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Vote with Your Fork

Create Change, One Bite at a Time


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  • While I'm not so optimistic as to say that we as consumers will "vote" places into being healthy, or put fast food chains out of buisness / change their menu... I would agree that all these tips are great in general and ones I try to adhere by!
  • Gosh, it's funny how things change. I commented on this article three years ago, and said I agree with Jibbie, but now I kind of don't. I mean, I agree to a point about government interference, but I question how little they are interfering the other way. I think it's your right to know what you're eating, so you can make the choice, but allowing ingredients like "natural flavoring" or it's not-necessarily-more-evil twin brother "artificial flavoring" to be a catch-all instead of allowing you to see what ALL is in your food is one example. Allowing food companies to label foods 0g trans fat, when there IS trans fat, is another.

    There's also the matter of choice architecture. A great book on this is "Nudge." Check it out.
  • This really makes me want to scream. STOP saying that healthy foods are more expensive than healthy. That's crap. Rice, beans, whole grains, etc. are definitely cheaper than processed stuff. What is really expensive is pre prepared convenience foods. What people really need to learn is how to cook and prepare foods that will fit into their schedule and adjust their tastes away from artificial flavors. Hand in hand with healthier eating is better portions. You may eat a dollar's worth of apple and be done, but it's much easier to sit down and eat $3 worth of Cheetos in a sitting.

    I ran the concession stand at my school this fall season and I was excited to offer some healthy options. I got carrots and dip, applesauce, and string cheese to offer along with the other standard offerings (pizza, hot dogs, etc.) You know what? For the most part, the healthier choices didn't sell. Companies who sell unhealthy foods aren't evil, they are trying to succeed in business and earn profits for their shareholders (which just might be you - check your 401k and mutual fund investments) and wages for their employees.
  • "Part of the reason these foods are so prevalent is that people do buy them."

    Exactly right.
  • This is a fantastic article. Corporations have a legal obligation to their shareholders, not their customers, so they are bound to do what is profitable for the company. That's why we have to make healthy profitable! If even 10% of the people who regularly order Big Macs and fries started ordering just a Big Mac or just fries, you can bet there would be a big change in the way McDonalds markets its products.

    I also agree with the commenters who say that healthy is not really more expensive. I was once on my way back to my office from a meeting and I was starving. I stopped at 7-11. My options were: Baked Lays: 99 cents, a buffalo chicken rollup: 2 for $2.22 or a banana: 2 for $1. The healthiest, simplest option was also the cheapest. I think you will see this is true if you go to the market and really LOOK at your options. Also, asking for water at a restaurant instead of buying a soda is cheaper. Not getting popcorn at the movies is cheaper than getting popcorn. Not buying chips or ice cream at the market is cheaper. I think so many people are programmed to look to packaged, processed foods, or are programmed to think that you "need" to have snacks in the house that they don't really look at their costs with the right perspective. I think a lot of people also use the "expense" of healthy food as an excuse to eat as they please or to justify their weight.
  • This is a great article. Thank you. I am heavily involved in politics and have not yet made the 'vote with your fork' speech. This is a good one, one that I will share with many.
  • Great article! Thank you for spreading this message.
  • Healthy food is actually cheaper when you think about it. It makes me so mad when people say that like this article about a bag of cheetos is cheaper than a bag of apples. How many cheetos do you eat, but how many apples do you eat? Think about it! Not cheaper! So a gallon of milk is more expensive than the equivalent in soda? Seriously? How much milk do you drink, but how much soda do you drink without even thinking about it? A candy bar is roughly a $1, but I can grab a banana for $0.25. What's cheaper now? Do the math. It's cheaper to eat healthy. How much is a frozen pizza, but how much is a loaf of bread and PB? There you have it.
  • In addition to bringing your own grocery bags you can also buy reusable produce bags. I have Tazzy Totes brand. I use them for my produce and I also use them when I buy food in the bulk section. They're great and cut down on a lot of plastic!
  • This article hits the nail on the head. I've seen the people in my community making many of these changes along with me, but it's a small portion of the town and the understanding of why these changes are needed is slow to come. Thanks for the great article.
    I love this article! This lists many of the reasons I became a vegan. I hope others choose to vote with their meals!
  • I've been doing most of these things for some time, but I have one more suggestion. When I eat out and find healthy options on the menu, I make sure I let someone know. If nothing else, I'll tell the server. But recently I've eaten at a couple of chain restaurants that offer smaller portions and/or healthier options. I've e-mailed their corporate headquarters to let them know how much I appreciate their efforts to provide healthier foods. One PR person wrote me back that she really appreciated my note and was in a state of shock because she usually only gets complaints in her mailbox. I've been encouraging everyone on Spark to do the same- 9 million e-mails like mine would certainly get corporate America's attention!
  • Great article! This is exactly why I became a vegetarian. I decided that I could no longer support the factory farming system and decided to vote three times a day by eating completely meatless meals and limiting eggs and dairy. But I didn't realize how many other things I am voting on as well - I knew that I was choosing to carpool and bring reusable bags to the grocery store as a form of voting, but I never thought that by not smoking, not buying processed foods, and exercising regularly, I am also voting for a healthier lifestyle. I love looking at these acts in this new way! It definitely makes it easier to continue to make healthy choices when I think of each one as a "vote" for a better life and a healthier future.
    That's a very good article. Often people feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the worlds that we forget we don't have to fix everything all at once and we CAN make small changes that add up to making a huge difference.

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