to "The Health Ranger" at http://www.naturalnews.com/Index.html. Mike Adams has made it priority one to blow the whistle on all of the crap that government, big pharma, big chem, and big agri businesses are doing in the name of making a dollar and killing people.

  31. Those who push the global warming hoax are either liars or dupes…. Bittman is a dupe.
    The out of control variables in climate exceed that of rolling the dice. And those variables are much harder to measure and test. We may never get science to predict climate, but we have hoaxers right now saying mankind is affecting it. Fourier and Webster said the same thing 200 years ago. What happened to their predictions? Were they predicting cooler or an improved climate?

  32. This is a pretty good talk. It concerns me that he is still eating meat. There is no way one can raise and kill animals that could be considered humane. My thoughts are that we should reduce suffering for our fellow humans and other sentient animals on this planet. To that end, I am vegan.

  33. If he wants factory farming to not be a reality and wants the carbon footprint lowered he shouldn't be advocating for meat in the slightest. As long as we are eating meat and the by products from livestock, factory farming and the carbon footprint will only rise. Truly the only solution is plain and simple and thats not eating meat. As he said even 9 years ago the industry is only going to grow and will keep growing until we stop being consumers of their products.

    Although this is the case there are other options for eating meat and animal by-products. Theres a TED talk called "Leather and meat without killing animals" which has to be a thing for the future with the known unsustainability the livestock industry has for our planet. I encourage people to watch a great documentary on Netflix called Cowspiracy that explains all these environmental issues the livestock industry causes.

  34. WTF. Meat is causing the devastation of the environment, our health, and it's cruel, we dont need it… but he'll probably never stop eating meat. WTF. Is this the hypocrite TED channel?

  35. This is a wrong way to look at the problem. We are sick not b/c we eat meat but b/c there is the toxic herbicide Glyphosate in 80% of food in the grocery store! Glyphosate causes diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson, ADD, ADHD, autism, infertility, birth defects, destroys our health on the cellular level (mitochondria). Eating organic animal protein is healthy (grass fed and grass finished, living in the outdoors and fertilizing the soil!) Re the fart from cows problem, we could grow industrial hemp which uses up 3 times more CO2 than trees and can be used for thousands of industrial products, also for food. Vegetarian or vegan diet is not healthy! There are anti-nutrients in grains, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds which inhibit absorption of minerals, and not even soaking them overnight and cooking removes the inhibitors. There are hundreds of chemical reactions taking place in the body every day, needing minerals, and these reactions don't take place when we are nutrient deficient, instead the body gets sick! I was a vegetarian and later a vegan, for total of 15 years and that's how I got sick! No joke!!! I thought I ate the healthiest diet on Earth b/c I believed in all the lies I learned while studying nutrition in college! I followed the high carb and low fat diet for decades! Remember one thing: proteins/amino acids are called "essential", fats are called "essential" b/c our body needs those nutrients, but carbs on the other hand are not essential! Eating vegetable proteins in form of beans, peas, lentils and grains is leading to a high carb diet and those carbs break down to sugar, leading to Candida overgrowth (together with high use of antibiotics which destroy our good gut bacteria, leaving space for bad bacteria and Candida yeast to grow and take over, and then disease is the result). Candida alone stands for 80 different health problems! With the high carb consumption of bread, pasta, pizza, breakfast cereals, nutrition bars, beans and nuts, also dairy which contains lactose sugar, we are killing ourselves! Society needs to go back to more local, and of course organic, food production! And also stop the rabbit speed procreation on this planet: China 1.4 B ppl, India 1.2 B ppl, Muslims around the world 1.6 B ppl bringing 8 (eight) children per woman to the world, while this planet has finite resources and we are running out of drinking water! This insane behavior needs to stop, or future wars won't be fought over oil or land but over drinking water!

  36. "I ate my first real spinach when I was 19 years old "

    Wow, I ate my first real spinach when I was 18- that was last year. It didn't change much, I suppose…

  37. You know, i had never thought about it but the over-consumption of meat is totally equatable to the systematic murder of over 6 million Jews and millions of other innocent people. Thanks Mark, I feel so enlightened now.

  38. A lot of people are mad because he doesn't recommend cutting meat 100%. Let me ask you guys how making changes look impossible and alienating people is working out. Most meat eaters look at vegetarians like we force ourselves to choke down grass. People are constantly shocked by how friendly vegan meals actually are.

    I advocate one single thing and I'm willing to bet I've helped people cut out a massive amount of meat. You want to know what works and gets results and makes people change their diet? I tell them I eat dirt cheap, super healthy and tasty food with almost no effort in the kitchen. The simple reason is that I learned to expand my diet.

    Try things. Lots of thing. If you don't like them spit it out. After a while you will learn some things that you like and are healthy and cost nothing and take little effort. A side effect is that you will eat less meat because nothing is more bland and boring than meat. My foods have flavor. My foods are an adventure. I liked meat because I didn't know better and there's tons of vegans eating prepackaged garbage and still do not know better.

    If you like meat too and you don't care that the rest of us pay for it, well there's nothing I can do anyway, but I want you to know it's at least possible to go from that to not liking meat and you won't be losing anything in the process.

  39. The historical part is pretty amazing, but how many human beings needed to be fed back in the days? I support local diet, but I wonder if it could ever work in nowadays situation…

  40. we would be best exterminating 2 / 3rds of the population… it would hurt and we would feel guilty for a while however, this too will pass.

    criteria… below 130 Iq

  41. This mixes common sense with some extremism from unnamed "experts." On livestock, he grabs the bull by only one horn regarding sustainability and nutrition (and global hunger?). So he's right about some things. See my playlist, "Why Livestock" for the other horn. He's changed since 2008 on some of this, such as his attitude against butter. He doesn't include farmers in his "Here's where we all meet," and gives way too much attention to some of those who have the least understanding of livestock issues. He also misunderstands the farm bill. Yes it's "a … collaboration between agribusiness and congress," but subsidies aren't the issue, fair prices are the core issue, and that's unrelated to subsidies, (I give 4 proofs in my "Michael Pollan Rebuttal" so see my "Farm Bill & Food Bill" playlist.) Subsidized crops pay less, even with added subsidies, than the non subsidized fruits and vegetables, as measured by percent of parity, (percent of a fair price). His use of imagery supports his thesis, but I see a lot of straw man in it.

  42. I can see where this guy is coming from, and reducing industrial production of animals is a good idea, but saying that meat and fat is not needed for a diet and is malnutritious has no basis in science, unless you talk of SAD which is both high in fat and carbs. Besides, the hunter-gatherer didn't have acess to starches and corn before agriculture, and has been shown to be a lot more nourished that after agriculture, with a diet high in fat from fish and animals, fiber-rich vegetables and nuts. The low carb high fat diet's has also shown great success in people's health by increasing fat consumption from animals, so saying less meat in the diet is the future for a healthier life is rather unfounded.

  43. People are not going to stop eating meat. However, millenials eat substantially less meat than their older counterparts. We are slowly moving towards a more common plant based diet. Any encouragement to eat less animal protein is great!

  44. Meat is fantastic for us, it contains all the amino acids that we require, plus B12 and iron, and more, it's natural. So what's the alternative? Tofu? It's not natural, but instead heavily processed, the decision is easy…eat meat and fresh veg/fruit, honey, nuts and seeds, drink milk for calcium and for animal protein.

  45. Poor argument. All scientists agree on global warming? Facts lady and gentlemen…crickets.. Do some research into HAARP systems and then you can see what weather/climate/global warming is all about. Misinformation as per usual progressive jargon.

  46. When you make the statement "every scientist agrees," you lose me at that moment. Not every scientist agrees. Every, on any topic, no, they don't, and they never have. So don't treat us like we're stupid. I think you have a lot to say, and I would probably agree with most of it, but if you can't get past using that generalization, I won't listen.

    Shameful. Most of the TED series is so good. This was not.

  47. One interesting connection he didn't make but gave the evidence for: when women stopped being housewives or cooking at home, it led to a domino effect which led to global warming. At some point in our history, we learnt the standard women should aspire to is men or to be like men. Maybe women are just different and should aspire to being something else. Maybe taking care of our next generation and stuff like that is more valuable than making money, who knows.

  48. He needs to re-do his talk. "Global warming" has been proved to be nothing but a pack of lies. Climate change? Probably, but not because of anything humans are doing (or have done). The earth is a living thing. It changes constantly, albeit sometimes more slowly.

  49. Climate change proven by every scientist who wants to keep a job, and any scientist that disagrees has no job or grants. No need to watch more than 2 mins to work out hidden globalist agenda

  50. Okay, so maybe I'm a Vagitarian – That's on me. But if you're gonna eat meat (I have for most of my life, and who knows if I'll go back), just make it less awful. Don't eat a bunch of it, and when you do, make sure it's coming from quality.

    Factory farms just won't do, man.

  51. Global warming Gaia Terra Earth is Dying Heal Plant Kingdom Mineral Kingdom Insect Kingdom All Animal Kingdoms Sea Kingdom value and respect All Life Waste nothing , Sea level Dropped 200 Feet ,how is this? Is this So? Slaughtering them in hellish conditions, I MUST Change! Locovour sounds like you eating like a Train Locomotion

  52. Oh another pro vegan talk LOL! More bacon for me ! The rubbish USDA food pyramid was written by an unscientific vegan staffer on the 1977 McGovern commission which has made the US population sick and spread its nonsense around the world !

    Rice Growing Emits More Methane as Climate Warms

    https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/rice-growing-more-methane-climate-warms.html

    Increased greenhouse-gas intensity of rice production under future atmospheric conditions
    Kees Jan van Groenigen, Chris van Kessel & Bruce A. Hungate
    Nature Climate Change volume 3, pages 288–291 (2013) doi:10.1038 nclimate1712

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1712

    Where Are The World's Hotspots of Climate-Induced Food Insecurity?

    https://www.treehugger.com/climate-change/where-are-the-worlds-hotspots-of-climate-induced-food-insecurity.html

    Wheat, one of the world's most important crops, is being threatened by climate change
    By Chelsea Harvey

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/09/12/climate-change-is-really-bad-for-wheat-which-is-really-bad-for-us/

    Why All Humans Need To Eat Meat For Health
    https://breakingmuscle.com/healthy-eating/why-all-humans-need-to-eat-meat-for-health

    Agriculture contributes to climate change both by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and by the conversion of non-agricultural land such as forests into agricultural land.[5] Agriculture, forestry and land-use change contributed around 20 to 25% to global annual emissions in 2010.[6]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_and_agriculture

  53. ALL the predictions from 10 years ago, like no more snow, did NOT come true. Now that loon AOC tells us we only have 12 years left. LMAO! You simply parrot the left's talking points on climate change. It's so damn stupid, we must fight climate change. We can't stop climate change, it has always been changing and always will. It's a goddam scam. I have two AS degrees in digital electronics and communications. I was database administrator for state of California for 20 years. Finally, I'm done with you … troll!

  54. There has been a long long time since I've heard these many lies before! A lot of times, it's just non-scientific citations, but the worst part was to hear plain lies like "we don't eat animal products" (around 4:20 into the video). Why do vegans need to by B12 to supplement their diet? Because every single human will die on a pure vegan diet if they don't cheat (buying B12 at a local pharmacy is a modern way of cheating and buying a supplement that is only available naturally in animal-based foods). Also, why do vegan have a higher incidence of cancer and are almost always malnourished?

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