My 60-second proposal to change the world is for all global citizens to increase the amount of local food they consume, while consequently decreasing consumption of processed/imported food. I believe that the benefits of eating local are three-fold; environmental benefits, economic benefits, and health benefits. By eating locally grown or produced foods, consumers can decrease demand for imported or heavily processed food items. Obviously, less demand=less supply, so CO2 emissions will increase drastically if less food is transported. Local economies will also benefit from more local food consumption. The US agriculture sector as a whole may even benefit from revival if demand for local, organic food increases. Additionally, health benefits of eating locally produced food have the potential to be great. Local food tends to be much less processed than standard food (think of twinkies and pringles). While it is certainly still possible to eat unhealthy, homemade things like cakes and fried items, the fact remains that local foods contain less preservatives and other harmful chemicals like growth hormones than their imported counterparts. In terms of health, this proposal is more likely to spur a trend towards more natural foods than it is to solve the American obesity crisis (which is another problem in and of itself).
Finally, I’m inclined to believe that eating local will improve a sense of community that is present in societies/cultures that frequent local markets (Spain, Italy, etc.).
Here is a cool article outlining some additional benefits of eating locally grown/produced food products.