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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

Can Processed Food be Green...or Sustainable?

Think system - your food and exercise system is part of your personal health system. You're in charge.

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apple and crossection I watched this video by Peter Jennings about America's food industry and while I vaguely recall seeing it on television some time back, the impact hit me again.

You might want to watch this Food and Obesity clip

When you look at the big business of processed foods and how government subsidies affect the mix of foods that show up on our grocery shelves, the thoughtful parent or conscientious retailer must ask themselves what their role in this food system is.

What is "green, sustainable food"?

The food pyramid has recently been revised because research showed that we were eating too much processed grain and animal fat. The result is more diabetes in children and obesity in adults.

But when you look at this video and you see the breakout of food subsidies compared to the nutrition pyramid -- a thinking person can downright freak out!

What can we do about the food system?

It could be a good thing that the corn crop is being diverted from the food system into ethanol. Most of our sweetener comes from corn. And sweetener is at the heart of obesity.

Old fashioned nutritional wisdom is coming the the forefront, again.

According to all the major health organizations, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Medicine, National Cancer Society, Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine and others say the following:

To lose weight you need to eat a healthy whole foods diet which is abundant in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, walk 30 minutes a day at least 3 times a week, and drink 8 to 12 glasses of water a day. You should also reduce your consumption of saturated fat, processed sugar, sodas, flour, and limit meats to 3 ounces a day.

What that translates into for a green and sustainable food supply is to get back to locally grown fruits and vegetables that retain their flavor and freshness without undue transportation.

Shop at the Farmers Market more than at the Super Market.

Eat at home instead of the fast food restaurant.

Eat less. Walk more. Count calories. Count steps.

Drink more water ... and city water is healthier and more sustainable than bottled water.

Walk instead of ride.

Get outdoors at least 30 minutes a day...and try working in the shade on the weekends. Change the balance of being indoors 90% of the time!

Reduce problematic foods like too much protein and fat and sugar. Replace them with delicious, whole foods and raw foods grown in organic and well-tended gardens.

You might even take up a bit of gardening yourself to remind yourself how fresh foods can really be. And to reduce your stress.

When you make choices after carefully researching your options, they tend to be better choices than when you just follow the easy way...or the crowd.

That's thinking green. And living sustainably.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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