Think Before You Eat
Disadur dari Jakarta Post Online
Tanggal 22 April 2009
Artikel ini sangat menarik dimana kita akan melihat bagaimana Verena Puspawardani memilih makanan sehari-hari.
To stay healthy, I have been advised to adopt a low-carb diet. As I stumble around the kitchen at an ungodly hour of the day, I consider the options offered by my fridge and shelves. Will it be toast with srikaya spread? Skip. A quick fried rice on the wok? Probably not. Or a bowl of yummy and healthy cereal? Now wait a minute. If the cereal is not labeled as organic, does that mean I will be chewing pesticide-boosted cereal? And how about the milk? Does it include hormones? In my morning blur, I concoct what seems to be a responsible solution: a locally laid egg, scrambled, with a dash of salt, pepper and chili sauce, drowned in coffee (more on that later).
Lunch at the canteen
With two meetings and one deadline out of the way – and a quick update on Facebook (“Verena is famished”) – my work colleagues drag me to the canteen, where I am confronted with a range of tantalizing options. Most are fried options actually, except for the gado gado in all its multicolored glory. Well, you may know about the dire impacts of oil on our health. But how about on the environment?
A short while ago, I read in a WWF report that the consumption of palm oil around the world has kept on growing during the past 30 years compared with the consumption of other processed food products. Not a problem per se, but consider this: The high demand for palm oil is causing forests to be converted into huge plantations in places such as Riau (Sumatra). As I look again at the canteen’s array of dishes, the gado gado is increasingly looking like my only ethical option – good thing the veggies are local and fresh.
Early afternoon blues
Back in the office, the early hours of the afternoon tick along, sluggishly. Time to kick-start the brain, and who else to turn to but my good old friend caffeine. More than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year worldwide, and Harvard research shows that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s, among other diseases.
What the Harvard research does not tell you is about the impacts of coffee plantations on Indonesia’s prized national parks. For instance, did you know some of the coffee we drink is illegally grown in national parks in Lampung, Sumatra? From there, it is mostly exported and packaged as instant coffee sachets or for energy drinks.
So if you still want to smell and sip your coffee without feeling guilty, head to a reputable coffee shop and ask the barista to serve you a local coffee blend and ask about its origins. Taste good? Buy a pack of the stuff and take it home for your breakfast.
The market stop
Emails replied to, reports submitted, documents filed … and one empty stomach. I head out of the office to stock up on victuals for my fridge and shelves.
In some supermarkets these days, fruits and veggies are categorized according to fairly obscure considerations: organic, hydroponics, imports and so on. Instead of being confused by this range of choices, I just follow Cindy Crawford’s example – head off to the outdoor market in Malibu in a red hot convertible. OK, in my case, scratch Malibu and the convertible. There is a wide range of traditional markets in Jakarta and their advantage is that, in addition to providing healthier fruits, buying products directly from the hands of farmers is more environmentally friendly.
It takes a trip of 2,320 kilometers for a Bangkok durian to make its way to Jakarta. So if Cindy Crawford relocates from Los Angeles to Jakarta, I am confident that she will do the right thing – choose Medan durians instead of their Bangkok counterparts. While both types of durian are transported by ship, the carbon dioxide footprint (the polluting emissions caused by shipping) from the Medan durians is much smaller. They also happen to be cheaper.
These are just some of the considerations that percolate in my mind as I try to adopt a more environmentally friendly diet. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to consider the environmental risks of all food items we purchase. That’s why I recommend making changes to your diet gradually – small increments does it. And think before you eat.
Want more? I recommend Treehugger’s most succulent introduction to greening your diet. Just head off to http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/10/how_to_green_yo_8.php.
Entry filed under: Berita Lingkungan Lokal.