America continues to slip in the ranks of “healthiest countries in the world”- over the past 10 years we’ve slipped from #37 to #44! There are many reasons for this, but one- a pressing issue- is that we’re a nation that is overfed but under nourished. Food is everywhere, at every checkout in every store, on every street corner. But where is the nutrition? For that, we have to look a little harder.
One of my favorite quotes about food in America is: “People are fed by the food industry, which pays no attention to health, are treated by the health industry, which pays no attention to food.” (Wendell Berry)
Many of our current diseases can be linked directly to the foods that we eat. For example our current health fad of low fat foods has been implicated in obesity and heart disease, the two diseases that we think we’re preventing in the first place!
Not surprisingly, Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated by conflicting nutritional information. For true nutrition, follow one simple rule: if it’s not food, don’t eat it. That sounds simple enough, but more than 90 percent of the food purchased in America today falls into the “highly processed” category. We have fast-paced lifestyles, and the quick & easy route has become the norm; accepted as a necessity just to get by. Relentless advertising to our children for prepackaged lunches and sugary breakfast cereals turns the dinner table into a battle ground.
Getting back to our roots with food doesn’t have to mean war with our children or an inconvenience to our lifestyle. It really is as simple as educating ourselves about proper preparation and purchasing from sources of nutrient dense, disease preventing and purely delicious real foods.