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Monday, March 25, 2013

Your Food Has a Story to Tell - Are You Listening?

You have probably heard that the average piece of food travels 1,500 miles from farm-to-table, but that statistic is really just the beginning of the story. Our food is not only traveling farther than ever before, it is also undergoing more manipulation and adulteration. 

Consider the following basic - and startling - facts:

 According to FarmAid, “Corporate concentration is pushing you and over 300 million eaters in America farther and farther away from the family farmers who grow our food. Despite the appearance of choice in the marketplace, food is being produced by fewer and fewer family farmers and controlled by just a handful of corporations. As of 2007, four companies owned 83.5% of beef production, while 93% of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the United States fall under the control of just one company.”

As reported in a recent article in The Daily Beast: “Every year at least 310,000 Americans go to an early grave and many more are sickened because of largely preventable diet-related conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, strokes, and some cancers. The big problem with our food supply isn’t pathogens, it is processed food. We’re being killed not by E. coli, salmonella, or campylobacter, but by the nutritionally hollow contents of the bags, boxes, and fast-food clamshells that have managed to pass as nourishment in our society. Some 70 percent of the calories Americans consume now come from highly processed foods—loaded up with salt, sugar, fat, strange additives, and refined grains and bereft of naturally occurring nutrients and antioxidants.”

This shift in our food system not only makes it difficult to know where our food really comes from or what it really is, it is also compromising the quality of our food in innumerable ways and negatively impacting our environment and family farmers.

What’s the solution?  Many books have been dedicated to the topic and new rules and regulations are being proposed in cities and states across the country (and even at the federal level) on a regular basis. While we wait for systemic change, the simplest and most powerful thing any individual can do is to get to know your food - where it comes from, what’s in it, what’s been done to it, and everything else you can uncover about how it traveled from its source to your store, market, or table. The more questions you ask - and find the answers to - the more empowered you are to make the healthiest, most sustainable choices!

Your food has a story - maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad - are you willing to stop and listen? 

Join others “trying to get to know their food” by tackling the 2013 Holistic Living Challenge. Learn all the different easy ways you can bump up the health and happiness in your home and connect with people across the country who are on the same path! Take on the monthly challenges for a chance to win great prizes. Take the challenge today!

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