Nicole this is a great article! We have some grocery stores that are so huge, selling so much junk! Such temptation, no wonder so many people have weight issues. You made some really good points that I will carry out!
I have already chosen to "vote" on these things several years ago. Yes, my family thinks it's weird that we don't use paper towels and will not cook meat (only eggs from my chicken). But I feel like my "vote" does count.
The biggest aha moment was that I didn't HAVE to bring home a styrafoam container from our special nights out... I could just bring my own. Yep, that will be weird too, but it will make our server think that maybe that extra trash is unecessary. Maybe I can encourage someone else to "vote" too.
That's right! As they said on "Parks and Rec" the other night:
America is about being able to eat whatever we want and gain too much weight and die of a heart attack at 45. That's our right and we want it.
As for healthy food being as cheap as processed food: just not so. I've heard this time and again, and I'm glad that it's been addressed by Michael Pollen. If you only have a small sum of money you cannot buy in bulk and freeze. It takes an initial outlay of money to buy enough on sale to put some back to save money later. If you don't start with that amount, you can't do it. If you live in an urban area, you cannnot grow your own garden in many cases. If you have a small amount of money---say $10.00---you are limited to what you can buy for that. My state charges almost 10% tax on all foods, so I often have to put food back. Yes, the bag of potatoes is cheaper than potato chips, but that is not really the issue when you're really, really limited in funds.You're not buying chips when you are really broke. People without money who are really broke buy cheap boxes of generic mac and cheese, eggs, a small cheap milk, the cheapest margerine, the cheapest bread (white), ramen noodles. A bag of potatoes, on sale, is a good thing to buy. Greens in season are okay. But the lettuces, spinach, certainly the red peppers, berries, fruits, asparagus, and often the broccoli are on the expensive side. They cost a lot more than mac and cheese, which is what poor people with kids live on if they don't have food stamps.
The farmers who grow corn are subsidized by the government and the farmers who grow pears are not. And certainly not organic fruit farmers.
I don't think we need to up the taxes on high-calore, highly-processed junk, but lower the prices on healthy foods. And the author is right---this happens by voting with your money. But it might also help if the government looked more closely at what foods they choose to subsidize. Maybe it's time to help smaller, organic farmers the way they help large, agri-business corn growers.
Excellent article. There are some of us that are trapped in the whole cycle. We can't afford to buy healthy most of the time. For 1 or 2 people-not too bad. But for a family, the prices are ridiculous! To buy healthy means less food on our table. Kids saying, I'm still hungry! It's the cheap stuff that fills up little tummies, you know? I wish this country would get its head on straight! However, there's always new tricks to learn so we keep working at it! Loved the advice!
Terrific article -- I didn't know about the bus and sugar boycotts -- we forget the power of the individual actions when pooled to accomplish a SHARED goal. Thanks!
12/2/2008 8:23:40 AM
Wow!! This isn't an article, this is a manifesto! Way to go, this is the best thing I have ever read on Spark People. I'm definitely sending it around to my friends and family.
11/16/2008 11:55:13 PM
This is a great article that really teaches people how to empower themselves and that they don't have to follow the trends of others. That being said, there was some information in this article I didn't agree with. As much as we want to think that some of the movements that occurred in the past were based on anti-slavery sentiment (not just the boycott on tea), that is false information. The boycott was based on money like so many things are. The colonists weren't protesting slavery, they were protesting being taxed.
A bag of chips may be cheaper than a bag of apples, but pound for pound, raw foods are cheaper. A 5 lb bag of potatoes is the same price as potato chips...so buy them. I get frustrated when people say that processed foods are cheaper than healthier foods. Easier, yes, absolutely. Cheaper, no.
Well, this article hits the mark in the sense that the power to eat - or not eat or buy - something is in the hands of the individual. And it should remain so.
Jibbie49 has it right on the money. We live in the United States, a country that has been built on a system that allows for free will. WE CHOOSE to buy products that we want. Nothing is more off-base than saying that junk food companies should be taxed because they make us buy their products. Don't like it? Don't buy it! A The moment the U.S. starts to dictate what and how we eat, we begin to lose the freedom that has made our country so strong. Don't think that this is silly. Free will is an integral part of our lifestyle. Remember YOU, the individual, have the power to tell companies how you feel - with your wallet. YES, we need to educate each other and ourselves about healthy choices and healthy lifestyles. That is crucial. But, no one manipulates you unless you let him (or her).
Love this article, Nicole - Thanks!!! It's amazing how little of the grocery store DH and I actually shop - pretty much just the produce section! And lately when we dine out, we SPLIT the burrito as big as our head. Just like I don't think everyone was really aware of all the different options in yesterdays elections, I worry that in today's busy world people also overlook healthy options that are right under their noses.
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