Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Munchable Soapbox: A Midnight Snack

After a week of honing in on issues of international concern, of poverty and hunger, the blog needed a bit of a reprieve. And normally I don't dwell too much on human health, more on environmental. But this infographic on the decline of food choice quality as the day wears on struck a chord with me today. There have been a number of later evenings in the past few weeks, and it is clear, even as I sit typing this right now, that food related decisions I make are successively worse after lunch (...the chocolate bar slides back into my secret hiding place). 

Why does this happen? One theory is "decision fatigue," whereby the end of the day you are just so tired of making choices, that grabbing the nearest microwave meal is the most attractive option. Some blame alcohol, which starts to creep in around 5pm and taints responsible decision-making (...oooh, those fried onions have to be as good as they look...). Personally, by the time the day ends, all I want is chocolate...but perhaps that is just me.

This also has potential implications for the environment and even energy consumption. Depending on what we eat throughout the day, we tend to munch on more towards the end. While this is not great for our waistlines, it also means producing more food to feed growing (and largely unnecessary) appetite. Moreover, the downward spiral toward junk food often is well-occupied by heavily processed foods and not fresh produce. While this may decrease waste, it also requires crops, such as corn and wheat, that are very streamlined, mechanized, and geo/chemically-engineered for efficiency but without as much thought for ecological health and diversity. The major commodity crops fuel our desire for sweet or fatty, but take heavy tolls on the land in which they grow. 

Gosh, tomorrow we'll have to turn over a new leaf, making conscious decisions to stay healthy for every meal, and eat a solid breakfast!

Read the Grist article.

1 comment:

They Call Me Hypo said...

Ooooo I love these info graphics. Thanks for sharing. I'm your newest follower.