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gratification society
instant gratification
open dialogue
poor nutrition
school lunches
real food
Food Revolution - Is America Ready?
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If the latest buzz about the new season of Food Revolution is any indication, the desire to reverse the American diet is gaining steam. The rise of obesity and the consequences involved means that for the first time in modern America, children today may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. That's a tough statistic to absorb. How did we get here, and what can we do to reverse the trend? Are we ready to make the necessary changes?

Enter Jamie Oliver. The main problem, as he points out, is that overly processed foods are so ingrained into our food system that we don't really think about it anymore. Seemingly good things like milk and juice are often teeming with added sugar. In tons of other everyday eats, sodium and fat are king.

In Episode 1 of this season of Food Revolution, all Jamie Oliver wanted to do was talk with an LA school district about poor nutrition in school lunches, but he wasn't even allowed through the door! What could possibly be wrong about wanting to discuss our kids health? The system is so ingrained that school authorities don't even want to start an open dialogue. Business as usual continues to survive, and society is paying for it dearly.

Jamie isn't the only crusader as of late to advocate change to the American diet - Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan has also been a standout voice for real food. This 'real food', as Pollan describes, is different from the "foodlike edible substances" that we've become accustomed to. Food as our grandparents knew it wasn't laced with man made chemicals. In his latest books In Defense of Food and Food Rules, Pollan lays out the history of how corporations overtook the food industry, and what grassroots movements like the slow food movement are doing today to turn this around. Both reads are highly recommended.

Aside from the hidden dangers of over-processed foods which are often hidden from the public view, another problem seems to be our attitude when it comes to eating. We are an instant gratification society, so conveniences like fast food are not likely to just go away. It's not that we aren't educated about the matter - we all know that fatty, sugary, and salty fast foods are bad- but we continue to eat them anyway! Therein lies the question of the hour: is American ready for a revolution? Not yet, with the habits that are left to overcome, but that doesn't mean that we can give up! The slow food movement, which emphasizes eating local (and when possible, organic) foods is gaining that critical mass where it finally has an influence.

Where can individuals start? For starters, raise your voice when it comes misleading corporations and what they call 'food'. Try to eat what's raised and grown local to you and ask what's in season. Better yet, start your own garden... baby steps at the individual level are where progress begins.


Street Talk

Kylie R  

Good and current information. Obesity is rife. It's time people thought about what they're eating, not only for themselves but for their children.

Reply
  about 2 years ago
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