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Over eating is an ecological issue- motivation?

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  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 739 Member Member Posts: 739 Member
    @MarttaHP I took a quick glance at my garbage to see what was in it. I found:
    - take out containers/bags (this is from my partner he will often buy food or have it delivered. Don’t get me started - it’s very irritating for me and not something I actively do)
    - Veggie, fruit and food scraps (pits, carrot tops, ends of asparagus spears that kind of stuff - my municipality doesn’t compost, but I suppose it is something I could start, not sure what to do with the dirt though as we don’t have a big yard)
    - Kleenex, paper towel (also can be composted)
    - then there are the foods that have gone bad, or leftovers we didn’t eat. These are the things that I dislike throwing out.

    Expanding on that one: it’s not a lot. With leftovers, they’re usually thrown out because I don’t feel like eating it. I know this is a poor excuse, it’s something I’m working on. I try to eat everything I buy and I don’t over buy... well maybe I need to re-evaluate that? It does seem I’m the only one using the fresh fruit and veggies as snacks and incorporating them into meals. So maybe I buy produce only for me? Hah. Is that fair to my spouse? But for food that’s gone bad, it’s usually because I don’t want to eat the same thing every day (this is a result of my privilege I realize that) and figure I shouldn’t keep leftover for more than 2 weeks.

    So from this I’m taking away:
    - re-evaluate the amount of produce I buy since I seem to be the only one who eats it regularly
    - Suck it up and eat my leftovers/ Find ways to incorporate them into lunches.
    - Third option: feed it all to the dog since she doesn’t seem to mind what she eats 😜😂

    Thanks for the food for thought.
  • greyhoundwalkergreyhoundwalker Member Posts: 4 Member Member Posts: 4 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »

    With leftovers, they’re usually thrown out because I don’t feel like eating it. I know this is a poor excuse, it’s something I’m working on...... But for food that’s gone bad, it’s usually because I don’t want to eat the same thing every day

    Im the same, don’t want to eat the same thing three days in a row. This is why I freeze leftovers because in a couple of weeks I’ll enjoy eating it again and it’s essentially a home made ready meal when I’m tired and hungry after work. I also cook and freeze veggies that might not get eaten before they go bad, and tend to buy more berries than other fruit because they freeze and defrost well. Only problem is the freezer tends to get full!
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    Kids. Omg kids create so much waste.

    We buy a lot of fruit because my kids eat a lot of fruit. That and bread is always available to them. And usually they are pretty good at eating it. Buy boy do they go through patches where they won't touch it and it rots in the bowl. Or they get a banana and because of a brown spot they won't eat it, or they get something because they are starving, eat half and throw away the rest.

    We are trying to teach them to not waste food, but it's an ongoing challenge. They are getting better, but they are also only 4 and 6.

    Also, the pickiness! We refuse to cook seperate meals. So they eat what ever we make for them. No individual meals. So this can cause waste, by them simply not eating what they are given.

    So yeah, kids.

    Yes, I suppose there's only so much one can do to make one's children finish their plate. Probably most children find the "starving kids in Africa" argument (that I definitely remember from my own childhood) quite unconvincing. I guess it must take a level of maturity brought by age to be able to acknowledge your own privilege. (Well, and of course not all of us get there even then. There are certainly a million ways I'm blind to my own privilege too.)

    I'm sure I wasn't as bothered by wasting food as a kid as I am now, but I have such a deep-seated aversion to it now that I'm certain it must have something to do with my upbringing. That, and now I just know about the environmental costs of food production, which probably is something I would not have understood/cared about as a child.
    Avidkeo wrote: »
    I believe its because we are trained and conditioned by advertising and marketing to always believe we have a choice no matter what.

    That is interesting. By choice, do you mean in what you choose to eat, or consume in general, or what? Could you expand on your thoughts about that?
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »

    So from this I’m taking away:
    - re-evaluate the amount of produce I buy since I seem to be the only one who eats it regularly
    - Suck it up and eat my leftovers/ Find ways to incorporate them into lunches.
    - Third option: feed it all to the dog since she doesn’t seem to mind what she eats 😜😂

    I agree with greyhoundwalker: could you not just stick the leftovers in your freezer for consumption later on, when you do feel like eating that same food again? I mean, of course this means you need to keep tabs on what you've actually got in there so that it's not 2 years later and you find a bunch of containers with freezer-burned meals that not even your dog would want to consume. :)

    I've probably got it easier on this front since I have a high tolerance for repetition in what I eat. I usually just make a big batch of food once a week, portion it out, freeze it, and eat it for the next several days. Also, I suppose it's simpler for me to buy only what I plan to eat since I live alone.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,090 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,090 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »

    With leftovers, they’re usually thrown out because I don’t feel like eating it. I know this is a poor excuse, it’s something I’m working on...... But for food that’s gone bad, it’s usually because I don’t want to eat the same thing every day

    Im the same, don’t want to eat the same thing three days in a row. This is why I freeze leftovers because in a couple of weeks I’ll enjoy eating it again and it’s essentially a home made ready meal when I’m tired and hungry after work. I also cook and freeze veggies that might not get eaten before they go bad, and tend to buy more berries than other fruit because they freeze and defrost well. Only problem is the freezer tends to get full!

    I like freezing leftovers, too . . . and lots of other things. In some ways, it may help reduce waste and some other negative impacts.

    This is an area where tradeoffs come in, though. If a person just freezes small amounts, then the small freezer in the fridge is fine. But there are potentially reasons to buy a bigger freezer, and run it.

    If I have more freezer space, I can buy local produce in season, and freeze it myself. Normally, this will use lower resources for transportation from around the world, possibly reduce some food waste because of the shorter supply chain, typically minmize disposable packaging, etc. I can check on the sustainability practices of the producer easily, in many cases. I can even have my own garden, if I have space at home or access to community sites, and freeze my own produce: Doing that completely clarifies many aspects of resource use, pollution, abusive labor practices, and more.

    I can also buy (or grow) things like dry beans (sometimes local ones, but not always), batch-cook and freeze them. This may reduce transportation waste (the dry beans are more compact), and the packaging from bulk buying is more minimal than buying in cans or cartons. If I ate meat, and had a family, I could buy bulk meat from a local packager and know all about it, or even hunt/fish locally for food (as some of my friends/relatives do).

    Does the cost of cooking them myself (probably less efficient than large scale cooking) and freezing outweigh the energy costs of canning, transport, etc.? I don't know. In high-flown theory, economic systems ideally ought to put all of the cost of a thing (including environmental costs) into the price, but we all know that not all exernalities are captured, and some of the costs on my side (how much energy to cook?) are hard to estimate. For sure, my home-cooked dried beans cost me less in dollars than even inexpensive canned ones, though take a bit more time.

    So, environmental cost/resources of a separate freezer, and the power to run it, vs. other waste management strategies and the costs/damages built into the grocery production/distribution that can be avoided? Dunno.

    Personally, I have the separate freezer, like it, and it's usually pretty full (especially during the pandemic) even though I live alone. (We bought it when my husband was alive, and we had a big garden, froze and canned many things.) About all I figure I can do is consider the prices I see, and the externalities I know about . . . but my comfort, happiness, and convenience are in the equation, too.

    So, one strategy to comsider for minimizing food waste (and maybe reducing some other environmental harms, or not): Get a suitable-sized chest freezer. (Top loaders are more efficient.) The cost of power to run one typically amounts to less than the price of a Starbucks latte per month, and they aren't hugely expensive to buy, either, in smaller home sizes. Most people pay quite a bit more for their TV.
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    fstrickl wrote: »
    Wonderful question. Thanks for posing it.

    This may be an unpopular opinion (and will reveal some of my true colours 🤭) but I think that the way food is marketed towards consumers is an ecological issue. I think stuffing your face in excess is problematic on a few levels, including being a good steward of resources. I don’t want to throw the blame to the invisible hand of capitalism entirely, but it seems the marketing we see for food, especially prepared and prepackaged food is “more is more”. Fitness and healthy weight loss can be such a struggle because when we look around us we are encouraged to consume. We are told we “need” these things, including food, to be healthy. I believe this is largely baloney. Sure some of these things are nice and helpful to some degree (ex: a food scale, overpriced but yummy protein bars... I’m looking at you RX Bars 🤤) but a sustainable diet is one that is good for the individual, the environment, and is socially sustainable as well. I believe we have duty to care for the earth because it gives us everything we need to survive, and when I choose to buy things, including food the fuels me, I want to make choices that are good for me and food for the earth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not farming my own land and eating seasonally all year round, but I’m trying to make these kinds of choices and trying is better than not!

    I could talk about this at length. But I don’t want to be on a soap box. Either way, I completely agree with what you said. Everyone is different and shouldn’t eat the same, but I think your query is an excellent motivator on many levels.

    Ps: I have also been called a hippie, (or a bleeding heart socialist by my father) so I kinda feel ya there. (I’m not really a hippie but I so want to be).

    That was all really interesting, and also thoughts I have. I want to someday grow all my own food and eat meat my husband hunts. I'm currently a vegetarian, but I believe ecologically speaking hunted meat is better than highly processed soy products.
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    Good points all!!

    Another important point- packaging!!
    Think about this- the amount of packaging needed for tap or home filtered water, fresh fruits, veggies, meat, fish etc is minimal but the amount of packaging required for bottled water, Soda pop, chips (crisps), frozen dinners etc has a huge environmental impact. It is made from fossil fuels, mined metals and trees and requires much by way of transportation and refrigeration.
    When I’m “eating clean” the trash bin looks empty compared to when it used to be stuffed with frozen food packages, candy wrappers etc.

    This! It's interesting but true- when I'm eating healthier, i often have much less garbage... because I'm picking up produce mostly and yes I use reusable bags....
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    cgvet37 wrote: »
    No one forces you to eat. It's about personal responsibility.

    This is a no brainer, and not sure why you said it in response to my post. But I will say, food addiction is real. So is personal responsibility. But don't pretend like the experience of trying to control your eating is the same for everyone.
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    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.
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    fstrickl wrote: »
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Food waste is a big problem, I try my hardest not to throw away food.

    I rarely do it, maybe once a month at most.

    Somehow I missed this. That’s so impressive! What are some steps you take to reduce food waste?

    Is it impressive? Honestly, I'm baffled by the fact that households generate so much food waste. 43% in the US according to this report, which is probably similar to most developed countries. I've never understood how, why. Can anyone offer any insight into this? What kinds of foods do you throw out, and why?

    Me, I buy only what I intend to eat, I eat everything I buy. Very occasionally I might throw out a piece of fruit that I didn't notice at the store had started going moldy and brought home. I suppose that maybe with children things might be more complicated - my 10-month old nephew throws much of his food on the floor, and not even his aunt who finds food waste abhorrent will pick it up and eat it herself. But then again he's small, so it's not as if he eats (or wastes) much to begin with. Shouldn't adults be able to plan what they are going to eat and act accordingly?

    I used to work in a grocery store and that was actually where i saw the most waste. They wanted the shelves to always look full, which meant always buying more product than would actually sell. A LOT was tossed there regularly. and that was a health food store.
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    MarttaHP wrote: »
    fstrickl wrote: »
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Food waste is a big problem, I try my hardest not to throw away food.

    I rarely do it, maybe once a month at most.

    Somehow I missed this. That’s so impressive! What are some steps you take to reduce food waste?

    Is it impressive? Honestly, I'm baffled by the fact that households generate so much food waste. 43% in the US according to this report, which is probably similar to most developed countries. I've never understood how, why. Can anyone offer any insight into this? What kinds of foods do you throw out, and why?

    Me, I buy only what I intend to eat, I eat everything I buy. Very occasionally I might throw out a piece of fruit that I didn't notice at the store had started going moldy and brought home. I suppose that maybe with children things might be more complicated - my 10-month old nephew throws much of his food on the floor, and not even his aunt who finds food waste abhorrent will pick it up and eat it herself. But then again he's small, so it's not as if he eats (or wastes) much to begin with. Shouldn't adults be able to plan what they are going to eat and act accordingly?

    I used to work in a grocery store and that was actually where i saw the most waste. They wanted the shelves to always look full, which meant always buying more product than would actually sell. A LOT was tossed there regularly. and that was a health food store.

    To be sure, restaurants and retailers are responsible for a large portion of food waste. Still, in the report I linked above it says than in the US grocery stores only account for 13% of the total (again, households are at 43%). They also do more to reduce this amount - they are profit-driven businesses, after all, and more waste means less profit. It can also be an image issue (I know that at least where I live, one chain is leaning heavy into their status as the "most sustainable food retailer in the world" as determined by Corporate Knights).
  • MarttaHPMarttaHP Member Posts: 40 Member Member Posts: 40 Member
    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.

    Yes, I only brought it up because your initial post made me think about my own lifestyle choices. Then again, excessive exercise is only one of the various ways my lifestyle requires more resources and produces more waste than strictly necessary. Again, because I am a well-off resident of a wealthy country.
  • fstricklfstrickl Member Posts: 739 Member Member Posts: 739 Member
    @antiopelle that sounds like a really cool app! I’m going to see if it’s set up in my city!
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,313 Member Member Posts: 24,313 Member
    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.
  • CorvusCorax77CorvusCorax77 Member Posts: 2,520 Member Member Posts: 2,520 Member
    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.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,313 Member Member Posts: 24,313 Member
    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?
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,090 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,090 Member
    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?

    Mild aside here: This is reminding me of that discussion we had on that other thread, about how much it matters what one's motivation for doing a thing is, vs. what objective consequences that action has in the world - whether doing the right thing for the wrong reasons has a different (lower) moral value, essentially.

    On this thread, I'm with you (if I'm interpreting you right): What matters, in the context of an ecological discussion, is our resource usage and its impact. Unless we somehow use those "excess" resources to mitigate a larger problem** - then it seems like the net result of using more resources is the same, no matter the reason. (** Like if I were eating more calories to fuel debris-clearing and rebuilding to help other people after the recent hurricane, for example, as opposed to eating extra calories to either satisfy appetites (while adding fat to my body) or fuel exercise (done purely for my own benefit).

    FWIW, I took you as questioning/critiquing "fatphobia" rather than advancing it when you mentioned the association with "laziness" or "greed".

    While admitting that the difference to the world at large is small, if I consume 3000 vs. 2000 calories daily (for whatever reason), and can probably be countered by other personal actions (eating food I grow myself, say), the society-wide accumulation of those individual 1000 "excess" calories is exactly "Someone who doesn't have the same resources" . . . "being prevented from accessing resources because other people over-eat."

    We developed-world rich people (in global terms "rich", so most of us) consume more than our global share of current food resources. We do it while people elsewhere in the world - some of whom actually participate in producing/packaging/processing those very food resources we consume - don't have adequate food resources themselves (nutritionally, maybe even calorically).

    At one level, I agree with PP that "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." Still, faced with a world where large numbers of people don't have an opportunity to exercise that "right" . . . . hmmm.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,405 Member Member Posts: 1,405 Member
    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.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,313 Member Member Posts: 24,313 Member
    AnnPT77 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?

    Mild aside here: This is reminding me of that discussion we had on that other thread, about how much it matters what one's motivation for doing a thing is, vs. what objective consequences that action has in the world - whether doing the right thing for the wrong reasons has a different (lower) moral value, essentially.

    On this thread, I'm with you (if I'm interpreting you right): What matters, in the context of an ecological discussion, is our resource usage and its impact. Unless we somehow use those "excess" resources to mitigate a larger problem** - then it seems like the net result of using more resources is the same, no matter the reason. (** Like if I were eating more calories to fuel debris-clearing and rebuilding to help other people after the recent hurricane, for example, as opposed to eating extra calories to either satisfy appetites (while adding fat to my body) or fuel exercise (done purely for my own benefit).

    FWIW, I took you as questioning/critiquing "fatphobia" rather than advancing it when you mentioned the association with "laziness" or "greed".

    While admitting that the difference to the world at large is small, if I consume 3000 vs. 2000 calories daily (for whatever reason), and can probably be countered by other personal actions (eating food I grow myself, say), the society-wide accumulation of those individual 1000 "excess" calories is exactly "Someone who doesn't have the same resources" . . . "being prevented from accessing resources because other people over-eat."

    We developed-world rich people (in global terms "rich", so most of us) consume more than our global share of current food resources. We do it while people elsewhere in the world - some of whom actually participate in producing/packaging/processing those very food resources we consume - don't have adequate food resources themselves (nutritionally, maybe even calorically).

    At one level, I agree with PP that "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." Still, faced with a world where large numbers of people don't have an opportunity to exercise that "right" . . . . hmmm.

    Yes, I think you are interpreting me right and I agree with you. When we're not talking about consuming excess calories used to help other individuals or the earth in a concrete way, I don't see the net results of over-consuming to be relevant morally. It is not better for me to over-consume for a marathon than it would be for me to overconsume just because I like it. You can argue that one may be a better choice for MY happiness or long-term wellbeing, but that's a whole other discussion.

    It's either right to consume extra calories for pleasure or it's wrong. The exact FORM of the pleasure (that is, whether my pleasure is running or just eating) is irrelevant. How I personally justify this is my understanding that me not eating those extra calories isn't going to get food to a person who needs it. The problems of hunger and unequal resources are more complex than "I am eating this food, therefore someone else can't eat it." The problem isn't the literal lack of food, it's a whole tangle of political and economic issues that I attempt to address with other actions I take. Maybe that's justification, but that's my reasoning.

    I completely agree that we have a right to exist. I don't think a commitment to ecology requires us to remove ourselves from the earth. You're also right that I wasn't endorsing equating excess weight with laziness or greed, I was pointing out that it's hard for me to envision an argument that excess calories are morally justified if you're active, but wrong in other circumstances, that doesn't involve some version of this thinking.
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