my friend, stephanie, has inspired me with her most recent post. apparently this was a topic on oprah today, i don’t watch her show, but it’s a good topic. my comment on her post (which is great – read it. the post, not my comment.), was quickly turning into a post of it’s own, so i decided to continue my vent here. it probably won’t be as eloquent as hers, but i’m climbing up on the soapbox she just got off of.
we eat CRAP!
LOTS and LOTS of CRAP!!! as a nation, it astounds me how much non-food we consume.
i’ve wondered about this for a long time, but it used to be inspired from an environmental standpoint rather than a nutritional standpoint. i wondered about all the garbage we throw out. it bothered me that you couldn’t go to the store and buy granola bars without also buying a box and 6 wrappers, that would then be thrown away. i wondered why, every time you buy salad dressing or ketchup, you have to buy a new bottle, which would then be thrown away. i wondered why, every time you buy cereal, you also buy another box AND a plastic bag… you get the idea.
so then i started thinking about different cultures around the world – people who don’t have overflowing landfills, and haven’t needed to organize massive recycling efforts in their communities because they HAVE NO TRASH! why is it they have no trash? because they actually produce their own food. with their own hands they grow it or kill it or gather it from whatever resources they have around them. that’s the way it used to be here too, you know. people used to actually grow or raise EVERYTHING they needed to survive. yes, it was hard work.
but we don’t do that anymore. we don’t do anything resembling that anymore. going to safeway and buying a box of cereal, a frozen pizza, a gallon of hormone produced milk, and a bag of chemically sprayed ‘salad’ is not the same. why? what brought about this change? technology? maybe. i don’t know. i really don’t get it either. life may be ‘easier’ for us now in some ways, but it doesn’t seem to me that anyone is any happier OR healthier than people were 100 years ago. granted, i can’t really speak for people 100 years ago because i didn’t live then, but i can speak for people today. maybe you would argue that people ARE healthier now, because the average lifespan is longer. i argue that that is only because our technology in prolonging life and treating the diseases we bring on ourselves (because of our lifestyle) has kept up pretty well with our self-destructive choices. as far as how happy we are, think of how many people you know who are stressed out, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. are people really happy? if they were, would we be constantly be so compelled to spend more and more money we don’t have trying to acquire the latest, best, biggest, whatever? it seems like people who are happy should be generally content. not complacent. content. i don’t know that i know anyone who is TRULY content.
here’s another angle that really bugs me. people used to work. actually work. now, people look down on those whose jobs involve actual work. the ‘best’ jobs are those that involve sitting behind a desk and doing something on a computer, right? so we do this, and then our doctor tells us we’re overweight, or we have high cholesterol, or we need to improve our cardiovascular health. so we go to a gym and run on a treadmill going nowhere, or pretend to climb stairs, or lift ‘weights’. and of course, after spending all those hours doing our ‘work’ and ‘exercise’ we have no time left to prepare healthy ‘real’ food, so we eat out or pull some package of something out of the freezer and heat it up.
does this seem bizarre to anyone else?
i know this post is going all over the place and i know it’s completely hypocritical. i’m not excusing myself from any of the descriptions above.
i just kind of wonder how we got here? i wonder where it is that people got the idea that it would be good to drink several cans of soda every day? i wonder why people think they don’t have to prepare food for their families. i wonder why people think that giving their kids blue cotton candy flavored yogurt is the same as feeding them something healthy.
overturning the responsibility of what we put into our bodies to strangers is just one of many very disturbing trends i see. and these are not strangers who have any interest whatsoever in your health or well-being. these are strangers who want to make money. lots of it. and they don’t really care if they make you fat or give you cancer or diabetes, or if they destroy all of the naturally occurring nutrients and minerals in the soil in which they grow that food, or if the chickens they raise can’t support their own weight… and they make that money by blindsiding people who don’t care enough about what they put in their bodies.
okay, well i’m off my soapbox and on to cooking dinner. i’m feeling a little sheepish about that BOX of whole wheat cous cous that’s on the menu.