Thursday, February 4, 2010

For What This is Worth

I will warn any readers that I am coming off of watching the movie Food Inc. Obviously, by going raw, I believe that food is a key factor to health. Books and movies have impacted me as I increase my learning of what and how food does to our bodies. I enjoyed the film Super Size Me and some others like it and am always reading books on nutrition and wellness. In so doing this reading and watching it has also impacted me the cost of "industrializing food" on our economy, our environment and our health as well as our health care system. While I know this blog is about rawkin food and the journey of my family, I am begging the permission to comment briefly on this movie and it's impact.

What concerns me is how it seems that our multi national corporations seem to think it is okay to play "russian roulette" with our food. In my opinon, this is the failure of "the American Way" as we tend to thinki generalities,that if we spread only a little feces in the meat or the impact of one soy bean being genetically modified or that in one hamburger there is only a small amount of anitbiotics or hormones then it won't hurt the average person. It honestly blows my mind. When the movie stated a fact that the average person eats 200lbs of meat a year. If all of that has a "trace" amount of hormones, anitbiotics, pesticides or carcinogens then how much is in 200lbs? Then add in how much is in the milk, the cheese and in the processed food? How much is in the packaging that is not even accounted for in the levels measured? What are we doing? How can we really numb ourselves into believing this is really okay?

I was raised believing in the american dream. I was raised on the food pyramid that has been preached to us through our educational and medical system. I was raised believing that a food stamped meant it was carefully regulated and monitored-that it was SAFE. I brought that belief system into the raising of my children. With all that in mind I am opening my eyes more and more to the awareness that the american dream is antiquated and void. Our food pyramid is absolutely wrong and truly not created for the true health system of the body. I no longer believe in stamped or "regulated" food or that monitored food is anything more than a possible pay off. I open my eyes and I see growing cancer rates. I open my eyes and I see auto immune disease growing in all ages. I look around to see respiratory problems, allergy problems and unexplained health issues as well as psychological issues growing beyond measurement. I see autism on the rise from within my own family to my friends and beyond. I see mmy daughter shaking without control or reason known to doctors. I see degenerative disease taking us over as our system degenerates and fails the people it was intended to serve.

Please note that my disheartened opinion of what I thought was my american dream does not make me a communist or anything nor do I wish I lived somewhere else. I believe strongly in the values of America. I believe it is the greatest country in the world. I believe that all the best intentions were there but that they have gone wrong. It is this strong, heartfelt belief in myk country and it's values that causes this heart break. My GOD, I just want to help my country. We are crumbling in front of our very own eyes.

It seems insurmountable to change. The problem has gotten so huge that I can't imagine how to tackle changing anything. Apathy seems the best coping source. Perhaps that is why we have numbed ourselves into spending higher then we could ever afford. Have we spent our health, our food, our best intentions away as well? I look around at all that needs addressing from education to healthcare to food to consciousness and I become exhausted. Just looking around in my tiny family of three exhausts me as we seem to be spinning our wheels in all of those directions with a fight necessary in each direction I move. Denial does not work. How much longer can we shut our eyes or look away or convince ourselves that because the news anchor said it then it must be true? How much longer can we pretend we trust what we are told when deep inside us "something" is nudging us that this is all wrong. We KNOW we just don't want to know, right?

I get idealism raging in my head to go extreme and pure. I have friends and teachers who have made great steps in these directions. I am so impressed with them. I struggle between being impressed with them and selfishly holding onto that doctrines I was taught as a child about the American dream. I always laugh and say that I wanted McDonald eating Disney watching kids. More honestly, I just wanted to stay ignorant and think that it really was okay to feed McDonalds and teach my kids Disney morals. Sometimes I wish I didn't see so much. Perhaps that is why I have blind spots growing in my eyes. Sometimes I wish I could just poo poo all of this documentary stuff, research books and natural perspective away. Damn, ignornace was bliss. It's gone now.

So what do I do about it. I can tell you that I am going to make my kids watch Food Inc as I made them watch some of the other movies. I am going to keep letting them listen to books on tape about the environment, our health and nutrition. I am going to tell my kids that they are as responsible for I am to finding their truth about it all. I am going to keep trying to do better in my own nutrition, my own environmental consciousness and my own health. It seems so ginormous at times but I am going to just take it one day at a time, I guess,and hope for the best. It's all I have, really. And while I won't preach (except for maybe in a blog or so) I will try to live as an example of more conscious living-maybe not perfect but MORE conscious then I used to be every day and if asked why, I will offer the same resources that are enlightening me to wake up. I will hope that others awaken. Perhpas if more swim upstream with me then we will release the true seeds of change and regeneration. Maybe?


  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I've been into environmentalism since I was a kid, but around 16 years ago, when I lived in Raleigh, I discovered Whole Foods. I couldn't afford to eat too organically in those days, but I sure try to do as much as possible now. I've been blogging about it (both on LJ and Blogger) for 2-3 years, I talk to friends and family about it... and watch their eyes glaze over and I get told, "I don't care."

    That's the sad thing. Most people don't care, or can't make the effort. Or don't want to pay extra for the healthier food. And then they complain about their health care costs and their expanding waistlines.

    And like you said - and I've had the thought too - that all these "trace" levels of this that and the other thing add up across the board to these soaring rates of health and mental issues. None of this stuff gets tested past perhaps a few months, a year, maybe two. We have no idea of the long-term damage any of these things do to us or the environment.

    Just by changing to healthy/mainly organic, and getting the junk out of my diet and getting rid of the sugar/junk cravings, I have lost and permanently kept off 70 lbs. for a couple years now. The next 20 after that I keep bouncing up and down, but the healthier I eat (both more organic and also more vegetarian), I just watch the pounds fall off, even without adding much exercise. I still have LOTS to go, but keeping motivated this year is a BIG goal.

    Books I would recommend to you (or your readers) if you haven't read them yet:
    - the 2 from Michael Pollan I mentioned yesterday
    - "Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn" but even more so the follow up to that, "The Compassionate Carnivore" by Catherine Friend ( and on Blogger as theinkslingerwrites)
    - "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver

    I'm struggling to be full vegetarian, but at least I do my very best to make my meat-eating habits as compassionate as I can by supporting the small farmers who treat their animals humanely.

  2. You know, I get a lot of "I don't care" too or people trying to convince me that it really isn't that bad, etc and I think it is more honest tosay that people really just feel powerless and apathy is a coping mechanism. It's almost a victim mentality. How can they justify the ills of their life and the spiral they have embarked on if they can't play vicitm. It's so sad to me. I see it in my clients sometimes too with physical ailments as tehy say, "What can I do, it hurts to much to do anything" yet they know if they don't move past the pain and exercise and stretch then it will only hurt more causing more medical bills and need for medications. I'm not saying that sometimes that intervention isn't necessary but it can certainly spiral. Then they become victims to it and to medications and the health care issues and costs. It takes so much to rise out of that mentality and I think it is the same with something as BIG as the food industry. I like what they say at the end of the movie, we have the power. We vote every time we eat. Eating consciously will eventually change the system. We just have to be the example for those who are willing to wake up. Maybe it is really just as easy or as difficult as picking a meal that is conscious. Maybe it isn't scarey. Maybe we really CAN do something about it.