In a time before there were designer farmer markets and natural/organic sections (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc…) food was organic, it wasn’t gown in waste sludge with pesticides and genetically modified. Food wasn’t colored, dyed, filled with additives and preservatives, scented, irradiated, packaged and then labeled as a food like substance. Food used to be simple- it used to be just that- food.
Enter the modern day super market, or super center, or wellness center- after government subsidies, corporate takeovers and industrialization it’s hard to tell what “real” food is anymore. Poverty lines and cultural difference have carved a stark contrast in daily meal plans. Hit up your local grocery store in parts of Aurora and the prices are actually different (usually priced less) for your average bag of Doritos; drive on over to your Cherry Creek grocery store and the same bag will have a different price tag on it. Head over to Boston and you’ll find a small chains of convenience stores where apples cost more than a snickers and there is virtually no produce for sale. Eggs are no longer just eggs, you have free-range, organic, pasture raised, vegetarian fed etc… Grab a carton of milk, you can have with or without growth hormones (the FDA has no conclusive evidence milk treated without the use of rBGH & rBST shows any significant nutritional difference) grass fed, partially pasteurized, pasteurized, whole, half, organic etc… You assume if it costs more, it’s probably better for you.
Did I lose you in that last paragraph (that was the goal)? How are consumers’ to make healthy choices when there are literally 50 shades of green to choose from; with misinformation, advertising and fad diets rampant, who has time to research what lettuce to buy? It’s hard to make it to the grocery store as is.
With the New Year here I have a sneaking suspicion that pledges have been made, goals have been set, and resolutions have been pinned to the refrigerator. Maybe it’s to lose weight, eat less sugar, eat more veggies- I don’t know. But I can tell you the difference between a green cow and a mad cow and why it matters to our health; and not just physical health but how our food process is draining our resources at a rapid and unsustainable rate. I can tell you about corn and how GMO crops has literally ruined rural farm areas across South America and driven populations into the slums or the impact of GMO cotton farming in India.
So stick with me for a few weeks and follow the green eaters’ mantra “eat seasonal, local, organic foods,” and I’ll do my best to give you the low down. Food is more than just calories, sugar, and sodium content.