The top objections that I frequently hear to cooking and living healthier are:
“It’s too expensive.”
“It’s too difficult.”
“It takes a long time and I’m too busy.”
(photos made by Alice Inoue from our Food & Feng Shui event)
While these are all important realities for us in a variety of ways, let’s forget them just for a moment. I want to focus on another viewpoint that maybe you haven’t thought about, which touches on the hidden costs of cheap food and justifications for choosing to purchase organic foods. This reason is deeply rooted in the changes to our food system. (In another blog, I’m going to talk about why whole foods in particular (not just organic foods) are especially important.)
People ask me, “Don’t you ever fall off the wagon?” Well, perfect balance never exists, and I am just as busy or busier than the next person. Despite this, as much as possible I try to eat a diet that is “close to the center” or moderate versus extreme. However, I’m not perfect (are you shocked?!) so of course I have times when I too eat things that may not be as healthy as another choice I could make.
What keeps me motivated to keep choosing better quality options for myself? Is it just that I have iron clad will power?
Actually, will power has nothing to do with this situation. If I were to will my mind to force myself to eat something, or to stop me from eating something in contrast, this simply would not work in a long lasting way. We cannot make deep change from our minds. Instead, our actions come from our values that we hold.
In fact, I went to the same school as the son of one of the biggest potato companies in the US, if not the whole world. This company supplies about 90% of its potatoes to McDonald’s, and these potatoes are now manufactured and grown as the perfect size and shape so they will fit into an industrial potato cutting machine. The hungry consumer wants the perfect french fry experience.
This same company also deals with chemicals and fertilizers, and there are some rumors there on the internet that these potatoes are genetically modified. I had many friends from this area of the state, and during breaks in school, I would go hang out with them in their home towns. When you drive by the factory, this is what it looks like (see photos below).
In addition, take a look at what the fish look like in the river near the factory (hint, they have more than one head)…
Knowing that if I buy some french fries or a bag of frozen potatoes that are so “convenient” or “cheap” is not worth it to me. The hidden costs to the environment and my own personal health are way more blood on my hands than a couple of dollars more for organic!
Here’s what an organic potato farm looks like:
One of these things is NOT like the other! When I see these photos, in the first set, I am choking and contracting inward, and in the other, expanding with a deep breath.
One of my top values, in addition to health, is protecting the environment. If I ever live out of alignment with my values, I feel horrible. Thus, it makes the choice to pay a little bit extra for organic NATURAL AND EASY! It’s exceptionally difficult for me to purchase something that contributes to the destruction of our earth.
Organic farmers work hard to bring us products grown with integrity. In contrast to a multinational corporation, organic farmers are taking into consideration the working conditions for the workers, the environmental impact, and our personal health. Without a doubt in my mind, they need to be paid for the work they do so that we can create a sustainable and clean world!
Think about it….