After spending the last five days in Florida and visiting one of the Frank Oakes’ establishments on three of those five days — I have finally become inspired to get serious about organic, local and sustainable agriculture. Over the past fifty or sixty years, we have all been programmed to buy our groceries based on appearance, price and shelf life.
While the packaged goods are always touting the health benefits on the front of the box or can, the real “nutritional” story is told in the little “Nutrition Facts” box on the back of the package. And, with the exception of whole grain rice, dry legumes and whole oats; there are precious few products “with a label” on them that are worth eating.
The clever food marketers have come up with powerful formulas that create just the right combination of ingredients to make us crave those highly-refined products. The primary ingredients are white flour, sugar, salt and oil. In our 4-Leaf system, ALL of those “non whole plant” items must be eaten as a part of only 20% of your daily calories in order to achieve a 4-Leaf score.
Sadly, the produce departments with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables has been the victim of clever marketing with the same three goals: appearance, cost and shelf-life. The missing ingredient here is nutritional excellence.
We have all been programmed to seek the lowest possible price, especially if an item looks better in the store. I have been a victim myself. But, thanks to Frank Oakes of Naples, Florida, I have turned over a new leaf and, beginning today, here is what I am going to start doing.
- Visiting more farmers markets every chance I get. We have a few year-round markets in southeastern Connecticut believe it or not.
- Shop more at the local grocers who specialize in more local, fresher, organically grown produce.
- Looking for the organic label when buying groceries at the major chains.
- Resisting the temptation to buy the cheaper bananas even if they actually look better than the organic ones.
Now that I have been reminded of the tricks that our food marketers play on us, I simply must start doing the right thing. Eventually, the rising price of oil is going to force us back in the direction of local, organic, sustainable methods of farming and distribution. We, as a nation, will not enjoy the transition — but we will gradually regain our health because of it.
So why wait for the expensive oil to force us to do what we know we should be doing now? It may appear to be costing us a little bit more money, but our bodies and our environment will know the difference. As I said at the beginning of this blog — it’s simply the right thing to do. You may enjoy this earlier related blog:
If we want to see sustainable organic agriculture become a reality, then we follow advice Gandhi; “We must live the change that we wish to see in the world.”
If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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