1) A person who, by shaping people’s tastes and establishing a demand for certain foods, protects ecosystems and supports ecologically friendly farming practices.

2) A person who facilitates eating behaviors that are adapted what the planet can produce (and do so without habit destruction).

3) A person who is knowledgeable about our existing food production systems and how those systems strain or harm our ecosystems and who seeks out food producers whose practices are complementary or beneficial to ecosystems.

4) A person capable of directing the tastes of human beings towards food sources that aid the planet’s ecosystems or complement them instead of harming them; an environmentalist.

5) A person who makes, for farmers, the growing of ecosystem-friendly crops and ecologically-friendly farming practices economically feasible—and gives farmers confidence that there is a market for what they grow and produce.

A chef can and will, for instance, develop a taste, among his or her customers, for ecosystem friendly forms of protein over steak, for example (as a steak is resource intensive to produce and the purchase of steak often contributes to deforestation, the use of feedlots and GMO corn monocultures). This behavior of chefs stands in contrast to cooks for whom the desires of customers and eating conventions (the use of imported beef or flour made from GMO wheat) take priority over the interests of ecosystems. Chefs possess the inclination and ability to interest human beings in things other than overharvested fish or energy expensive vegetables such as corn. For instance, a chef might make a dish using proteins with low energy to protein ratios (more efficient energy to protein conversion) or with perennial wheat varieties which are beneficial to the soil and often require no pesticides (as opposed to resource-intensive annual varieties, the majority of which are GMO crops that require heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides).

In addition to influencing agricultural practices and eating behaviors, chefs can increase people’s knowledge about composting and food waste.

What Are Your Choices?

What can you do? Here are some choices that are available to you.

1) Share this definition with others and be aware about our ability to advance our principles through our food choices.

2) Ask cooking schools to require courses in organic farming, soil health and cooking that requires only local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients—as well as ingredients with low calorie conversion rates.

3) Require that cooking schools be certified in sustainable environmental practices and require too that the schools accept no financial support from industrial agriculture companies.

4) Support local measures and legislation that requires restaurants to place a sign in the window that declares its chefs use primarily local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients and grades the restaurant according to its environmental practices.

5) Cook and select food using local, seasonal and organically grown ingredients.

Below is a pdf of the sign which can be downloaded and used by restaurants who follow these practices.
Below is a pdf of the sign which can be downloaded and used by restaurants who follow these practices.


Industrial Agriculture

1) A system that relies on monocultures, factory fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and depends on the undervaluing—or mispricing—of resources (such as land, air, atmosphere, lakes, ecosystems, and oceans) to extract profits.

2) A group of entities which includes chemical companies (who manufacture pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers), biotech companies (who product genetically modified seeds), industrial scale growers, and the processed food companies and industrial meat producers who buy the resource-intensive crops grown by them. These entities often use obfuscation, misdirection, lobbying and lawsuits to hide their practices from the public or gain preferential treatment from governments (such as subsides or the passing of laws that discriminate against small scale farmers).

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

1) A ploy by companies to intervene in a process (the act of growing food) so that they can extract rents from those dependent on that process; a way to own a patent on what currently (and for over a billion years) occurs naturally and without the company’s involvement.

2) A device certain companies use to establish a market for its pesticides and herbicides.

3) An excuse for growing of monocultures and for the use of herbicides and pesticides; the seed being the first in a chain of harmful actions that destroy habitats and ecosystems.

Organisms are constantly changing through evolutionary processes. So modification is not, on its own, contrary to the planet’s ecosystems. However, when people alter an organism a number of questions must be asked before the alteration is deemed to be beneficial or hostile to humans and other living things:

What is the plant being engineered to do? Is the plant being engineered to taste better or be more nutritious? Is it being engineered to survive a drought or to be more beneficial to the complex web of insects and microorganisms in the soil? Or is it being engineered so company can sell more ecosystem destroying herbicides and pesticides? Is it being developed so that industrial agricultural companies can consume more land with monocultures that deprive some species of habitat and kill others? Or is the plant being engineered so a company and its shareholders can hold a patent and thereby intervene in the process of growing food so they can set its rules?

A company with a patent on a GMO seed achieves, by the imperatives of the accounting statement, one of the most desirable conditions: it becomes a rent-seeker, year after year collecting a fee on an existing properties with negligible competition and without the need to make further investments to improve the product. (What advocate of GMOs is proposing that the patent for the seed be publicly owned or in the intellectual commons?)

GMO seeds are currently used in corn, soy, wheat monocultures that rely heavily on pesticides, herbicides and industrial scale fertilizers. These pesticides and herbicides are often found in lakes, streams, water supplies and many of them have been found in honey, birds, fish, and the blood streams of people.

There may be, in the future, GMO seeds that are beneficial. But, currently, most prevalent GMO seeds are a Trojan Horse for pesticide and herbicide sales or for patent ownership.

Eating products made with GMO corn, for instance, or beef from cattle fed with GMO corn, benefits the chemical companies that sell the pesticides and herbicides used on those crops and whose products are now pervasive in ecosystems.