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Over eating is an ecological issue- motivation?

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  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 23,787 Member Member Posts: 23,787 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    I'm maintaining my weight, so in that sense I'm not consuming calories in excess. But arguably I'm burning many more calories than necessary by exercising much more than needed for optimal health. I don't need to run six days a week. I don't need to train for a marathon.

    I presume that marathons, or really any very physically active hobby, are largely a wealthy person activity. I can afford to consume ~2,600 relatively healthy calories a day.

    Yeah to be clear, I'm not advocating people stop fueling their exercises for the earth. I'm just thinking in terms of someone who is in a position like me- I work out, I eat, but I'm overweight. I obviously over-eat. And it is in contradiction with my ethics to over consume limited resources like this.

    I don't know if there is a meaningful ethical difference between someone who consumes 2,200 a day (for example) to maintain excess body weight and someone who consumes 2,200 a day in order to fuel an active lifestyle for recreational purposes. Both are over-consumption. I think we tend to assign more "virtue" to the latter choice because of our feelings around excess weight and the association with "laziness" or "greed."

    But from the point of view of someone who doesn't have access to the same resources, both decisions might look pretty much the same to me.

    I'm not sure, I'm just pondering here.

    Someone who doesn't have the same resources isn't being prevented from accessing resources because other people over-eat. That's an entirely different discussion...

    But I do think there is a difference between over consuming food in a way that is harmful to your health, and consuming food to fuel your activity. If we start saying someone shouldn't exercise because then they'll eat more and then they'll be contributing to ecological destruction is the same line of thinking that says that humans should just kill themselves because our existence is bad for the earth. We, just like any other creature on the earth, have a right to exist. We have a right to be healthy. And we have a right to eat enough to be healthy.

    When you mention "virtue" and "laziness" and "greed" I sense that we are touching on issues of fatphobia, which I will also be clear: I am opposed to fatphobia. I'm not advocating we go out and ridicule people who are overweight for being greedy and destroying the earth. I was literally just thinking that this was another way of thinking about over eating, and another reason to gain control over it. I can't recall now if i ever mentioned in my original post, but I do see myself as a "food addict." Eating as an addiction is not the same as eating for sustenance.

    What is the problem with eating more than I need to maintain excess body weight if we're not talking about limited resources?

    If I'm using resources I don't need, it initially seems illogical to me to have a group of situations where that is okay and a group of situations where it isn't okay.

    I don't need to eat 2,200 calories a day, I do it because I choose to go out and run and I use those calories to fuel it. Again, what's the meaningful difference between the pleasure I get from that running and the pleasure someone else may get from eating those calories and using them to maintain excess body weight?

    I'm not talking about the difference in the impact to their life. In the context of an ecological discussion, what is the meaningful difference between those two types of recreational chosen pleasure?

    If talking about the use of scarce resources, the person that uses the extra calories to fuel exercise at an appropriate bodyweight is gong to statistically use fewer medical/health related resources vs some eating to maintain excess bodyweight.

    If one accepts that eating more than one needs is bad because it is using scarce resources and also that voluntarily being in a group at a higher risk for needing medical care is bad because it is more like to use another set of scarce resources, then the most ecological action to take would be to exercise at the level of public health recommendations and limiting calorie intake to what is considered necessary for good health.

    I don't do that - I exercise way more than that for the pure purposes of pleasure. I don't see a meaningful difference between myself and someone who is eating the equivalent number of calories and carrying extra weight in terms of the moral impact of our over-consumption of food.

    And this isn't even touching on the group of people who undertake activity specifically because it will allow them to eat more than they otherwise would while maintaining a healthy body weight.

    I am very open to the argument that the person who takes the action outlined above (balancing activity recommended for health with a desire to limit gross calorie consumption) is making a better ecological choice than I am, what I'm rejecting is the distinction between myself and an overweight non-active person.
  • northviewvintagenorthviewvintage Member Posts: 906 Member Member Posts: 906 Member
    Well, I feel like a person has to be somewhat ignorant of how most of the world lives to truly enjoy living a life of luxury and over consumption. It's almost a religion for me to avoid this type of life. ( I am a citizen of a federally recognized tribe of American Indians, too, although I don't know how much of my DNA is actually indiginous.) I don't really associate this with bodyweight because I think someone can be quite overweight eating a simple, cheap diet of poor choices. However, yes, the idea of living in balance with my environment definately motivates me to live and eat a certain way. I'll check out that research!
    I was wondering if anyone else thinks about the ecological impacts of over eating, and if anyone else is motivated by that? The idea first came to me when I heard we were fishing the ocean to death. While I am a vegetarian and I was vegan for 11 years, I don't believe that veganism or vegetarianism is a one size fits all solution (because I'm indigenous too and my ancestors didn't destroy their land base by hunting).

    Anyways, so it turns out some folks have done some maths around the idea that over eating causes ecological destruction. It's not a perfect science, but they looked at how much of the population had how much of a BMI and the typical diet in that region, and calculated an approximately 240 billion tons of CO2 in the atmosphere caused by over eating alone.

    Here's a link: https://www.treehugger.com/overeating-terrible-planet-4856664

    Of course, I know some of us need to eat more (you weight lifting beefcakes!), so again not a "one size fits all" approach, but I thought this was a really interesting thing to look into.

    I'm an earth loving hippie, so this motivates me to get my eating addiction under control.

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,456 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    I'm maintaining my weight, so in that sense I'm not consuming calories in excess. But arguably I'm burning many more calories than necessary by exercising much more than needed for optimal health. I don't need to run six days a week. I don't need to train for a marathon.

    I presume that marathons, or really any very physically active hobby, are largely a wealthy person activity. I can afford to consume ~2,600 relatively healthy calories a day.

    Yeah to be clear, I'm not advocating people stop fueling their exercises for the earth. I'm just thinking in terms of someone who is in a position like me- I work out, I eat, but I'm overweight. I obviously over-eat. And it is in contradiction with my ethics to over consume limited resources like this.

    I don't know if there is a meaningful ethical difference between someone who consumes 2,200 a day (for example) to maintain excess body weight and someone who consumes 2,200 a day in order to fuel an active lifestyle for recreational purposes. Both are over-consumption. I think we tend to assign more "virtue" to the latter choice because of our feelings around excess weight and the association with "laziness" or "greed."

    But from the point of view of someone who doesn't have access to the same resources, both decisions might look pretty much the same to me.

    I'm not sure, I'm just pondering here.

    Someone who doesn't have the same resources isn't being prevented from accessing resources because other people over-eat. That's an entirely different discussion...

    But I do think there is a difference between over consuming food in a way that is harmful to your health, and consuming food to fuel your activity. If we start saying someone shouldn't exercise because then they'll eat more and then they'll be contributing to ecological destruction is the same line of thinking that says that humans should just kill themselves because our existence is bad for the earth. We, just like any other creature on the earth, have a right to exist. We have a right to be healthy. And we have a right to eat enough to be healthy.

    When you mention "virtue" and "laziness" and "greed" I sense that we are touching on issues of fatphobia, which I will also be clear: I am opposed to fatphobia. I'm not advocating we go out and ridicule people who are overweight for being greedy and destroying the earth. I was literally just thinking that this was another way of thinking about over eating, and another reason to gain control over it. I can't recall now if i ever mentioned in my original post, but I do see myself as a "food addict." Eating as an addiction is not the same as eating for sustenance.

    What is the problem with eating more than I need to maintain excess body weight if we're not talking about limited resources?

    If I'm using resources I don't need, it initially seems illogical to me to have a group of situations where that is okay and a group of situations where it isn't okay.

    I don't need to eat 2,200 calories a day, I do it because I choose to go out and run and I use those calories to fuel it. Again, what's the meaningful difference between the pleasure I get from that running and the pleasure someone else may get from eating those calories and using them to maintain excess body weight?

    I'm not talking about the difference in the impact to their life. In the context of an ecological discussion, what is the meaningful difference between those two types of recreational chosen pleasure?

    If talking about the use of scarce resources, the person that uses the extra calories to fuel exercise at an appropriate bodyweight is gong to statistically use fewer medical/health related resources vs some eating to maintain excess bodyweight.

    Yup, complicated. Anything we choose involves a web of precursors (like supply chains) and after-effects (like health consequences). The comment I'm quoting and other recent posts on the thread make the complexity of precursors and consequences, *and* the complexity of moral reasoning about them, quite clear.

    Which is basically why I started out with the assertion that "all of us relatively well off people living in developed countries are unavoidable little moving bundles of global harm", that "decent people start by taking the mitigation steps that are *easiest* for each of us personally, as best we understand what's right", and that "I think it's kind of tasteful not to be ostentatious or proud about any of it, or cast aspersions on people who do otherwise in any one way".

    Got me two disagrees last time, think I can get two more? 🤣

    For clarity: I think we should all do what we reasonably can, the best way we can. But we still remain part of a wasteful, ecologically destructive system, from which we benefit.
  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 650 Member Member Posts: 650 Member
    *snip*
    Yup, complicated. Anything we choose involves a web of precursors (like supply chains) and after-effects (like health consequences). The comment I'm quoting and other recent posts on the thread make the complexity of precursors and consequences, *and* the complexity of moral reasoning about them, quite clear.

    Which is basically why I started out with the assertion that "all of us relatively well off people living in developed countries are unavoidable little moving bundles of global harm", that "decent people start by taking the mitigation steps that are *easiest* for each of us personally, as best we understand what's right", and that "I think it's kind of tasteful not to be ostentatious or proud about any of it, or cast aspersions on people who do otherwise in any one way".

    Got me two disagrees last time, think I can get two more? 🤣

    For clarity: I think we should all do what we reasonably can, the best way we can. But we still remain part of a wasteful, ecologically destructive system, from which we benefit.

    I think your comments have been well thought out and articulated clearly!

    Of course the best thing for the planet is to stop exploiting any of its resources, but that’s not really an option is it? For me it’s each individual doing they best they can in what ways they are able as @AnnPT77 has mentioned. I think in addition to this it’s also important to hold the systems we are in accountable for their actions, including not supporting them if they don’t meet your expectations of sustainability (ex: fast fashion). It won’t ever be perfect but that’s not the point. I am privileged and should use that privilege to advance causes for good, not relish ignorantly in it. (Step our of the cave and see the shadows for what they are if you’re into Western Philosophy).

    TL;DR we will always be producing waste, as humans humans we have intrinsic value, but also if we are able we should do what we can to reduce waste and better the systems we are in. Including analyzing our own privilege and assess what excess is in our lives.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,840 Member Member Posts: 1,840 Member
    If this idea motivates you then more power to you! :) I’ve thought about having lessened my ecological impact due to the fact that I am a barefoot runner. I run barefoot because to me it feels natural and fun but I realize I’m also saving the planet a teeny tiny bit from having to manufacture, transport and later dispose of multiple pairs of running shoes every single year for many years and that’s definitely an added bonus in my opinion :)

    There's a startup company that I track because I've done some recruiting in the algae space. They take started by taking toxic algae out of lakes and making the foam insoles. Now they are up to making entire shoes from toxic algae. Taking things out of lakes that harm the fish and using it for something constructive. I don't work with these guys but I'm connected to Bloom's owners. I love what they are doing.

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/these-sustainable-sneakers-were-made-algae-180963483/#:~:text=The new product is the brainchild of Vivobarefoot,,material,” for performance footwear, according to Vivobarefoot’s website.

    This is a strong topic for me. I'm all about sustainability. I've been working as a Consultant/Advisor with startups in these areas for decades. I recently bid to work with a CA company that was creating enzymes that would "eat" plastic. I got underbid, even though I gave them a ridiculously cheap proposal (for me) because I wanted to work with them so badly. Would have loved to have done that. I am working with one company that is trying to change the landscape of large building wasted energy in the US (and around the world). I'm recruiting for them for next to nothing right now to help them grow. It's a really exciting tech that can reduce energy waste in large buildings (with an exterior facade retrofit product) by up to 40% for 20% of the traditional costs. It's starting to explode and many of the largest building owners in the US are seriously interested in it -- big players, like the largest building owner in NYC. In 15 to 20 years, I believe you'll see large buildings in cities not only not use energy, but generate it, like mini power plants. I would love to see that before I pass.

    On a side note, one tragedy of Covid-19 is people, like me, can't bring their produce bags into the grocery store. I have mesh produce bags as well as reusable bags to carry home the groceries. One use produce bags disgust me but I refuse to just throw all my produce in the nasty cart too. Can't wait till I can use them again. I just hate single use plastic.

    I was raised in a family of 8 where nothing went to waste, so I'm pretty good about that. Since I've moved to AZ, though, I haven't been composting as much. It's tougher to get the "brown" part of the compost. I have plenty of "green" material, but not enough brown except cardboard boxes, which I recycle. Also, there's not a ton to use the compost for in the desert but I'd like to donate it if I could or use it in pots for growing things for the local pantry if I can't use it all myself.
    edited September 4
  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 650 Member Member Posts: 650 Member
    @MikePfirrman wow! That’s a super cool initiative, I hope you get many more chances to bid! Someone’s gotta take you up on it!

    Agree about the produce bags, fortunately my city allows you bring your own you just need to bag the items yourself. Sometimes when there’s a line I feel the pressure and bag so fast I work up a sweat. Hah!
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Member Posts: 5,510 Member Member Posts: 5,510 Member
    Antiopelle wrote: »
    Here in Belgium (and probably other countries too), we can download an app to see where there will be leftovers from supermarkets in a certain area around your house. You can then make a reservation and get a bag that would normally been thrown away at the end of the day.
    I pay around 5€ for a bag that contains a value of 15€ plus. Of course, you never know what you will get (fresh produce, yoghurts, cheese, bread or even fresh meals that will be past the selling day that very same day). In my experience, almost everything can be used or freezed.
    The main purpose is to reduce waste at the supermarkets.
    The app is called toogoodtogo .

    They have one like that here in the US too called flashfood
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 1,840 Member Member Posts: 1,840 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »
    @MikePfirrman wow! That’s a super cool initiative, I hope you get many more chances to bid! Someone’s gotta take you up on it!

    Agree about the produce bags, fortunately my city allows you bring your own you just need to bag the items yourself. Sometimes when there’s a line I feel the pressure and bag so fast I work up a sweat. Hah!

    I still use my bags to take the groceries home. Though you have to bag it yourself, I ask if the bagger can unload my groceries and it works out great. We just exchange sides.

    I have mesh produce bags, though, that aren't allowed (for the produce department). They'll let you use your own bags to take groceries home but they won't let you use produce mesh bags because they'd have to touch the belt and the clerk would have to touch them, which right now isn't possible.

  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 650 Member Member Posts: 650 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »
    @MikePfirrman wow! That’s a super cool initiative, I hope you get many more chances to bid! Someone’s gotta take you up on it!

    Agree about the produce bags, fortunately my city allows you bring your own you just need to bag the items yourself. Sometimes when there’s a line I feel the pressure and bag so fast I work up a sweat. Hah!

    I still use my bags to take the groceries home. Though you have to bag it yourself, I ask if the bagger can unload my groceries and it works out great. We just exchange sides.

    I have mesh produce bags, though, that aren't allowed (for the produce department). They'll let you use your own bags to take groceries home but they won't let you use produce mesh bags because they'd have to touch the belt and the clerk would have to touch them, which right now isn't possible.

    Ah yes, I see what you mean now. Yeah, we can’t do that here either. I miss taking my mesh bags for produce, and glass containers for bulk! I don’t need rice/oats etc in a plastic bag when I can just scoop it from the bulk section into a container I brought from home!
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