i had a 4/5th grand teacher tell me yesterday that he cares about nutrition and wants his kids to learn, and is even thinking about having his students read michael pollan's edition of omnivore's dilemma for kids. BUT... he doesn't think that it will matter much. there isn't really anything we can do to fight the problem. i had to consciously stay in my seat. i immediately blurted out: "thereissomuchyoucandoiwillhelpyou!"
first, i told him he needs to watch food inc. food inc. is not vegan/vegetarian propaganda. at all. while it did allow me to make the easy decision to become a vegetarian a few years ago, i was on the fence as it was, and was already not eating dairy. i think what food inc. does do, is raise questions about where you food is coming from. and how much you really do know about what you are putting into your body.
i can't emphasize enough (imagine me on a soapbox for just a moment) how important it is for each and every one of us to know where our food comes from!!! and what it is made out of! our bodies are not meant to digest crazy preservatives and processed foods. because our bodies are amazing contraptions, they do work hard for us and do digest foods that they don't know what they are. but it takes a toll. plus, the more you process a food from its natural state, the less nutritional value it actually has to offer us.
i could go on and on about this forever. i actually experience anxiety when people in my life, whom i love, put food into their body that isn't good for them. and i don't mean the occasional desert, or piece of bacon (i promised pat that i would never ask him to not eat meat, but he has started eating less!!!) i mean often eating foods that don't resemble their origins, foods that contain ingredients that aren't pronounceable, foods that really have no concrete nutritional value.
|*part of the processed meats section*|
a recent trip to winco (which is a large, warehouse style grocery store open 24 hours... kind of like costco but you don't have to buy 6 packs of mayonaise, you can just buy one jar. plus, to my surprise, they have a killer bulk foods section. anyways- i rarely go to a conventional grocery store (it is a priority in our lives to eat real, local food and we don't go on fancy vacations because of it) and was SHOCKED at the *shit* they had for sale there. i mean i was literally standing in the middle of the aisles picking my jaw up off the floor. i had no idea. and the worst part was, i realized that if someone, somewhere, is making this *food*, then people are buying it!!!
i felt really naive.
i am not trying to come across as judgmental. that is never my goal. i really just don't understand why people regularly put *food* into their body that they don't know about. i really, truly, cannot comprehend it. and i worry. because i want people to be healthy. people i know, people i don't know. doesn't matter. i just want them to be healthy!
so to wrap my rant up, i told this teacher. there is so much you can do. you can start to buy local produce/foods when you can. and honestly, i think that is more important than organic, if you had to choose. there are so many local farms, food makers, that are all natural/pesticide free that just don't spend the money on the organic labeling process. it's expensive. if you choose to eat meat, try to buy local meat. it is more expensive, so eat less of it! and enjoy it oh so much more, if you choose to, you will notice a difference. and grow some food! that is so local, affordable, and fun :)
that's all for now, friends. do you have any suggestions on what we can teach our youth to help our food system/health crisis in this country?