“Paleo” is short for the Paleolithic era, the period from 2.6 million years ago to 20,000 years ago when our ancestors were happy hunter-gatherers for their brief lives (average age 30) until they died from rotting gangrene or being mauled by a saber tooth tiger.
And rather than shying away from technology because of the role it played in creating today’s problems—for example, synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, made from petroleum, fueled the explosive growth in the production of grains, soybeans, and corn, which in turn were used to make the processed foods that make up so much of the American diet—these new food reformers seek to use it strategically to produce what we want without costs to our environment and our health. That requires more complexity than a network of community gardens can provide.
“SILICON VALLEY’S NEXT BIG GOAL: FIXING OUR BROKEN FOOD SYSTEM” via FastCompany
Amy and I try to eat ‘smart’: know where our food comes from, try to stay away from processed goods and ingredients, and keep our meals as “primitive” as possible, though I firmly believe that cavemen had a way to make single-malt scotch. We believe in and support local, sustainable farms, and our family’s butcher shop sources from several local farms and producers.
Yet individual choices will likely never cause change on a massive scale, and I like this article’s perspective on the enormity of the problem. Yes, if we had to design the food system from scratch right now we’d likely do things very differently. Yes, folks like Amy and I try to do what we can to improve our own personal food system, and encourage friends and family to do the same. But the scale of change necessary to impact the nation (or world) is going to require recognition that our existing system is here to stay; that is, the needs of its users to have cheap, readily-available food will only grow and we can’t ignore it.
I’m excited to see what type of change tech+food companies can affect at scale.