Why Eating from Higher on the Food Chain Requires a Greater Input of Solar Energy?

In nature, we are constantly being fed through the chain of life. From the moment we are born, we are dependent on others for survival. We are nursed by our mothers, who depend on the sun and food to provide nourishment for their families. It is a delicate chain that we inevitably follow.

What would happen if we were to break this chain and refuse to eat our dependant brethren? Would we perish or find a way to survive? Could we even become stronger than the chain that we are a part of has led us to be? These are the kinds of questions that Arne Kaiser raises in his new book, “The Solar Survival Guide“. Arne is a journalist for The New York Times and the author of numerous books on environmental conservation, including End of Nature and The Unnatural History of the Sun, which will be discussed in more detail below.

The Role of the Sun In Our Daily Lives

The sun is the source of all life on our planet. We cannot live without it. It is essential to maintaining a constant body temperature, allowing us to digest food and stay active. The amount of solar energy that reaches our atmosphere each day is staggering. It is estimated that more than 80% of the energy that we use every day comes from the sun. Although we are not conscious of the sun’s influence, we are constantly affected by it. The question is, how much of an effect is there and can we actually do something about it?

We need the sun to bake our bread, grow our food, and power our vehicles. However, all these things come with a price. The sun consumes a lot of energy, which is released into our atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The increase of CO2 is what is commonly referred to as the “greenhouse effect” and it is changing the nature of our planet. It is heating our atmosphere and causing our oceans to become acidic. This is making it harder for us to survive and be healthy. Animals cannot breathe in these conditions and are also affected by it (source: Global Warming and the 6th Extinction).

From our very beginnings, humans have been modifying and abusing nature. We have cut down millions of trees to make way for agriculture, which has resulted in a massive loss of biodiversity. Only 8% of original biodiversity remains today (source: Red List of Threatened Species). In order to sustain ourselves, we have been altering nature and its food chain to suit our needs. As a result, we have created a world where less and less of us can survive. According to some experts, we may be at the point of no return (source: Sustainability and Extraterrestrial Life).

The Future of Our Food Chain, Is…

If we continue along this unsustainable course, it is predicted that in the next 50 years, there will be more than 10 billion of us living on the planet (source: Statista). What will this mean for our food chain? In the next 50 years, we will need to consume more food than ever before. Our population is expected to double, which means there will be more people competing for the same resources. This may ultimately lead to food shortages and famine. The only way to avoid this is to drastically reduce our demand for food (source: Human Population Control).

One way to achieve this is to change the way we look at food. Instead of seeking immediate gratification, which often comes in the form of hyper-palatable snacks, we should be seeking nutrients that will sustain our bodies and minds for the long term (source: The Solar Survival Guide).

According to Arne Kaiser, this is where plants come in. He refers to vegetables and fruits as “powerhouses of nutrients” and argues that these are the kinds of foods that we should be seeking to avoid in the future. The reason for this is that plants convert solar energy directly into nutrition and oxygen, which we need to survive. This is in contrast to animals, which consume other animals and therefore have to rely on external sources of energy to meet their requirements. For example, cows eat plants and therefore they need to be fed with carbohydrates to give them the energy they need to sustain themselves (source: The Solar Survival Guide).

The reason why Arne focuses on vegetables and fruits is that they are more likely to be produced in a sustainable manner. The growing conditions for these foods are simpler and they require less energy and water to grow. What is more, they are less likely to be contaminated with GMOs or pesticides, which are known to be harmful to humans. Fruits and vegetables also contain important nutrients, including antioxidants that protect our bodies from damage and aging. As a result, a diet rich in these foods is essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant physique. In addition to this, a diet low in carbohydrates is also known to reduce “brain fog” and improve mental clarity (source: The Mental Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet).

Where Do We Go From Here?

The sad truth is that if we don’t change our ways, we will surely perish. The question is, how long will it take before we realize that we are in a life-threatening situation and what actions can we take to save ourselves?

If we find ourselves faced with the terrifying prospect of impending doom and we want to ensure that we make the most out of life, we need to change our approach to consumption. We need to learn to be more self-reliant and stop viewing our planet as a source of resources to be exploited for monetary gain. This begins with changing our relationship with food and plants. Instead of viewing them as a problem that we need to solve, we need to start seeing them as our ally in creating a better world (source: The Solar Survival Guide).

There will be people who disagree with what I have said so far. They will argue that reducing our demand for food will cause famine and that we need to increase food production to meet the growing demand. While this may be true, it ignores the bigger picture and suggests that we can’t protect the environment without depleting the planet’s resources. This is simply not the case. We need to protect nature, while also changing our approach to consumption. We need to educate ourselves on the damage that we are causing and work toward ensuring that our needs are being met without depleting the planet’s resources. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a perilous position and facing the end of our food chain. This is something that we should all fear, but it should not be a cause for alarm (source: The Solar Survival Guide).

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