Les Lothringer – Guest Blogger

This week, I introduce guest blogger, Les Lothringer. He was kind enough to author an article and I post it for your entertainment.


I’m Fat and I Vote – Free Society Defined Through Our Food Choices.
Les Lothringer Melbourne, 2011

So there we were, over 20,000 years ago and beyond, out on the savannah grasslands.  Pre-farming, pre-animal domestication and pre-industrialization.  There wasn’t any string either and when it came to the necessities of life, you pretty well just got what you got.  Which was wild food – vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables.  The odd seeds; a nut maybe.  Your immediate basic needs, satisfied.  Maybe not your desires but your needs.

Sure we needed those essential fatty acids and amino acids and our taste for fat and protein was pretty elevated since there wasn’t much to be had.  You could get it from plants.  But you might get more from animals.  If you were an inland dweller, there was wild game, if and when you could catch it as it was very, very lean and fast, maybe some fish too if you were near a stream or catch even a bit more fish if you were near the coast but not too much because there were no nets.  Remember – no string.  No orchards either but there were the occasional berry fruits which tasted pretty good and so we really appreciated the taste for sweetness too.  Fats and sugars – the two richest, easiest sources of energy, if you could find them.

Unsurprisingly as it is back then that sweet plus creamy would have tasted really very good indeed.  A real hyper-stimulus.  No wonder then that if you want to show your appreciation to someone, you give cakes, cookies, chocolates – fats and sugars.

But you just couldn’t get anything like that.  Not back then.  Whatever our desires, the environment took care of us and only just.  We populated up to sustainable limits – pretty low in fact – and if we couldn’t get enough to eat, the choices were stark.  One choice was to travel further for food even as that came at an energy cost.  Risky!  But what else could one do?

So our turbo-charged brains kicked in and voila – string!  String for nets to catch fish.  String for bows, to fire arrows at ultra-lean, fast moving animals for a bit more essential protein and essential fats.  And speaking of fire, fire to cook food and lift the energy yield.  Soon there was the big one.  Agriculture.  Pre-history humans invented farming.  And with farming came not only surpluses but control.  You could choose to grow whatever, according to your desires.

And so there it is – the origins of freedom of choice in terms of surpluses and what we want grown.

Today you vote with your preferences and your dollars and that vote is for what should be produced.  Never mind that it isn’t any good for you.  Try telling that to the 10% of the world’s population type II diabetic and those likely to become so.  Or the generally overweight crowd who look for convenient explanations – “fat genes” the latest distraction and excuse.

They’ll probably tell you.  It’s my choice.  I know what’s good for me.  It’s a free society.

Sure is – I’m fat and I vote.

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