Our healthy-living guru Jo Wood on why we need to change our shopping and eating habits.
Our healthy-living guru on why we need to change our shopping and eating habits.
Throughout this year I’ve been documenting a wide variety of my natural health passions and beliefs in my column. As we draw closer to the end of the year, my determination to change the world and make everyone healthier and happier just gets even stronger, as I realise, with much frustration, we still have a very, very long way to go to break some bad habits that as a global population we have gotten ourselves into.
As consumers we have to change the way we shop for food. What we consume should be to feed our mind, bodies and souls, and should be jam-packed full of minerals and nutrients. It should be fresh, seasonal and unadulterated; kids should be taught how to cook in school again, they should know the names of vegetables, they should know simple things like chips are potatoes. I’m making a stand – it is time for a food revolution!
People continue to not take me seriously about my organic ‘you are what you eat’ beliefs, but I believe that the way I choose to live my life is normal, and that it is the way nature intended. Eating processed, man-made food, full of chemicals and lacking in nutrition is so far removed from what the planet provides for us, and through clever marketing and political agendas, we are still sold products we don’t need, and more importantly food we shouldn’t even be eating. Don’t even get me started on the obesity rate, increase in cancer, diabetes and heart attacks, there is a reason for this and it is staring right back at us some the very plates we are eating! The food we are currently being served is a recipe to illness. Healthy people mean a healthy planet.
I’m always looking at ways to learn more, having recently watched Food Unwrapped on Channel 4, making me question once again what food manufacturers are doing to our food. I was horrified. Did you know that tinned grapefruit is soaked in hydrochloric acid, then caustic soda (both very harmful corrosives) in order to get the pith off the segments? This is so that the factories can produce picture-perfect segments in the tins, which apparently we as consumers now expect. These corrosives strip any goodness from a product, even the people using them have to wear protective clothing as they are so harmful on the skin. Why would we want to eat these products? What happened to eating a wonderful fresh grapefruit, tasting all the sweetness and goodness, and getting a little sticky in the process of enjoying it? Isn’t that all part of the fun of food?
Over the summer I read another fantastic book I want to share with you by John Robbins (once heir to the ice cream empire Baskin Robbins), called The Food Revolution (£16.99, Conari Press). This book explores humanity’s relationship with animal products, and how bad they are for us, for the animals which are farmed, and for the environment. Milk, for example, is for calves, not humans; one species should not be drinking another species’ milk, we are unable to digest it. And do we really know about the welfare of the animals we eat? The antibiotics and steroids they are pumped up with, the conditions in which they are kept, let alone the strains on our digestive system.
Next on my hit list is the fabulous documentary by the Food Matters team, called Hungry for Change. I’m going to be glued to my screen! We need to embrace clean living – for humanity, for the land and for the animals.
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