Now I should say that I’m pretty removed from mainstream media and pop culture these days—I don’t own a TV, my radio dial is set to KQED-the local public radio station, the only magazine I subscribe to is Spirituality and Health and most of my Facebook friends post affirmations of what they’re grateful for and photos of Rumi quotes rather than their musings on the latest Kardashian affair.
All this to say, when I walked down the magazine aisle and saw this, I was shocked.
And Angry. And wanted to Vomit. And thought, “Really, America, this is the best we can come up with? These are the messages we want to continue feeding ourselves and the messages we want to pass onto our daughters?! Who writes these articles?? Have they ever thought to reflect just a little more deeply for one second?? I’m not asking for much here, just that for a millisecond we stop obsessing about our weight and what we’re eating and how we look and put the focus outside of ourselves.
Alongside all the quick “lose weight quick” and “get the perfect butt” gimmicks, this particle article rose my blood temperature a couple of degrees:
TITLE: Food Lies that are Making you Fat
Example: Organic Produce Packs more Nutrients than the Conventional Kind
Real Deal: “Although buying organic helps protect the environment, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Found they have no nutritional advantage over their conventionally grown counterparts…”and goes onto to say therefore there’s no real need to buy organic.
To state the obvious, eating organic over non-organic has nothing to do with making us fat, but more importantly, I got angry with this article because of its greater implications that having a positive impact on the environment is not enough of a reason to influence our food choices.
Lately, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the amount of waste we as a consumerist culture produce. I alone, find myself throwing away countless wrappers, cappuccino cups, to-go containers and plastic bags away on a daily basis. I recently learned that only about 5% of what we recycle actually gets reused and I think about ‘advancements’ we in the ‘Developed’ World have created—dishwashers, flushing toilets, laundry machines, toilet paper—and how about each of these is out of sync with the natural world and continues to deplete the Earth’s resources.
Just about the same time I began to think about all these things, an amazing woman moved into my home. B. grew up in an indigenous culture in Columbia and she tells me of her childhood, living off of the land, eating the fruit and vegetables that grew abudantly around, human waste serving as fertilizer for the ground, saying a prayer before each meal—the concept of garbage unimaginable. When she speaks, I feel a yearning to know what a life like this would be like.
But I digress--
To go back to the article– There is a lot to be said of the debate on organics vs. non-organics, and the idea that ‘organic’ has just become yet another make money branding scheme—all of which I will not get into here. But the idea that we need not consider the environment in our food choices is something I ask we seriously reconsider. In an age where doomsday predictions of global warming are feeling eerily close and some scientists say 50 years is all we got left unless we make some serious changes—I think it’s important to ask what are the changes we can make in our day to day to help chaperon in a future we can be proud of.
And, this can start with the food choices we make.
Processed foods in plastic wrappers bumped with chemicals=bad for your health and bad for the environment.
Locally grown seasonal foods grown without pesticides=good for the environment and good for your body.
So this New Years, to help with your fitness resolutions, instead of picking up some trashy magazine that will probably make you feel worse about yourself and end up contributing to the world’s trash problem, plant a garden, make a meal from ingredients bought at your local farmers market or ride your bike to work–the Earth and your body will thank you.