October 2008 Archives
I couldn't have said it better myself. We call diabetes a preventable disease because it is caused by the absence of healthy foods and daily exercise, which what our bodies are designed for. And it doesn't happen overnight. Our bodies resist for many years, but there is only so much abuse they can take. It's a disease of choice. We choose it every time we decide to eat processed industrial food laden with unhealthy pesticides, fats and additives, void of real nutrients and cooked in a way that is toxic.
The good news is that even people who have diabetes can control it and even reverse it by adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. The body is an amazing machine and very rewarding when given what it needs to do its job as it's meant to do.
With just about one week left to the presidential election, the issue of the U.S. Farm Bill has not been discussed by either candidate. But sometimes the actions of a presidential candidate's wife can provide important insight. I was pleased to learn that Michelle Obama mentioned in an interview that she buys organic foods and fresh fruit for her family. This might be an indication that her husband may share her same value system. And, the fact that Barack Obama drinks organic tea might be further hint that he is aware of the superiority of organic food. Having any other new president will be a step in the right direction. But having a president that at least knows that organic is better gives me hope.
Recently, Michael Pollan, author of the best selling book, "the Omnivore's Dilemma," wrote an open letter called, "Farmer in Chief," to the next President of the U.S. in, which he eloquently and articulately outlines a proposal with strategies for sustainable agriculture. Pollan effectively makes the point that food policy is in many ways the underlying cause of what's wrong with all the challenges that the next administration will face, not unlike how processed foods are the underlying cause of the top four killer diseases in the U.S. Pollan systematically shows the connection between the outdated farm bill (providing subsidies to rich corporation in the food commodity industry), the food policy (responsible for our broken food system responsible for cheap toxic calories), the dependency on oil for the entire industrial food system (from growing methods to production and transportation), the crisis in health care (unaffordable and focused on treatment rather than prevention) and national security (how terrorists could easily attack us using our food supplies).
Pollan proposes what he calls the Sun-food diet, food that's grown with sunlight rather than fossil fuel. His insightful solutions include using the power of the sun to grow food, decentralizing the food system and changing America's food culture through education about why and how to grow and cook food. I applaud Pollan’s efforts to plant seeds.
Consumer Reports posted some findings from a report on the health benefits -- or lack thereof -- of industrial breakfast cereals. Here's the good, the bad and the ugly about their report.
The good: Consumer Reports does a nice job on two fronts. First, they highlight how extreme the sugar content is in some cereals. Two major brands are more than half sugar, and nine brands are more than 40% sugar. Obviously, this is candy, not breakfast. The other good thing about the report is that they actually prove that printed serving size is on average different from the serving sizes people actually eat. They found that, on average, children served themselves over 50% more than the serving size printed on the box.
The bad: Consumer Reports then goes on to essentially recommend several cereals because they have a little less sugar and a little more fiber. They recommend Cheerios, Kix, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Life cereals, despite the fact that all contain white sugar or corn syrup, most or all are made with genetically modified grains and all are processed beyond recognition.
The ugly: Consumer Reports completely failed to even mention that healthy cereals exist at all, or that you could easily make your own healthy cereals. Are industrial, processed, genetically modified breakfast cereals really the only choice?
This is why you should never rely on a publication like Consumer Reports for health information. They tend to point you toward middle of the road between health and sickness.
Why not point you toward total health?
Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to go have breakfast now. Cheerios? Don't think so. Never going to happen. I'm making myself a whole grain muesli of organic oats, dried organic fruit bits and raw walnuts from my local farmer's market, organic sunflower seeds, organic ground flax seeds, sliced organic bananas and freshly made raw cashew milk. It will have zero sugar, massive amounts of dietary fiber, phytochemicals, natural vitamins and minerals -- and it will taste far better than any cereal you could buy in a box. (Picture shows this morning's breakfast.)