How Ramen Burritos and Rainbow Bagels Can Change the World

Here's a tasty idea to chew on....

If you spend more money pleasing your tastebuds than you do buying clothes, we totally relate. "For the first time in history, young people are spending more on food than clothing," writes author Eve Turow Paul, author of "A Taste of Generation Yum: How the Millennial Generation's Love for Organic Fare, Celebrity Chefs and Microbrews Will Make or Break the Future of Food."

"Nearly 50 percent of us claim to be 'foodies,'" she adds in a recent article on Medium, titled "How Millennials Faked the Food Movement." But it's one thing to chase down fun and fascinating food experiences and share them with our friends. It's another thing to turn that passion for food into a commitment that can truly change the planet. 

As we all hunt down those rainbow bagels and ramen burritos, or make reservations at the latest farm-to-table restaurant, we might not be noticing the ways in which food-policy makers in government are quietly destroying small organic farms, ravaging the environment, contributing to a rise in diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, depriving low-income families of access to healthy food, robbing restaurant workers of living wages—and the list goes on.

Photo via Instagram.

The mountain of food-related issues that need urgent attention might seem daunting, but Paul and other food activists are looking at this cultural moment as the perfect time to make some major changes.

"From everything I can see, us rainbow-bagel-loving, kombucha-brewing foodies are only influencing policy when it directly benefits us as individuals, not us as a nation," she writes. "As a generation that wholeheartedly understands the power of food, we can be taking this passion so much further. This could be our revolution."

As Michael Pollan said to Paul when she interviewed him for her book: “I’m kind of counting on this generation to pull things together.” That sounds like a tall order, but even the tiniest efforts can have a big impact.

She points out that "this doesn’t mean young people have to give up the Buzzfeed videos on the ingenious things you can accomplish with a waffle iron, but it does mean that perhaps in addition, young adults can start to share articles on how to mitigate food waste with delicious recipes as much as we share articles about fun ice cream flavors."

Photo via Instagram.

With the presidential election coming up, this is a pivotal moment to call for changes in food policy. "Let the candidates know that that’s what’s important and your vote depends on it," Paul adds.

To find out more about how to make a difference, read the rest of the article here.

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