Right now we are in the middle of a series called How I Eat. If you haven't read the first 3 parts, I encourage you to go back and do so. A brief recap of the series thus far:
- My personal food journey
- My relationship/view with food
- What I eat/drink and what I don't eat/drink
- My understanding of the food system today vs 50/100/etc years ago
It was interesting. I was in the process of writing this and I was watching Robyn O'Brien give her 2011 TEDx talk about our food system and once again I was filled with passion, fire, and determination to keep on spreading the message of real food. And a few other things too :). In fact, today's article should be called "How YOU Eat (and the crap that is killing our nation)".
I strongly encourage you to watch Robyn's talk if you haven't. And if you have, watch it again.
As I have been writing in this series, our food system is SO different from just 50 years ago. As I learned once more from Robyn, the USA is a leader. A leader in the highest health costs in the world. Yep, that's right. The USA spends more on health care than any other county. And by health care, it's really sick care. A company like Starbucks, spends more on health care than it does on coffee*. Sip on that fact for a while. Source: CNN Money
Secondly, the USA is ranked number 7 in cancer per 100,000 people (300.2). Source World Cancer Research Fund. (Note: in Robyn's talk she mentioned USA was the number 1 in cancer. I haven't found the data on that- yet. Stay tuned for updated data source on that.)
And did you know that 40% of cancers (source: Huffington Post) can be preventable? By the food we eat/don't eat? By exercise? By not smoking? By living and breathing a healthy life? Yes, most diseases can be preventable by common sense.
In case you haven't read or read, a lot of the food (and I struggle to use that word to describe with what I'm about to) is GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) made. Translated that means crops (like corn & soybeans) are started in a lab. They genetically modify the seed to yield more. During this process, they either add or remove genes. And if genes are added, they are from a different species! Read this from www.robynobrien.com via a farmer's wife:
Technology is a great tool, but it is also ruining our country, IMHO. In 1996, the first GMO soybean crop was planted in the USA and 10 years later nine counties now have GMO soybeans (source: GMO Compass) . Way to go United States of America.
And one last fact. In 2007, over 58.6% of corn was GMO (source: GMO Compass)
Okay, so what does this have to do with YOU? Glad you asked. A few things. The above facts are reasons why I don't eat soy. That is why soy is not a health food. Don't want to eat meat? No problem. Stick to spinach or hemp. Tofurkey, tofu, soymilk, etc are not real foods. Besides highly processed, they are usually made with GMO soybeans. Read back to what a GMO is and I doubt you'll want it on your plate much less in your body.
Second. Read up, research, and do your homework on the things/foods you are putting into your body. Do you really think your body is meant to eat modified crap? Food dyes (Gatorade anyone?). Chemicals? No. We were made to eat real food straight from the earth where it grew from. Not from some lab.
So, what can we do? Well, it is going to take a very large army to combat this issue. But here are a few suggestions:
Commit to never buy or eat fast food again Commit to reading the labels on packing if you do have to buy boxes, cans, etc Commit to eating real food every chance you get Limit the number of packaged food you buy (buy fresh veggies vs frozen/canned)
Have an open heart and mind. Our food system is radically different than 50 years ago. Take a vested interest in what the food you are eating is doing to you, your family, your kids. Don't believe what the giant corporations are telling you (Robyn O'Brien & Andy Bellatti mentioned in the resources below are both great examples of this).
In the meantime, I'll continue to write, speak, live, and breathe about the way we eat and move. I've been talking and living this topic for years and with each passing day I only grow more passionate about it. The food we are eating isn't real. The majority of us eat crap. And movement? We go from our perfect temperature house to our attached garage to the office elevator to sit at our desk and continue to hammer coffee, then soda(s). And I'm just getting started. Avoid the issues at hand and there will be no change. I am committed to spreading the truth about the food we eat. Being that little voice that one day may just make a difference in a big way.
Here are two great resources for you to read & learn from:
I hope you use this information to lead and live a healthy, aware life.
peace, sweat, love: life