So...we watched Food, Inc last night...finally. (and now here is where I enter a BIG SIGH) As if my brain wasn't already swimming with information. I am really not sure how to feel about everything. I am scared, empowered, sickened, but most of all angry. I am so angry that I can't even wrap my head around it all. I don't really understand how we got here. I mean, where did morals and value for human and animal kind go? When did we decide that money and greed and technology were miles more important than health and wellness.
If you haven't seen the movie, I really think it is essential that you do if for no other reason than to just know what you and your family are eating, where it comes from, and who is behind it all. If after seeing the movie you decide that it's no big deal and continue to eat what you eat, fine, no big deal. At least you know.
A lot of things in the movie I knew already, but to actually SEE it in action was scary. I covered my eyes several times. There were some things that I did not know, however, and I am thankful to now be able to use that knowledge and take action. Two things I learned:
1. What does it mean when a product says "No GMOs"? I thought it meant that the soybeans were grown naturally instead of hydroponically. Nope. In fact, I was way off. Basically it means this:
a. A company named Monsanto genetically modified soybeans to be resistant to Round-up (weed killer)
b. They patented this new "soybean"
c. Most soybeans in America are GMO (genetically modified)
d. Monsanto prosecutes farmers and/or people who help farmers who try to reuse seed from the previous year
d. Hmmm...do YOU want to eat soybeans that have been sprayed repeatedly with Round-up? Ones who have been genetically modified? It makes me that much more willing to seek out products with the "No GMOs" labeling.
2. Ooohhh boy...my favorite part of the movie! OK, quick question! Can you bring me all of your ground beef and I will magically take the E. coli and other bacteria and contaminants out of it? Problem solved! I am a GENIUS!!! Huh? How did I do it? Oh, you want to know?? Well, I just "washed" it...with Ammonia. That's OK isn't it? NO?!? Oh, well, sorry because 70% of the beef you eat in fast food chains contains some of this "clean" beef. The goal is 100% in the next several years.
I am at a loss here with this one. Instead of doing something about the E. coli before it even gets into the beef by changing the way the cattle eat (grass not corn), the way they are raised (smaller farms where they aren't standing in each other's crap all day), and the way they are processed (more sanitary conditions, not using diseased meat, not using "downed" cattle, etc.), they want to just keep it the same and add even more chemicals and crap on top of it. Problem solved...I mean another problem created. UUUUGGGGHHHH!
Did I say you need to watch this film?
I'm not really sure how yet, but I know that God is leading me to all of this information for a reason. It all started with a small (small in the whole scheme of life) task that He laid in front of me - get healthy and get your family healthy. Then, it seemed to just snowball from there. Now, I feel like I am standing in front of a pack of lions (LOL - this is reference to a series we did at our church that likened following God's will for your life to "chasing a lion." check it out here). I don't think these lions are going away...soooo...i guess I am going to need some friends to help me chase them...who's with me?
Where do we start? Well, first of all, if you haven't already, don't take my word for it. Read a book, watch a movie, research on Google, read labels, demand nutrition facts at restaurants and if you can't get em - don't eat there! Then, tell people what you learn. You can go to sites like: http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution/petition or http://www.takepart.com/foodinc for more info and to sign petitions to help make school lunches more healthy for our kids. Here are some other tips from the movie:
1. Drink fewer sodas and other sweetened beverages. Fact: If you replace one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water) you could lose 25 pounds in a year.
2. Eat at home instead of eating out. Fact: Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food made outside the home.
3. Support the passage of state and local laws to require chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards. Fact: Half of the large chain restaurants do not provide any nutrition information to their customers.
4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks. Fact: Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years.
5. Meatless Mondays...Go without meat one day a week. Fact: An estimated 70% of all antibiotics in the United States are given to farm animals.
6. Buy organic or sustainable foods with little or no pesticide use. Fact: According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S.
7. Protect family farms, visit your local farmer's market. Fact: Farmers markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
8. Make a point to know where your food comes from - READ LABELS. Fact: The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.
9. Tell congress that food safety is important to you. Fact: Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the United States.
10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections. Fact: Poverty among farmworkers is more than double that of all wage and salary employees.