It is absolutely stunning that the majority of consumers have no idea where their food comes from that they select at the supermarket every day. The question of whether or not they WANT to know is another story.
Let’s assume a certain basic amount of ‘WHERE THIS CAME FROM” knowledge is supplied with all food packaging – in honest real language people can easily understand and make informed decisions about. How refreshing. People can then make their own informed decisions.
Grocery companies and global food groups would say they are already doing this – however the real truth is kept back behind the lines, away from prying eyes. Food is packed and pretty with some approved marketing term and government approved ingredients list.
Well don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Dig deeper into the ingredients in your fresh meat packed in plastic, frozen vegetables and fortified dairy products and you will be reading words you probably cannot pronounce.
That is, until you watch one of more of the following – FOOD INC (on SBS this week in Australia for the first time on national television here), and VEGUCATED. Just two movies that strive to take you behind the scenes and provide a real honest snapshot of what consumer demand and mass manufacturing is creating. Be prepared to be shocked, upset, moved and perhaps ready to make some life changing steps in what you eat and how you practise healthy living. You don’t need to do yoga to see the importance of a solid plant based diet.
As a quick and VERY general reference for a short blog I’m defining top line “sustainable eating” as: selecting organic non GM produce, no highly manufactured package foods, no mass produced meat and dairy and utilsing fresh markets, fresh produce, and green grocers rather than supermarkets for more than 75% of your food purchases.
Grave illness, irritable bowel, food allergies, lack of energy, health complications, planning for a family or heart disease are triggers for many to start turning the packet over and learn more about the food they are eating and the direct relation it has on their hormones and their overall health.
For others it is a conscious lifestyle choice. Part of a journey to look and feel their personal best, to prevent illness, to compete at a top level as an athlete or to provide a balanced daily diet for their family.
The flip side is many of my clients have not even thought about the correlation of longevity to conscious food choices. It just simply never occurred to them as they were following RDA (recommended daily intakes, buying foods with the healthy heart tick and selecting sugar free).
Once you get interested it is really an amazing transition from auto pilot to nutritional independence. The key is to know why and feel committed for your own wellbeing rather than just making a statement.
The 3 overriding benefits of sustainable eating (as crudely outlined above) are;
1. A sustainable planet: It takes more water to feed, grow and slaughter beef worldwide, creating deforestation and destruction than we could provide to much needed african countries. It’s not just about giving up one super market bought meat meal a week however – the issue of making a difference requires a substantial lifestyle change. Every bit counts though! Start with small changes and be proud you are able to be part of a bigger picture.
2. Health: Fresh, non GM, certified organic, home grown and non preservative foods are better for you – they reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals, have real viatmins and minerals that your body can absorb, have natural fibre, carbohydrates, proteins and fats your body can digest and use appropriately – and they support your local farmer and community
3. Animal Welfare: Our demand of meat and dairy products worldwide has created an epidemic greed for producing beef, veal, poultry, pigs and lamb in an unnatural, alarming rate. As a bi-product the cruelty, herding, slaughter and treatment of these animals is nothing short of barbaric. You only need to scratch below the surface to see for yourself.
So what can you do?
1. First of all educate your self, when you are ready so that you can make your own informed and personal decisions.
2. Find out more about local markets, fresh produce and local grocers that stock real sustainable products. In Australia you can look for the RSPCA sign on eggs, chickens and some beef products for example to know the farms and processes are under higher surveillance.
3. Finally – have a good reason why. For me it was a combination of wanting to prevent any long term disease, perform at my best, have a healthy happy long life and stand up for animal rights. To top it all off I wanted the planet to be around for many generations to come. This eco statement has a strong connection to worldwide meat, grain and dairy production. I only buy RSPCA approved or farm raised free range completely non cage eggs, eat a 90% plant and grains based diet (with the exception of fresh caught fish check brands that have REAL dolphin friendly kind of fishing) and try to provide easy to choose options for my clients that they can get at regular grocery stores.
In a snapshot whatever your decision – it’s your body – shouldn’t you have the right information provided in order to make the best personal choice?
This subject is always going to ruffle a few feathers. See how you go.
Health & Happiness