I pretty much figured that I would get some feedback on last weeks post and boy was I ever right! I know that I presented some pretty black and white statements but I also know that there is quite a bit of accuracy in those statements. Last week I talked about our responsibility as individuals and this week I want to talk about the responsibility of the food manufactures and the lack of sustainable farming practices as well as the responsibility of other groups I left out last week. Okay take a deep breath and lets go!
Let's start with the food industry shall we? Food manufacturers know Americans have a sweet tooth so in order to help their products sell better they add sugar or in most cases high fructose corn syrup to pretty much everything. It's in our bread, our yogurt, our juices, our cereals, our sauces, our salad dressings, our pops, our canned vegetables, our prepackaged foods - you get the point. In fact it's in so much of our food it's a scavenger hung just to find food it's NOT in.
Let's take a look at farming - our cows are pumped full of all sorts of chemicals to help them produce at maximum capacity while feeding them a diet that their systems can't digest. Did you know that the big commercial dairy farms feed their cows corn? That doesn't sound too bad.... until you understand that cows aren't designed to eat corn, they can't digest it which in turn destroys their stomach which leads to the need to have a veterinarian on staff to pump the cows full of all sorts of antibiotics to keep the cows 'healthy'. Remember the old adage "we are what we eat"? Everything that our food eats WE eat. I'm not even going to go into chickens, pigs and steer meat - that is SUPER disgusting.
Okay that was the dairy side of farming - how about our fruits and veggies? Here is where we get into the genetically modified food catagory. The nutritive value of food has diminished dramatically over the last 20 years and the sad part is that we've become so used to these new foods that we don't even realize the taste difference in the foods we eat. That is until we eat some good old fashioned organic food THEN it's easy to taste the difference!
Drug companies do a fantastic job of creating a pill for all of our ills and then selling us on the need for us to take those drugs. They absolutely have a vested interest in keeping us sick and dependant on those drugs for our 'well being'. Have you listened to the list of side affects some of the medications cause? It's down right frightening! I can tell you that exercise and eating right alleviates the majority of the symptoms and diseases that these drugs help 'cure' - this has been scientifically supported through extensive studies. In fact most of these drugs just put a band aid on the problem which then causes another problem that requires a different pill and so on and so on.
The very technology that was created to help make our lives easier and better has done just that but also it has made it much worse. We move a LOT less as a result of all of our modern conveniences which hurt us more than it helps us. I'm not saying that technology is bad there have been some miraculous achievements in science and medicine as a result which definitely improves our quality of life. We've gotten so dependant on technology for so many aspects of our lives that many of us do less and less for ourselves. Combine that with our instant information society which allows us to connect with others without ever leaving our computers which reduces our need to move as well.
All these things and many more are contributing to the high cost of health care. Okay so I've pointed out quite of few causes so now it's time for me to offer some solutions. To get more bang for your buck at the grocery store chose to buy organic - yes it costs more you the food is higher in nutritive value. If you have to chose the most cost effective organic food choices where you'll get the absolute most from every dollar spent purchase organic meat. Remember we ARE what we eat which means we are eating whatever our food ate. Pesticides and toxins are stored in fat cells in higher concentrations and organic meats have a fraction of toxins compared to 'modern day' farming practices. The toxins contained in organic meats comes from environmental factors such as air and water quality NOT from what they're eating.
Support legislation that encourages sustainable farming practices, buy from your local farmers markets and from stores like Puget Sound Consume Co-op (PCC). Unplug from technology, go for walks, encourage a wellness program at work that includes getting more active during the course of your day, plan ahead so that you can eat 5 meals a day every day. Look for foods that do not contain high fructose corn syrup, shop the outside aisles of the grocery store, avoid prepackaged foods.
There are countless opportunities to create a healthier environment for ourselves as well as our communities. What are you willing to do? What are you currently doing? Please share your thoughts, questions and suggestions by posting a comment on the main blog page so that we can start our very own healthier lifestyle movement!
To Your Health, Wellness and Fitness!
Jennifer MAlocha CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness