Thursday, September 22, 2011
Last night I had to attend one of those industry networking events that is truly the worst part of my job. Let's feed a bunch of restaurateurs and food snobs horrible hotel food and be fake nice to each other. Fun. What was fun was that the EcoCzar and Local Forager for the Northern Atlantic Region from Whole Foods was there and he gave a talk about local and sustainable foods. This is something my company has focused on since before it was trendy but I was happy to see that it has become very mainstream now. He talked about low cost food being low quality and addressed the joke about Whole Foods being called "Whole Paycheck". It made me think a lot about we are what we eat. Our culture has accepted low quality food for so long many people don't even know what food is in season or what a real tomato should taste like. The excuse is always that it is too expensive but the truth is people don't want to change. Yes, grass fed beef costs more but I would rather eat red meat as a rare treat in smaller portions and have it taste like it should and not fill my body full of antibiotics and hormones. I would rather contribute less to poisoning our planet. Did you know at the end of the Mississippi river is a dead zone the size of Massachusetts where nothing can live or grow? It is the second largest in the world. It is the result of the run off of chemicals and pesticides from commercial agriculture. That is something we all have to think about. What we are doing to world our children and grandchildren will inherit. At the turn of the century people ate more than a hundred pounds of local vegetables a year. Now it is 11 lbs. That is a sad number.
All of this made me reflect on my own diet. Fast food scares me but I still occasionally take the easy way out and indulge. I empathize with people on a tight budget or are raising a family. There are 46 million people who are hungry in this country. That is an astounding number. It is about making choices that fit our lifestyle and our budget. Beans are a few dollars a pound. Soak them overnight and throw them on the stove for an hour. Done. My fiancÚ grew up in poverty and told me meat wasn't always available so you had to get creative but they never went hungry and no one was obese because they ate a lot of vegetables, grains and homemade soups. Yes, I have to change my lifestyle. I have to think ahead, I have to adjust to new norms, I have to make an effort but it is worth it to feed my body healthy food. It is a choice. Did you know that how they make food cheap is that is made in a lab? It isn't even food. The meat in a taco at Taco Bell is something like 70% fake meat that is manufactured mostly full of soy and chemicals. Think about what that does to your body.
It is hard, it takes effort but nothing in life that is worth anything is easy. You have the power to change. It gets easier every time you do it, like the gym . Start slow and make baby steps. Build up a list of meals you and your family like just like you did with the unhealthy stuff. Change is good. We only get one planet and one body and you have the power to decide to fill it with garbage or with healthy stuff.
Now before someone attacks me. This is not a lecture. This is trying to disseminate information to people whom have expressed a similar interest in living a healthy lifestyle. If you don't like what I have said there is no reason to attack or insult me. We are all entitled to an educated opinion.