Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review - Food, Inc.

I have been meatless since July (I am still eating fish) and I am eating organic animal and plant products as much as I can. Organic, pasture fed milk has been easy to find and I've been basically only indulging in organic, free range sources of ice cream.

I don't think I could ever go completely vegan, but I am a Pescetarian and it is working out well.  My energy levels are higher than they have been in years. I had been heavily influenced to alter my eating habits after reading about the health benefits, the environmental issues behind food and the cruelty to animals on industrialized farms.  I am not anti-meat since I have no problem with eating meat if the animals are being treated well.  I realize they will be killed at some point, but I repeat, I am not anti-meat, but I am anti-meat from industrialized farms.  Pumping animals with hormones, antibiotics and all of the other junk will cause us to have physical issues.  By eating that meat, we are eating that junk.    

I had seen the documentary "Food, Inc.," so I decided to read the book that accompanies the film.  What I don't understand is why we have politicized food.  The book version is far more political than the film, but this doesn't mean that the book isn't enlightening on many levels.

I am not into the notion of telling people what to eat.  Personally, I don't want to become a pain in the neck to my friends and acquaintances.  If they want to eat meat, let them eat meat, but it would be helpful if they were educated on the issues surrounding the concept of eating meat.  When I came of age, we didn't have industrialized farms. Meat in the "old day" was meat. The old days aren't that long ago.  I'm not that old!  Today, we should encourage our elected officials to pass environmental laws that would force the factory farms to clean up their waste. We should make laws that inform us of what is "really" in our food. Animal welfare laws should be enacted to end unnecessary cruelty.  This isn't difficult to do, but does anyone have the courage to do it?  Probably not.  The average person isn't thinking about food. I basically don't want the government to get bigger than it already is, but with all of the regulation on food we still don't get it right. Of course, we don't.  I haven't heard one single elected official discuss this issue.  Check out the sites of your respective Senators, Reps in the House and state elected officials and see if you find one of them that has a page dedicated to preserving and protecting our food supply.  If you find one, please let me know. 

The average Joe and Mary are eating their beef sandwiches, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and deep fried chicken wings without any thought as to what they are putting into their bodies.  Their temples. We can purchase sustainably raised meat and dairy products.  Do some research.  Buy your meat directly from a local farmer or at a farmers' market. Organic meat means that the products have met standards about how the meat was produced. It's relatively simple, but also keep in mind that eating organic doesn't necessarily mean you are eating from a free range farm.

Write your representatives in Congress (Senators and Representatives) regarding farm policies. Sounds boring?  It isn't. Be self-involved (probably not hard to do) and think about what is going into your body.  Think about your children. Think about your grandchildren. Think about you.

Do you have any idea what you are putting into your mouth? Cows, pigs and chickens are sitting in their own poop and guess where it ends up? Do you have any idea how cruelly these animals can and often are treated?  By the way, when the poop drains out from where that cow is standing ---- it ends up where?  I don't think I need to spell that one out.

We eat out too much. Yes, let's keep the economy going, but attempt to do more than watch the Food Network. Cook. You can use your creative skills and eliminate the salt.  Salt increases your blood pressure and high blood pressure left unchecked can kill you.

I highly recommend Stonyfield milk.  It's organic and the dairy cows are free range.  It tastes fantastic and the price isn't high.  The price isn't much more than the average half gallon of non-organic milk. There are several other organic and free range milks out there, but I have settled on Stonyfield.  Organic Valley milk is also quite good. I like Oberweiss dairy products very much.  Oberweiss is found in the Midwest.  Excellent milk. I also have enjoyed soy milk.  Almond milk hasn't caught on with my tastebuds, but I know many are enjoying the almond milk.

Most people don't eat to stay healthy.  They like the taste of a hot dog, therefore they eat a hot dog. Studies show that almost every single one of us living in the United States doesn't get the nutrition they need because of modern food production, processing and the distribution of food.

The lack of good nutrition interferes with the body's ability to heal itself which ultimately causes disease and early aging. The foods we eat no longer have sufficient nutrition in them. Tests show that we would need to eat 10 to 15 carrots to get the same amount of zinc found in one carrot from 50 years ago; and you would have to eat four carrots to get the same amount of magnesium.

Food, Inc.- the book is too political. We are all involved in the issue of food.  Whether you are liberal, conservative, ultra-left or ultra-right, food should be important to you.

By the way, McDonald's recently fired the egg company that was abusing chickens, so that's a smart move.  Learn more. Just learn more.

In this case, you may want to watch the movie as opposed to reading the book. Get involved. Write your elected officials.  

Copyright 2012 Read On Read Now


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