This morning, I was doing a bit of research to figure out how much food an adult should eat every year. I also wondered how much I might be able to grow, dry and transform myself.
It wasn’t an easy task, as most of the information these days seems targeted to daily consumption.
According the World Health Organization, adults should eat at least 1,200 calories per day, depending on age and activity. Of that, 400g should consist of fruits and vegetables per day. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots do not count within this total. Salt intake should be limited to 5 grams (and not more).1
Most of us in industrialized countries eat more than double what we need, more than 3,000 calories a day.2
I’m definitely among those eating too much these days. Most of my clothes no longer fit.
According to the guidelines, a sedentary woman my age should eat 1,600 calories a day, so I’ve set MyFitness Pal to 1,200 calories per day to ensure warnings as I get close to the target. In an article for Harvard Medical School, Daniel Pendick estimates that a woman of my age and weight should eat roughly 53 grams of protein a day.3
My main goal is to eat a diet that’s less damaging. I want to use local resources and prevent climate change.
As inspiration, I read about Rob Greenfield, who decided to experiment growing and foraging his own food for a year in Orlando Florida. The only challenge for him was protein; fishing didn’t provide enough for him so he relied on eating deer kill.4 Don’t think I’ll try anything that extreme this year, but his projects definitely provide a baseline of what’s possible in warmer climates.
According to a Los Angeles Times article by Deborah Netburn, 37 colleagues from 16 countries around the world published a study in Lancet about a sustainable diet for 2050. That diet limites us to one tablespoon of red meat per day (ie one hamburger per week or one steak per month), one glass of dairy beverage per day, two servings of fish per week, one egg per week and many more whole grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables.5
I did a bit more research about that diet and discovered that it comes from a nonprofit company called EAT, which itself is funded by the Stordalen Foundation, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Wellcome Trust.
According to that diet, we should eat:
at least 125 grams of dry beans, lentils, peas and other nuts or legumes per day; and
no more than 98 grams of red meat (pork, beef or lamb), 203 grams of poultry and 196 grams of fish per week.
Everything else should be fruit and vegetables.6
Most of the resources on that site talk about transforming the industrial food system to become more sustainable, a goal I heartily endorse. I’d also like to grow as much food myself too. When I plugged info about that into Google, however, I got a lot of survival-oriented sites about storing food for a year.
So far, the best resource I found for my needs is a blog, book and podcast series by Melissa K. Norris. Norris writes about pioneering and homesteading. In a recent post, she recommends that each person plant 10 to 20 bean plants for canned and dried beans throughout the year. She also recommends 15 bulbs of garlic, and 5 tomato plants per person, 5 cucumber plants, 3 winter squash plants and 1 summer squash plant.7
Of course, she lives in Washington, so the homegrown season lasts a little longer there than it does here in Montreal, so I’m not sure if her estimates will match what I need.
Guess I’ll have to do a bit of experimenting over the coming year. Stay with me and hopefully, we’ll answer the question by the end of the year.
1https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet, accessed on January 21, 2020.
2https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/, accessed on January 21, 2020
3Pendick, Daniel. “How much protein do you need every day,” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, June 18, 2015, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096, accessed on January 21, 2020.
4Greenfield, Rob. “I didn’t buy any food for a year and I’m healthier than I’ve ever been,” The Gardian, December 19, 2019; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/19/i-didnt-buy-any-food-for-a-year-and-im-healthier-than-ive-ever-been, accessed January 21, 2020.
5Netburn, Deborah, “Your Sustainable Diet for the year 2050,” January 19, 2019, Los Angeles Times. https://phys.org/news/2019-01-sustainable-diet-year-nuts-sugar.html, accessed January 21, 2020.
7Norris, Melissa K. “How much to plant for a year’s worth of food,” April 10, 2017, https://melissaknorris.com/how-much-to-plant-for-a-years-worth-of-food/, accessed on January 21, 2020.
The 8th Annual Food Revolution Summit begins later this month.
This is something I listen to every April. These conversations have given me more nutritional and medical knowledge than any other activity I’ve ever participated in, including the times I’ve met with a nutritionist about my own diet.
I’ve gained an extra 10 pounds since January, so I’ll be listening with an aim to re-inspire my efforts to eat well and exercise enough.
The sessions are free for nine days. After that, the Food Revolution sells mp3 copies of all the interviews as a way to fund raise for their organization.
I’m always an affiliate of the event, so if you use my affiliate link to sign up for the conference and then you purchase something, I get a commission. Thank you if you choose to support my work this way.
The first time I listened to this event, I heard the following speakers:
Have you ever participated in this summit? If so, who were your favourite speakers.
Today, 33 major academic and pharmaceutical research partners publicly agreed to share health data in an open science system to combat Alzheimer’s, dementia, mental illness, spinal cord injuries and other diseases that affect the brains of approximately 11 million people across Canada.
They did so because they now have secure computer resources within a network called the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP).
CONP was made possible through a $10 million dollar grant from the Canada Brain Research Fund. David Lametti, Member of Parliament for LaSalle-Émard-Verdun and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced the grant earlier today.
The project is designed to allow researchers to share, store, analyze, and disseminate data using 8,000-10,000 terabytes of storage space from Compute Canada. Partners have also agreed to create and participate in inter-disciplinary training through the new organization.
This step is the next crucial element in creating the vision announced on December 16, 2016 by Larry Tanenbaum in the presence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Tanenbaum, the Chairman and CEO of Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited engineering construction company, donated $20 million dollars to create the Tanenbaum Open Science Institute at The Neuro.
The Open Science Institute operates under five philosophies designed to spur on innovation through unusual collaboration.
Partners agree to:
In addition to the Neuro at McGill, partners in todays announcement included: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Western University, Brock University, University of Toronto, York University, Queen’s University, Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montreal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université Laval, and Dalhousie University.