Food is in the news, and many people are considering what’s MOGO (Most Good) when they make their food choices. But making MOGO food choices can be complicated. Taking into consideration what’s best for people, animals, the environment, and oneself in a system that is extremely complex isn’t easy.
Periodically, a food movement will emerge that seems to answer the question, “What’s the MOGO diet?” For about two decades the vegan movement has grown substantially because it has made connections between the protection of individual health, world hunger, ecological protection, and animal rights. The organic food movement has also grown considerably, too, buttressing the vegan movement with another lens through which to make MOGO food choices.
Recently, the locavore movement has emerged, and its proponents argue that eating locally, including eating animal-based foods and choosing local over organic when local organic is unavailable, is MOGO, because local foods require less energy to transport and help communities create food security in unreliable energy times.
But then there are studies that show that eating foods considered local (within 150 miles) that are transported by small farmers in small trucks is actually less energy-efficient than eating foods grown further away but trucked in a single large vehicle, and still other studies show that local meat still contributes more global warming gasses than non-local non-animal foods. Such studies don’t diminish the positive effects of truly local food (within 20 miles for example), and the food security that can happen through sustainable, local agriculture, but they point out that local shouldn’t be the only lens for MOGO food.
I believe that when we grab onto a food concept, like vegan or local or organic and make all our choices through this single lens, we limit our capacity to make truly MOGO food choices. It’s much easier to choose foods through a single lens, and I understand the desire to do so to simplify such complicated choices, but instead, we can consider several lenses when choosing food.
My criteria for MOGO food, which I describe at greater length in my book, Most Good, Least Harm, are these:
As often as possible, choose foods that are:
- Locally and organically produced.
- In season.
- Produced through fair trade practices.
- Whole and unprocessed.
- Not overly-packaged, and if packaged, only in recycled and recyclable materials.
- Low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Produced without refined sugars and without hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Produced without abuse towards and exploitation of animals.
- Not genetically engineered.
Filed under: food and diet, MOGO (Most Good) | Tagged: animal protection, Environmental Preservation, fair trade, food and diet, genetically modified, healthy, human rights, local, MOGO, Most Good Least Harm, organic, vegan, whole foods | Comments Off