This Sustainable Life

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319: Avoid doof

Ep. 319

Food is fundamental to our environmental problems.

Most of what American restaurants and supermarkets sell looks like food but isn't by my definition. It makes us obese, diseased, fatigued, poor, dependent, and such, whereas food, like fruits and vegetables, bring us together. Many of us are addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience.

Yet people addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience can point to addicts to other things, like alcohol or cocaine, and say, "they don't need their thing but we need to eat." But no one confuses Doritos with broccoli. But the terms "junk food," "fast food," and even "frankenfood" have the term food in them, leading people to confuse them with food.

I introduced the term doof---food backward---to distinguish between doof and food. Doof is all the stuff sold to go in your mouth refined from food, usually designed and engineered to cause you to crave more of it, usually through salt, sugar, fat, convenience, or other engineering.

Here are my notes I read from:

  • What motivated the problem: reading about food, nutrition, health, and the environment
  • My favorite food writers, and podcast guests, Drs. Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger
  • Their books Eat to Live, Fast Food Genocide, How Not To Die, and How Not To Diet
  • Their videos
  • The problem: the term "food" in junk food, fast food. Other addictions, like tobacco or alcohol, people say you don't need them, but they need food.
  • Beer versus water versus Doritos versus broccoli
  • Solution: New term
  • One that isn't sticking as well: craving-oriented mouth filler
  • One that people like: doof
  • Sounds like doofus. Helps you not confuse doof with food, like you don't confuse poppy seeds with heroin.
  • Next episode I'll share my story of shopping in a supermarket for the first time in years, nearly all doof.
  • Michael Pollan's "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much." Doof clarifies.
  • Won't confuse McDonald's, Gatorade, Starbucks with food since they don't serve it.
  • Enjoy food. Avoid doof.
  • Spread the word!


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506: I lost $10 million on September 11, 2001. Here is what I learned from those who sacrificed and served.

Ep. 506
Sorry for the slow pace of this episode, but just before recording I looked at the firehouse across the street from my apartment, the small plaque naming the firemen who died trying to help others, and the flowers people put there for them, which led me to lose it as I started recording.I've never considered the changes to my life meaningful in comparison, despite my losses being greater than anyone I know who didn't die or was related to someone who died for the obvious reason that no material loss compares. Not even close.But twenty years later, it occurs to me that not communicating about the loss and what I learned from it doesn't help either, because when faced with a huge material loss---I lost about ten million dollars and the future I'd sacrificed other dreams for---we can choose to give up or we can choose to find our values and live by them, if not the fleeting material stuff.In this episode I share what I live for, what in part I learned from the firefighters who served that day, the servicemembers who enlisted for years to come, as well as from others who lost. We can prevent far greater losses than September 11, than the Holocaust, than the Atlantic slave trade in conserving and protecting our environment.I choose to devote my life to the greatest cause of our time, in helping the most number of people from the greatest amount of suffering of any time.If you'd like to help, we who choose to serve, could use your help. But we don't have to enter towering infernos. We eat vegetables instead of takeout, live closer to family instead of flying to and from them, have one child, and learn to lead others to enjoy the same. Contact me if you'd like to join.