Monday, November 22, 2010

Food matters

I recently watched a documentary called Food Matters that talked about what it calls the "sickness industry" rather than the "health industry," as it's more commonly known. It discussed how we eat too much processed, chemical-laden food rather than fresh, whole-grain foods, but it also focused a lot on vitamins and their ability to heal the body.

A lot of the information was rather intuitive--we know the foods we should be eating, we know organically grown food is better than chemically grown food, we know prevention is better than treatment--yet we ignore it and continue poisoning our bodies. The movie made me realize that I have been far too lax in my eating habits. And now that I have a child to feed, I want to make sure she eats the best food that will provide her optimal nutrition.

One excellent point the movie made was about how we don't have our priorities right. We spend lots of money on things like houses, cars and gadgets, but when it comes to what we put into our bodies, many of us are not willing to fork over the money it takes to eat right. And it is expensive! But our health should be a top priority.

I  think it was finally the kick in the pants that I needed and, as such, I have committed to learn more.

I have a lot of research to do, but some of the steps I'm committing to take now include:

1. Drinking water. I know--sounds so simple, but what a difference it can make. I fee like I already drink a lot of water, but this documentary emphasized its importance in helping with digestion and flushing toxins out of the body.

2. Eating more raw food. Many vegetables lose half their nutrients once cooked, on top of the nutrients they've lost by days of transport and sitting on a shelf in a grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are so much more nutritious in their raw state that it seems a waste not to eat more of them this way.

3. Buying organic. There aren't many organic options where I live and I've been content to just buy organic when I can or when the price point is right. But I realized that it makes no sense to try to eat healthy foods when those benefits are negated by the chemicals that the food is covered in. I'm making a commitment to buy more organic food, even if it means driving to the expensive grocery store a few towns over.

As I educate myself, I hope you don't mind if I share some information with you--and if you have any insight, please share as well! I especially hope to learn more about working "superfoods" into my diet and treating colds and other ailments with vitamins rather than drugs.

Some of you might think I sound overzealous. That's how I felt for a long time when Mama Q, my mom or others would proselytize about organic, buying local, yaddah, yaddah. But I'm suddenly realizing how vital my health is. I only have one body and I need to take care of it! And don't get me wrong--I likes me my sugar, treats and MSG just as much as the next person. I'm sure I won't be able to completely eliminate these from my diet, but I think even small, incremental changes can make a huge difference.

If you're interested in learning more, here's the trailer to the documentary. You can also visit the Food Matters website.


Sofia's Ideas said...

I'm so glad that you watched this film, and that it had such an impact on you. I don't think you are overzealous at all. I think what you have outlined is totally manageable. Its a great foundation from which you can build a healthier lifestyle. I look forward to following along on your journey to better health! ;)

As far as the expense, I honestly have found that we spend less on food than we used to before we started on our journey. Its true that degenerative disease is disease of the affluent! ;) Yes, the organic options may cost more per ounce but you'll be eliminating so many things from your list that it better than evens out.

We always keep in mind that we pay at some point - we can either invest in our health or we can subsidize our illness. And by spending our money on the organic options, we are also voting with our dollars!

Sofia's Ideas

Liz Bookey said...

Those are great first step ideas. A few years ago I decided I needed to live my values a bit more and buy organic (I had a more environmental-based reasoning, than a health-based reasoning). It was definitely hard at first because it does cross a lot of things off your list. But, like the last commentator said, that really does even out the costs. If anything, over the years I think we have come to spend less on our food budget, and now buy pretty much only organic or locally grown, because we've gotten in the habit of cooking more from scratch.
When I first switched to buying a organic, and switched to shopping at my local co-op, I felt like I recognized no foods, and didn't know what to do with anything, and now, that's how I feel when I go into a conventional grocery store.

Things have gotten a little tight in my family budget (layoff) and I found myself reaching for the non-organic items a couple of times to save a few pennies, and then this last week I watched a documentary called "The Future of Food." It's about the evil Monsanto and GMO's, all stuff I knew before but reminded me that I buy organic for more reasons than just that it tastes better.

MamaQ said...

i'd like to think that i'm above saying "i told you so" but we all know that i'm not. i'm so grateful you are finally seeing the light and that sweet little olive will be the beneficiary. our health, our planet and our ethics are too important to ignore all the evidence in favor of a more organic, natural, holistic approach to food and eating and farming. and life! c'mon everyone, get crunchy!

Katie said...

I love the book "Clean Food" by Terry Walters. I like that she says you don't have to go through your cupboards and throw everything out and start from scratch. Recipes too!

City Sister said...

I watched it on Netflix a few weeks ago...eeek, I also saw Food Inc. a bit scary.

Ye Stewart Clan said...

I think time is another obstacle to eating well. Our society demands so much from us that so many families don't even have the time to sit down together to a home-cooked meal. We buy convenience foods or fast food because we don't have the time to slice cheese! We live in such a strange time that is at once abundant yet empty.

Kendra said...

I am right there with you, we are doing our best to always eat organic and whole foods and it can be a struggle that I have not mastered! It's funny because I just posted a blog about putting our cats on a holistic diet - I kept reading and reading and realized their store bought food was down right toxic for them so we bit the bullet and change their diet as well - they already seem healthier and more vibrant!