When did eating become so complicated??
This would seem like a simple question to one studying nutrition but what about those who are unconscious eaters? By unconscious eaters I mean people who eat within the confines of what they are able to provide for their families. There are social factors that affect how we eat and how we live. Specifically those who are on a fixed income or any other subsidized food program. In these instances eating what is easily accessible, affordable and convenient become the determining factors for what is eaten.
Let’s have a serious conversation about the foods that we eat. Yes eating what we eat is defined by where we live, how much money we make and what is available closest to where we live. Wouldn’t it be nice to grow where you lived and always have access to fresh wholesome foods? This would eliminate so much of the consumption of highly processed foods and eating fast foods! We could easily argue that everyone has a choice of the foods that they eat. But what about a family on one income and on welfare. Everyone is the house has to eat so we will eat what is available near us and that we can get large quantities of.
The Freedom to Choose
Honestly could we really state that people choose to eat poorly or are they eating all that they know to eat? If a child grows up eating fast foods, they are comfortable eating what they know because of the memories associated with eating from that chain restaurant. Once they become an adult and they begin to maybe experience health problems or become overweight they soon learn that the foods they had come to desire were not good for them. Now on the other hand if we all lived near fresh water with good fertilized soil and could grow fresh, wholesome foods for our families and had been accustomed to eating these foods. We would love eating like that because of the memories and taste of the real foods we grew up eating. But what if we live in an overly populated city, in subsidized housing and have no access to any outdoor greenspace? The latter of these two seems more realistic to most people today. We have traded our green spaces and growing our own foods to relying heavily on the foods that are sold in the nearest grocery stores and neighborhood markets. Then after working eight-ten hours a day it is so much easier to drive up and order a meal versus cooking at home. Convenience vs. Quality
Know Thy Food!
I can’t help but laugh at the popular phrase “You Are What You Eat”! At one time or another we have all made bad food choices! It almost seems inevitable. I’ve made plenty of bad food choices before but I can say that now I question just about every edible thing and it intrigues me more to know where it was grown and how has it become accessible to me. Recently I learned that about 69% of the food sold in the United States comes to us globally from other countries. I’m still in shock and cannot understand why in this large vast country we do not grow our own produce, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Another aspect of knowing our food also means to understand how our genetic makeup affects how we should be eating. I had never known as a person of color our genetic makeup is completely different from other groups of people. Learning the genes that we have been gifted require certain foods to thrive and when we lack these foods our cells become malnourished because we are not eating to strengthen these cells.
Talk about wanting to know about everything that we eat. We must know about how it is processed, prepared and packaged to even begin to understand the chemical properties and interactions for everything that we consume!
The importance of what we eat and how it affects our cells really does matter. Especially for people that do not have access to the same foods that others may take for granted and that is fresh foods.
To Experience Real Eating
A real farm to table experience should be a normal occurrence for everyone! The hands on experience of planting, growing, harvesting, preparing and eating is so rewarding and simply enjoyable that should include everyone. When we look at housing in cities that are heavily populated or where housing is tight and lacks outdoor spaces we should question how those who live in those areas are eating and what they are eating. To experience real eating is a gift! The gift of eating foods that nourish our cells as well as satisfy our appetite may seem daunting but it can be conquered!