This week in the Flog:
- Happy New Year!
- This week: Healthy Eating Today
Happy New Year from the Unconventional Farmer! We are determined to make 2014 the best year yet for the ‘Farmer. I have big plans for this site – we’ve barely scratched the surface and I’m incredibly excited for what’s on the books for this year. Stick around and you’ll see! Sign up for the Flog at right to get our weekly updates, and specials reserved for members only, including new Recipes not yet released!
This week’s post is a little farther afield, but still important to us as unconventional farmers. We farm to provide clean healthy food to our families and friends, while protecting and even enhancing the environment. This post covers an article on nutrition and some thoughts it provoked that are relevant to us as thought leaders in the personal food cultivation industry.
This article covers food and nutrition and how we eat these days. The synopsis is – we suck. “In 2004 the US surgeon general suggested that we are raising the first generation of Americans likely to have shorter lives than their parents.” Although we conquered the diet/nutrition puzzle fifty years ago, people are eating worse now than ever. It’s amazing. So we’re looking at why.
It is a really interesting topic, and the writer uncovered some great arguments. One interesting point is that “It’s hard to eat differently from people around you, because eating isn’t just about health, or pleasure, it’s also a cultural act – on some level what you eat defines your tribe.” Perhaps the greatest reason for the diet change lies with the food industry and our culture – “Changes in lifestyle have converged with food industry attempts to increase the desirability of processed food to create a cultural shift in how we eat. Growing your own feed was once a strategy against poverty, but for families struggling to fill bellies today, fast food often works out to be the most inexpensive option.” To the point where bringing vegetables for lunch is illegal in some schools! The dirt from the garden is considered unhygienic and only processed foods are allowed.
But what really interests me about the article is the discussion on knowledge and its relationship to our eating habits. As we understand more and more about nutrition and health, we simultaneously know less and less about the food we consume on a daily basis. What does that mean for our diet and changing our cultural viewpoint? Stop focusing on health, on diets, on nutrition. Start focusing simply on the food we eat every day. What is in this chocolate bar? Where did this steak come from and what went into it? How far did this sugar beet travel to get to this supermarket? How is my choice right here affecting me, my family, my environment and the global environment?
When faced with these questions, students started making better decisions regarding their eating habits. They were more likely to eat fresh vegetables and less likely to eat processed food and fatty meats. The researcher states “I can tell you to eat differently because it’s good for you, and you’ll never change. But if I say ‘If you eat differently you can help others,’ it can produce this huge shift in diet.”
This is a great, hopeful note to end on. We are unconventional farmers. We grow our own food. We are weird and passionate and driven. We can simply lead in our choice to be different. You don’t need to be an evangelist, I’m not asking you to do that. But I want you to know how awesome your choices are, so you are aware of that. You are leading by example. Keep on learning, keep on doing.
Link to article again here.