Maria de Oliveira Dias is a gastronomic consultant, vegan cooking trainer, author of 4 books on sustainable cooking and lifestyle and host of Veggie, the first vegan TV show. Maria is a Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Plantbased Chef by Plantlab LA and Food Future Institute and the founder of the blog The Love Food.
A large part of the population says that it is very expensive to be allied to sustainability, whether in food or in art. Do you think that if the economic situation was different the choices in products would also be different?
The fact that it is expensive does not mean that it is, in fact, expensive: it all depends on the perspective and the type of investment you want to make. Unfortunately, as we live in a consumistic, immediate and disposable period, we prefer to have more products of poor quality, which do not last, that go out of style quickly and whose manufacture has nothing ethical or sustainable, than to have less, possibly for a higher price but made with dignity, in a sustainable way, that never goes out of style and lasts a long time. With food, we go through the same paradigm of disposable abundance: we eat a lot of quantity and little quality, that is, little or no nutrition. Along the way, it is devastating to the environment, to those who produce, and, in the end, to those who consume. While I don’t agree that healthy and sustainable food is expensive, I do think that we should rethink our lifestyle and make an investment in eating better, as well as in living better and consuming better.