Andrew believes that we can adapt our prude American palate in order to help change the world. In a recent statement, Andrew said, “You can change the world one plate at a time. If we can take better advantage of the global pantry and eat from a wider variety of choices we would do more to combat food poverty, our damaged food production system, obesity, and other systemic health and wellness issues than any one single act I can imagine.”
Below you can find Andrew's suggestions for the five foods that can change our palette and world:
1. Donkey: Raising donkeys for consumption would be ideal because the muscles can be portioned larger, for those 64 oz. steak lovers out there, or smaller as to not make Americans feel that Donkeys share too much likeness to a horse. An alternative hoofed protein (goat, venison, buffalo, etc.) would be very beneficial for both the economy, because they need less pasturing space, and our physical health because the meat is leaner than beef. These meats are available as soon as America gets “off our addiction to feedlot beef and commodity-raised pig.”
2. Little fish: Our love of tuna, salmon, and shrimp is killing off those species bringing them close to extinction through over-fishing. Little fish such as, lionfish, dogfish, mackerel, and sardines with their heads (gasp!) are full of healthy, good for you omega-3 fatty acids. These fish also have fewer toxins than larger fish. Not only are little fish one of the healthiest things you can eat they are sustainable and populations reproduce quickly. Not only are little fish more sustainable for our waters and environment but their prices have not skyrocketed because of a growing world-wide demand.
3. Your own vegetables: Farming methods have changed and the American food system is in crisis because most of our produce comes from only a few large-scaled farm companies. Due to the scale of these companies, farming techniques have become unhealthy and downright dangerous and unsafe. If farming was “less mechanized and more regional” we’d be healthier while being “economically and culturally sustainable as well.” We also have the option of aiding in the support of community gardens or growing our own vegetables if we live in an area where this is possible for all with a yard. By growing our ow fruit and vegetables, according to season, our produce will be safer and will benefit our local economies.
4. Game birds: The American food system’s most dangerous aspect is factory chicken farms. The meat from these factory farms is not healthy because of rampant disease and food-born pathogens within the farms. If we added a “well-sourced poultry protein” like duck, turkey, squab, or pheasant for instance, it would benefit our wallet, health, and national food system as well. Most people will admit that they're sick of eating chicken seven different ways for dinner each week. If you change the type of poultry in the meal you're taste buds will welcome the new tastes.
5. Offal: When compared to the rest of the world America is very wasteful in terms of animal products. About 25‑40% of an animal, the blood, organs, and so on, is discarded as trash when the animal is butchered. But to a lot of people’s surprise, our processed meats (pink slime), contains those ingredients anyway. Eating processed meats is also lowering our life expectancy and increasing our risk of cancer and heart disease. So why not have a freshly butchered cow spleen sandwich instead of a cut of meat found in “the ‘pot roast’ category?” Chances are you’re eating those ignored parts in your supermarket bought bologna without even knowing it. Of course, Andrew Zimmern acknowledges that this won’t be an easy task for many Americans but if offal dishes leave the “swank gastropubs” and enter American kitchens we all will benefit from a healthier diet and slaughterhouse industry.