i love being home in the states. it’s such an exciting time; with all the changes in washington, and the growing awareness of environmental concerns, it seems america is poised to reclaim it’s position in global leadership. i’ve seen so many people taking charge of their health in my past few months here, and it inspires me. unfortunately, even as the concepts of organic food and chemical-free living grow into the mainstream, it seem so many others remain numb to their body’s nutritional needs. coca-cola, pasteurized dairy, and processed-food diets still plague many of the people i see. it’s gotten so bad that my favorite gardens have a fleet of electric scooters to carry disabled (mostly overweight) visitors around the grounds.
the standard american diet (sad, isn’t it?) of meat at every meal still seems the norm to most of the people i meet. what most people don’t realize is that this was NOT a standard american diet 100 years ago. meat was served rarely, and it was raised on the farm, the way you picture it in your childhood storybooks. nowadays, it’s served at every meal, and the majority of the animals are raised in a factory, arriving at your plate full of antibiotics, feces, hormones, and god knows what else. the sad state of factory farming reminds me of a paul mccartney quote: ‘if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian’. but they don’t, so we consume in ignorant bliss. ok, there’s nothing worse than a self-righteous vegetarian. i’m not sayin you must go vegan, but please educate yourself on the truth of what you consume for your own good! it’s especially troubling that doctors at the ubiquitous nationwide dialysis centers are pushing high-meat diets, even as the united nations draws plans to advise a global cutback in meat consumption. i admit that i ate meat this summer for the first time in years. my tcm guru, bless her, lovingly encouraged me to add some back into my diet for health reasons. so i tried some high-quality, farm-raised, cruelty-free beef, and i have to say i enjoyed it. in fact, i ate alot of meat this summer, but only when it was offered by those close to me. i DO know better, but it’s tough to fight an avalanche of influence. and this is true for all of us.
sure, in sunny so-cal you’ve got hippie-friendly whole food options in many cafes and restaurants, but i’ve not seen one in suburban delaware. and i have to assume this is true in many communities. as a nation, i’m not sure how we’ll get well if all we’re offered is low-cost food smothered in cheese at every meal. and this seems to be on the menu everywhere i look. people are sick, and everyone’s on some kind of medication for it, but everyone’s suffering the same disorder from where i see it. nutritional deficiency is the norm in the nation with the most abundant resources on earth. we have everything here! so many options the head spins. but we insist on the cheapest, most processed, artificially enhanced, nutritionally DEAD food, and we wonder why we lead the world in cancer, obesity, add, depression, and heart disease.
i’m not trying to change the world. it’s perfect the way it is. the contrasts make life fun. i’m simply observing from an expat’s perspective, and it’s sad to me when i visit my home and see this paradox. garbage in – garbage out. then ask the doctor to fix it when it’s broken. i used to get angry at doctors and the opportunistic pharmaceutical/insurance industry, but really it’s the consumers who control their health. and it’s the consumers who shape the climate in a capitalist system. simple food choices, chosen by enough consumers, will naturally lead mcdonalds to adapt or go the way of the dinosaur. more people are awakening to the impact of their food on their lives, and the true costs of their consumption beyond their wallet. i, for one, am happy to provoke this realization whenever i get the chance.
it seems this is a time of dramatic change here in the west, and the us is set to reclaim it’s lost direction on many fronts. the young are all teaching their parents to recycle. hopefully, we can also teach them how to eat:)
in service and gratitude…