Before I had kids, I had the worst diet imaginable. I just didn’t really think much about it. As long as it tasted good, it was fast and it was convenient, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I was clueless about nutrition and the powerful effect food has on us and I didn’t know the ugly truth about the food industry.
The birth of my first child, however, inspired an urgency in me because I now had to make decisions on his behalf. And if you are a parent, I am sure you can understand where I am coming from. One of my jobs is to provide him with the very best and to protect him from anything that could possibly harm him.
On top of that, I wanted to have the energy and vitality to keep up with him. I wanted to be my healthiest and live as long as I could to be there for him through this difficult life and to live long enough to see my grandkids.
Not only are those some of the things that propelled me down this path of health and wellness, but what also triggered it is that many people that I loved and cared about have been taken too soon from disease or cancer, or suffering from it. It got me thinking and I started to question what was causing this rampant plague that was ravaging people all over the country.
Is it fate – our genes? Is it what comes with age? I needed to know.
All directions kept pointing me towards our diet and lifestyle.
When it comes to the food that we eat, it is very important that we know where it comes from, who grows it and what the ingredients are. I know I sound like a broken record but I just can’t stress it enough!
Food is a very powerful thing!
The food that we eat becomes us.. literally! It becomes the substance of our muscles, our skin, our hair, our bones – basically every cell of our body. We gain the qualities of the food. Not to mention that our brain, which is a very hungry organ, absorbs around 60% of the food that we eat – and, yes, you’re connecting the dots here – there is a food/mood connection as well.
Our lifestyle and the foods that we eat, have the ability to turn genes on or off. Genetics load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.
As I mentioned in my post The Junk Food Generation, there are 600,000 food items in America today.
Last week, General Mills announced they were buying Annie’s for 820 million dollars. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Annie’s, it is a natural and organic food company who is best known for their macaroni and cheese line.
As people are becoming more and more conscientious of their health, the organic and natural foods industry is steadily growing and going mainstream. We live in a world in which food companies are extraordinarily competitive with each other. Their job is to sell more product; and if they are a publicly traded company, they have shareholders to please. And organic is profitable.
Most of the iconic organic brands today have been bought and are now owned and controlled by the titans of the junk food industry.
• Honest Tea
• Zico Coconut Water
General Mills owns:
• Cascadian Farms
• Muir Glen
• Naked Juice
Colgate now owns:
• Toms of Maine, the toothpaste company
Some say that it is a good thing that the natural foods industry is growing. Others say it is in danger of losing its very soul.
What goes through your mind when you see corporate America taking over the natural and organic food business?
These corporations like Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola and Monsanto and others poured 22 million dollars into fighting the GMO labeling battle. How does that make you feel that the profits that they are earning from the organic brands they now own are being used to fight our access to information?
Why are they fighting tooth and nail to keep this information from us?
We don’t all need to reach the same conclusions but there are beliefs that we all share. There are certain decencies that matter to all of us.
Do we choose to close our eyes and ears to it? Or do we choose to engage in it? These are not radical positions. They are not Democratic or Republican positions. They are not old or young or urban or rural positions. They are fundamental human concerns.
I have strong opinions and I hope that my kids will share my opinions but I wouldn’t insist on it. I am not trying to create an ethical replica of me and it is not to create somebody who acts on my beliefs. It is to help somebody to become an adult who can act on his beliefs. I want my kids to be aware of the choices that are in front of them, be aware of their ability to makes choices and to be confident when making choices that are outside of societal norms.
The extent to which there is corporate control of our food policy and of our food supply has massive implications to the health of the people. What bothers me the most is the enormous effort that food companies are doing to try and sell their products, regardless of the effects of their products on health.
I just want to say, though, that they are not out to poison the world. They will sell whatever sells.
Food choices – how we eat, what we eat and what we buy is a form of activism. When people buy organic, more farmers will produce organics. When people complained that tomato pickers weren’t getting paid enough money, Walmart raised their wage to a penny more per pound.
Think about women’s rights or even slavery. Slavery didn’t end because people started buying sugar-free foods. It happened because people advocated to make it unacceptable and to end it legally.
Anthony Gucciardi said, “There’s a reason that mega corporations like Monsanto are afraid of you, the activist. They know that despite their billions, despite their deception, that you as a consumer ultimately control their fate. Because by changing a single purchase at the grocery store, you change the world.”
So eat well. Be well. Vote with your fork!