One of the best reasons for being interested in bees is not that they are fascinating — they are that, certainly — but that they are vital to our system of food production.

But it doesn’t take much study or investigation to know that our system of food production is in trouble.

Losses of honeybees and other pollinators are a big part of the problem.

It’s only a part, however. Another big part of the problem is what we eat and the way we eat it.

how-to-cook-everythingThat’s what was on Mark Bittman’s mind when he wrote a recent article for the op-ed section of the New York Times, and the point he makes is a good one: Individually, we’re not going to change the food system, but individually we can change what we do.

So much of this is so big that it’s out of our individual control, and it’s easy to become disheartened and even skeptical. We are the underdogs, and to emerge victorious will take so much time that it’s likely many of us will not live to see the changes we know are due.

Which makes the so-called little issues that much more important. You can swear off McDonalds and Pepsi — iconic brands, but not the only ones worth boycotting — right now. Most of you can begin to cook. You can teach your youngest kid to eat better than your oldest. You can garden, or grow parsley on your windowsill. You can cook your favorite dish for your kid’s classroom, or get your kid to cook his or her favorite dish with you. You can force yourself and your loved ones to eat a salad every Monday, or Wednesday for that matter. You can probably pay a little more for food and support a farmer who isn’t growing a thousand acres of corn. You can eat an apple instead of a cookie. For breakfast, you can eat leftovers of something you made for dinner. (quoted material)

Bittman is a food writer for the Times and there is a new edition of his book, How to Cook Everything.

Key words: Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything, honeybees and other pollinators, system of food production, changing eating habits, New York Times, op-ed, what we eat and the way we eat it