I decided 3 years ago that I would change my diet to that of a mostly organic, natural one and in doing so made a choice to switch from grocery shopping primarily at the local HEB and Randalls grocery store to Whole Foods. The first time I walked into Whole Foods I remember feeling lost and saying to myself, “wow, how will I ever find anything to eat again!” The decision proved to be a good one, albeit an expensive one, and often a real challenge, but now as I pop into my local grocer for the occasional ingredient I see the items that stock the shelves for what they are – mostly preservative laden, artificially-filled foods. Over the past few years, as a result of my decision, I have discovered new food, learned how to prepare whole grains, beans, and a variety of organic vegetables and maintained an overall healthier diet. The temptation to purchase unhealthy items has lessened, and with the bill often substantially more expensive, I’ve had to learn to be selective and to only purchase items that will be used to prepare meals.
The transition was gradual, and I discovered that setting small goals can lead to big change, in time. I’ll talk more about this later when I discuss how I made the switch to a vegetarian and sometimes vegan diet. Start small by committing to shop once a month at a mostly organic, healthier alternative grocery store or perhaps make a choice to create one meal a week with items purchased at your local famers market. Like me, you also might be surprised at the change manifested by small steps. Just as a famous Chinese taoist Philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
I credit Food, Inc. as pivotal in the “tipping point” of the food industry, wherein a growing number of people now approach food differently and as a result are changing the world. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do yourself a favor and take the time. Some of the more interesting takeaways:
- A modern American supermarket has on average 47,000 products.
- Produce is not limited to seasons in the modern American supermarket; You can get most vegetables year-round.
- The mentality of uniformity, conformity, and cheapness brought on by the McDonald brothers, applied widely on a large scale has had unintended consequences.
- 90% of food products in a grocery store have corn or soybean ingredients.
- To combat conventional beef processing meat tainted with E. coli 0157:H7 and with antibiotic-resistant salmonella, South Dakota based Beef Products Inc. now produces hamburger filler that is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria. An executive for the company claims that the product ends up in 70 percent of hamburgers served in the U.S. “In five years we’ll be in 100 percent,” he predicts.
- You can vote to change this industry 3 times a day.