The most sustainable and ethical diet for people and the planet
For my story, I knew immediately that I wanted it to pertain to health. I figured that any new information I could gain would only fuel the fiery passion I have for nutrition, holistic medicine, and environmental health.
After some debate, I finally settled on the specific question of what kind of diet is the most sustainable? I’ll be honest, I initially went in with some bias. As someone who follows a mostly vegan diet, I have become increasingly aware of the damaging effects animal products have on the human body, as well as on the environment. Because of this, I was sure that, while likely enlightening, any interviews I conducted with my sources were probably going to confirm my current opinions. I felt as though I could write the story without even consulting any outside, professional sources. Well, after my interviews, I quickly discovered how wrong I was in my assumption.
In my first interviews with Dr. Thunder Jalili, Ph.D., and Anne P. Taylor, registered dietitian, I was enlightened on the fact that although the average western diet should drastically reduce intake of animal-based products, it is not necessary to cut it out entirely. Already, with that detail alone, my perspective was forced to shift if I wanted to be as accurate to my sources as possible.
My most significant interview to shift my perspective, though, was the one I conducted with Christy Clay, Ph.D., on the ecology and ethics of a universal diet. I chose to interview Dr. Clay because of her background in the study of local agriculture, ecology, and environmental studies. About five minutes into the interview, I knew that my question was entirely wrong. She enlightened me on how damaging the implementation of any universal behavior can be to regions and cultures. She explained to me the importance of diets being bio-regional, instead of universally the same.
Were it not for the interviews, I would have written a completely different story that would have never touched on the ecology of food systems, how damaged our current food system is, or how we, as members of our community, can potentially restore it to one that is ultimately most sustainable for everyone.
I grew up in Park City, Utah my whole life until 2014 when I moved to Salt Lake City. Although I would consider myself much better suited for warm weather, I’ve developed an incredible adoration for the snow-capped mountains, diverse landscapes, and varied seasons in which I was enveloped my entire life.
When I first started attending the University of Utah, I was pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. After completing a couple semesters, my passion for what I was studying had faded and had changed its course toward subjects that would allow me to better explore creative and colorful aspects of my mind.
With a passion for sociology and marketing inherited to me by my parents in similar professions, I dove into a Communications major the day before the deadline to drop classes. Two days into my entirely new schedule of classes, I knew that I had made the right decision.
What I found so immediately fascinating about Communications studies was how much I found it to be a demonstration that human beings are incredibly complex yet predictable. I found it beautiful that Communications highlights the fact that we are all connected to one another through human experience and the similar ways we perceive things.
Currently, my passions include – but are not limited to – cooking, health & nutrition, holistic medicine, mental health, sociology, and being in nature as much as possible.
As I embark on my career journey, I hope to be able to apply my passions to the work I do while simultaneously finding a way to make my work meaningful to myself and other people. To me, the most important way to be fulfilled in what I do for a profession is to know that I am able to help make other people’s lives better and potentially make the world a better place.