‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Overeating: Unsustainable

Pie Hole devotees have probably picked up on my partiality towards environmental sustainability. It's true, lights ineptly left on, fridge doors absentmindedly open and taps uselessly bleeding water make me inwardly retch. Call me a tree-hugging, environmental millennial... Heck, I'm proud.

Previous articles feature tips, tricks and typical ways to thwart overeating. Usually that's from a weight loss or weight management perspective. Today, let's put the environment before our pie holes.

Overeating is not sustainable. Plain and simple. We have too many people on this planet and we're pigging out to the point of disease, death and environmental demise.

Now, there are plenty of people pushing for diets devoid of animal products for this exact reason. But humans evolved eating a variety of foods, including delicious animal products (1, 2, 3). Choosing to eat Bessie the Cow, Henny Penny or Henny Penny's unfertilised eggs is exactly that... a choice. There are many ways to help the environment. Screaming "meat is murder" is one way, but luckily for the carnivores among us, the other way is not the highway.

Wastefulness is a staple in many western homes. We could improve the environment by treating food with respect, rather than an ever-renewable commodity. Food is a privilege, and it's not till you go somewhere where food is scarce does one truly appreciate this. (1, 2, 3)

The point is, over 60% of the American population is overweight or obese. Translation: 60% of Americans are in a perpetual state of overeating. And yes, that Ultra Mega Supersized Big Double Gulp or that Gatorade in one of your car's 12 cup holders counts as food.

Animal products tend to be the foods our culture over-consumes, and sadly they are produced at a high cost to the environment.

The good news is, if you're like me and enjoy a diet that includes the nutritional variety and tastiness of animal products, you don't have to give them up. To state the findings of numerous studies simply: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

  • Listen to your body: Eat when hungry, stop when full
  • Plant foods are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals
  • Plant foods are filling, they improve your health, help you poop, and protect you from chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes
  • Add extra veggies to meals to displace some of the meat (it'll save you money)
  • Avoid processed foods (yes, your favourite protein powders and bars are processed foods)
  • Treat food with respect, rather than a disposable commodity (there are starving children... in the USA!)

Further reading:

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