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Brian Kateman: We don’t need to drastically change what we eat in order to help the Planet

Lifestyle / -

CF Brian Kateman imm

Confirming this point is American researcher from Columbia University and founder of the Reductionism movement who wants to raise public awareness on the potential for limiting our meat consumption, not only for our own well-being, but also that of the environment.

Between eating and not eating meat, you choose not to choose. Isn’t that a little too easy?
Many people are aware that their food choices have real-world consequences but believe that the only solution is to completely eliminate meat from their diet. This all-or-nothing mindset can be discouraging to the 95% of individuals who are not vegetarians or vegans. Each time we cook, order, or eat a meal, we make a choice. What food we choose to buy has a significant impact on our Planet. Reducetarianism empowers everyone to make healthier and more eco-friendly food choices in an easy and manageable way. The good news? Eating less meat is easy! Never before has it been this easy to enjoy delicious plant-based meals!
 
Some people accuse you of proposing an idea that is already well-known. I refer to the campaign Meat Free Monday by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney who, since 2009, have been encouraging people to eat less meat. What else do you propose, riducetarianism?
Reducetariansm isn't new. We're just giving it a name. Many governments, primary public health institutions, and some of the largest school districts have encouraged or enacted meat reduction campaigns. Eating meat free meals on Mondays is a great strategy for eating less meat, and we encourage our reducetarian community to draw upon this success to reduce it further. It is useful to view each meal as a choice. Here are a few ideas: skip eating meat with dinner if you aleady ate it with lunch; order a veggie burrito instead of a beef burrito; use half the meat and twice the vegetables in your favorite homemade chili recipe, cook an 8 oz. steak instead of a 16 oz. steak.
 
Do you know of a country in the world where the people have particularly virtuous eating habits and environmental behavior?
According to the FAO, the United States had the third largest per capita meat consumption, behind Luxembourg and Hong Kong, out of 171 Countries in 2005, and its citizens ate over 41 times more meat than Bangladesh, which ranked 171.
 
What about your next projects about riducetarianism?
We are in the process of designing our education and research programs. Our upcoming projects include a mobile app, educational videos, a collection of meat-free recipes, workshops, as well as a study exploring the effectiveness of “eat less meat” messaging.

Which foods are you unable to give up?
I am a reducetarian in that I actively try to decrease my meat consumption. I primarily eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I eat chicken once per week and beef once per month. I try to order smaller positions of meat from restaurants that use humanely-raised animals sourced from sustainable farms when I do. Remember, it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing - the focus of reducetarianism is on our shared committment to eating less meat, regardless of where we fall along the spectrum. Make a commitment to gradually reduce your consumption of meat even if you are unable to completely give up your favorite food. Each meal is a choice, and be mindful of what that choice means in terms of your health, the environment, and the lives of farm animals. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the world by simply eating less meat.

 
 

Prayers to the goddess of fields and crops

Culture / -

preghiere dee campi
© Frederic Soltan/Sygma/Corbis

In many ancient cultures divine figures were worshiped that were connected to agriculture. They were almost always, female figures. Prayers were intended to celebrate the mystery of winter and spring, to ingratiate oneself with the queens of crops, for prosperity and fertility (also sexual).

Goddesses of fertility, of nature and agriculture were venerated in ancient Babylon, the Middle East, in Egypt, in the Minoan-Mycenaean, in Rome, in medieval Europe (and even to this day, among the peasants of Central Europe), in Celtic countries, in ancient Mexico, including by the American Indians of North and South America, in Africa, in Asia, Polynesia, India, and in ancient China. The mother of Gaul was Cerridwen, goddess of grain. In Scandinavia there was Freyja, the goddess of ploughing and of oak trees. In all these places, and the list is certainly not complete, the figure has common qualities. It is the companion of the goddess of fertility, associated with love, animals, the moon and dew.
 
In the legendary city of Ebla (ancient Syria) as early as the third millennium BC incantations were made to Ishkara, the Lady of the Scorpion and goddess of fertility: "The queen, star of the evening that rises shining… appearing high in the sky and the lands of different nations raise their face towards her, man is consoled, women rejoice, the ox in his yoke turns his head homeward bound, sheep and goats gather ... countless donkeys and Shakan goats, desert animals, meadows and orchards, green forests of reeds, fish of the deep sea, birds of the sky ... All living beings and countless peoples kneel in front of her."
 
The ancient Egyptians worshiped Isis. We read in the 'Book of the Dead': "Great Lady, giver of life ... the divine, the only, Lady of the New Age, that maketh the sun ... Queen of the earth, the most powerful, Lady of warmth and of fire ... Lady of life, crops, bread, abundance, joy and serenity."
In ancient India joyous chanting echoed in Gangashtakam, goddess of the Ganges: "The trunks of elephants and their little ones play in your waters, fragrant with swarms of wild bees, dripping from the forehead of soaking wet elephants. Your currents, brown with sandalwood, drip from the breasts of Siddha women bathing there. Your banks are covered with sacred grass and flowers, may the waters of the Ganges protect us!"
 
The cult of nature played a key part in the religious mysteries of Greece, and Physis to whom Orphic Hymns are sung: "O Nature, mother goddess of all, mother by many measures, celeste, august, teacher, lady, victorious, invincible, ruler, shining, incorruptible, primitive, ancient, glorious night, indefatigable lover of life... a consummate force of nature, crowned, beloved, rich, expert, guide, judge, life-giver, nurturer of all ... O goddess, I beseech you, therefore, in time to bring peace and health, happiness and growth of all things."
 
Apollonius of Rhodes, testifies that the Greeks celebrated rites and offerings at the altars of Cybele, the ancient Anatolian deity and giver of fertility, also worshiped as the goddess of the mountains and nature. Her protector was Attis, the god of vegetation, in whose spring festival his death came with the first plant, greeted later with joy at his rebirth. Practiced in Lydia, the cult spread in the fifth century. B.C. where the goddess Demeter was connected to and identified with Rhea. If Cybele so wished, "clear signs would appear: the trees gave infinite fruit, the earth itself, would bring forth flowers in the soft grass under their feet and early flowers; beasts would abandon their lairs in the forest to meet each other wagging their tails."
 
Beautiful are the verses with which Callimachus, in the third century BC, praises the goddess of the fields: "Hail Demètra, great nurturer, rich with crops! May we be greeted by such a white spring, a white summer, a white winter and autumn as the great goddess queen, year by year showers her gifts on us ... And may we always rejoice like virgins carrying baskets filled with gold, gold in abundance... Hail, Demètra: defend our amity, keep this city peaceful; bring forth our yearly fields of crops, make fertile our flocks, fruits, the ears and the crops; and nurture harmony, so that those who have sown, may reap."
 
The goddess in the Roman world to inherit the legacy of Demètra, was Ceres with her country origins. She was fervently worshipped and was portrayed crowned with ears of corn and a bunch of flowers and ears of corn in her hand. She was celebrated with the feasts of Paganalia and Sementivae, from April 12 to 19, known as the Cerealia; in late May, the Ambarvali, and a series of rituals to encourage fertility of the fields. His temple near the Circus Maximus was erected by the dictator Aulio Postumio during the famine of 495 BC.
 
It is surprising that these legends of so many different origins, are yet so similar. The only possible explanation is that myths provide a psychological reality, perceived by our ancestors of these populations in the form of a divine being. A woman.
 
 

Tradition, abundance, work. Discover the countries of the Rice Cluster

Culture / -

 
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Bangladesh
© zakir hossain chowdhury/Demotix/Corbis
Bangladesh
© Mohammad Moniruzzaman/Corbis
Bangladesh
© Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/NurPhoto/Corbis
Cambogia
© Udo Weitz/dpa/Corbis
Cambogia
© Tim Page/Corbis
Cambogia
© Steven Vidler/Corbis
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
© Tessa Bunney/In Pictures/Corbis
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
© Thierry Tronnel/Corbis
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
© Tessa Bunney/In Pictures/Corbis
Myanmar
© Keren Su/Corbis
Myanmar
© Alex Treadway/National Geographic Creative/Corbis
Myanmar
© Keren Su/Corbis
Sierra Leone
© Karen Kasmauski/Corbis
Sierra Leone
© Carol Sharp/Eye Ubiquitous/Corbis
Sierra Leone

Rice has been cultivated for thousands of years and feeds half the world and. At Expo Milano 2015 it has a space of its own: the Rice Cluster -Abundance and Security. Major rice producing countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Myanmar and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic are in the Pavilion dedicated to this key element of our nutrition.

Over a million people are already #FoodConscious. What about you?

The ExpoNet Manifesto