My mother used to say to me “Kathy, I think you would have been better off having lived 100 years ago”. She was referring to the slow pace at which I moved. She would have preferred I do things much quicker. She was a busy mother of 8 children. This was “the 60′s”, the advent of processed and convenience foods. This “food revolution” certainly made her life easier. She could purchase a box of hamburger helper, a couple pounds of ground beef, and have a meal ready to eat in record time.
Decades later, we would discover that these convenience foods came at a price. That price is our health. No longer can we sacrifice our health for the sake of convenience. There is no magic pill we can take to correct nutritional deficiencies. Decades of “bad foods” namely denatured fats, highly processed and refined grains and industrial farming practices are virtually killing us! Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are now commonly accepted as normal diseases of aging. Cancer is an all too common cause of death in adults and children. How did we get so off track?
Did you know that before the 1920′s heart disease was virtually never heard of, and those born before WWII were healthier and more robust? During WWII we were sending food supplies overseas. Hydrogenation of oils, grain extrusion, canned and processed meats were needed to preserve foods and extend shelf life. This was the dawn of the “Food Giants”. Food processing turned into big business and profits were put before people. During the 1950′s, Dr. Dudley White (President Eisenhower’s physician), witnessed a rise in heart disease as the public increased their use of liquid vegetable oils and margarine. At the same time consumption of eggs, butter and lard decreased. Americans began consuming chemically laden and hydrogenated oils like Crisco and Wesson, deemed “more healthy” by the FDA and backed by respected organizations like the American Heart Association and Harvard University’s Nutrition Department. As saturated fat consumption from foods like butter and lard have decreased the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have gone up. We began to replace healthy fats and protein with processed grains deemed more “healthy” due to lower fat content. We bought into the “lipid hypothesis” whose studies stated that saturated fats and cholesterol from animal foods caused fatty plaque buildup in arteries leading to heart disease.
CAFO’s (confined animal feeding operations), animals raised in Industrial feed lots eating unnatural diet of corn and soy and other discarded products of the food industry are another contributing factor to our decreasing state of health. Butter, eggs, cream and organ meats from pasture raised animals are considered sacred foods by traditional cultures and were often reserved for couple desiring to conceive. These foods have now been labeled unhealthy and targeted as contributors to heart disease and obesity!
We are on the dawn of a new kind of food revolution, one that puts people and health before profits. True lasting change must start with self-awareness, personal responsibility and willingness to change. Our food system is broken, our health and the health of future generations is at stake.
We need to rethink convenience and what that means to our health. Animals given hormones and fed unnatural diets that make them sick, for convenience and ultimately profit is inhumane and not sustainable. This method of farming poisons our land and waterways and continues reliance on fossil fuels. This does not create a “better world” for anyone.
Shop farmer’s markets and locally based food suppliers. Look for animal products that are pastured and sustainably raised. Draw the line and refuse to purchase from an industry that is destroying our health and the health of the planet.
Sometimes the old ways are the best.