In one study, scientists asked which word you associate chocolate cake with.
For the French, the word was celebration.
For Americans? It was guilt.
If we are to fix our diets, we are going to need to change the narrative of what we think of food.
In his seminal work, Michael Pollan decodes this by pointing out:
“No people on earth worry more about the health consequences of their food choices than we Americans do—and no people suffer from as many diet-related health problems.”
Quite the paradox.
When the food industry is focused on selling quantity or quality (to boost profits), it begins a destructive feedback. “The more one eats, the more one wants to eat.” Empty calories do nothing to fill us.
Not to mention that this fuels the healthcare industry. Each year, we spend $250 billion dollars in with diet-related illnesses. Or the environmental consequences to fuel the meat and dairy industry.
So, who blinks first?
Instead of working so hard to keep people alive with heart-related illnesses (we have become quite good at it), it’s worth asking how we got here and how we are going to change it.
Make no mistake, capitalism is a miracle. We benefit so much from it. Yet, capitalism has a cost and that debt eventually must be paid.
The point of culture isn’t to improve capitalism. The point of capitalism is to improve the culture. It remains one of the most important subjects of our time. Improve capitalism and you will improve healthcare, food, diet and our planet.