Try as we may, there is an undeniable connection between our food and our health. We can’t deny it, it is what makes us up, after all. Try to have special diets and focus on fad foods of the day, serves only to distract us away from the simplicity of the function that food really is: to nourish our bodies with it’s consumption, and to nourish our soul with the time spent growing, preparing and sharing a meal with the people in our families and communities. Gone is that sense of community in which all work together for the good of the whole, working to bring in the harvest or plant on time, to have harvest celebrations with neighbors as you celebrate with gratitude the joyous bounty the growing season provided. The labor that provided real effect on our lives has become a meaningless effort at punching a time clock and feeling all too well a feeling of purposelessness rather than pleasure in our work. No, there is no denying what has been lost with the advent of convenience and greed schemes. Much more than our physical health has been lost, but the health of our small communities and nourishing support of those that worked right along side of us.
This doesn’t mean we lament the “good ol days” and wish for a return to them. That can never happen, nor would it be right to wish it so. However, it is equally deficient to struggle on in ways that are not growing with our lives. It is not effective to let the powers that be decide what is “food” while we toil away at jobs to make the rich richer, working ever after for the “American Dream”, which many wonder if still exists?
It means we learn to work with intention rather than a “herd (sheep) mentality” and look closely at the reasons we eat. To examine why we’ve made it so difficult and how to get back to the basics and learn to enjoy the most essential part of our body vehicle’s existence. f we want health and humanity, a sense of peace and tolerance over differences, we need again to unite at the very core of what is necessary to our bodies’ health, and essential to the continuation of Earth itself.
“We can no longer only think about individual health. We have to think about how everything in interconnected...every choice we make has consequences on us and on the planet.”
-Dr. Michelle McMacken
I don’t think anyone can argue against the fact that what we eat affects our health, either negatively or positively. It seems obvious we need to rethink our conventional diets. According to an article by Kate Good in 2018, “it is currently estimated that nearly half of deaths from heart disease, diabetes and stroke in the U.S. were tied to diet. On top of that, 69% of adult Americans are overweight and 36% are obese, not to mention about 1 out of 6 children and adolescents are obese. “
According to the author, the average American eats “double the amount of protein they need, two thirds of which comes from animal sources - and the Standard American Diet emphasizes a high intake of meat, dairy, fat and sugar as well as refined, processed and junk foods….so we’re not exactly setting ourselves up for success here.”
With growing information and access to it, coupled with an understanding that we don’t FEEL the way we want to feel, we don’t LOOK the way we want to look, more and more are looking into making “better” choices, however the opinions vary on this.
Continuous new diet fads and trends coming out serve to offer up a platter of conflicting information. We know we are supposed to eat our fruits and vegetables, but for convenience sake and availability, the canned, processed choices are little better than the alternative. Worse yet, you can pretty much find studies for both sides saying on either side that these foods can be helpful or harmful to our health. For instance, even the American Heart Association put out an article how Coconut Oil is “bad” for you! No wonder we have gotten off track, when the “authorities” that we’ve grown accustomed to listening to send confusing messages as well, and to what (or who’s) gain?
When it comes to knowing who or what to listen to, do we trust our doctors, organizations and our government establishments? The suggestion could be backed that when it comes to our own health, learning to listen to our own bodies, re-learning the basic function of food and it’s purpose in our bodies, being mindful of where food comes from, and then being smart and logical as to whether it should be consumed or not, would take us far on our journey away from stress and confusion towards health and peace. It is, after all, only food.