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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The spectrum of food choice

Worn out over at Mississippi Preppers Network had a great post a while back. Among other things she said:

"Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food." Hippocrates
The food you eat can be one way to help yourself. Now, you can get as angry with me as you want to, but it is not your God given right to go to an all you can eat buffet and try to eat 5 times as much food as you think you paid for it. There I said it. And fried is not a food group. (I am as guilty as the rest of you) and yes, too much sweet tea can help diabetes and kidney failure right along. Think about the state of your health and how long you would survive on The Anointed One's health care plan if it should ever pass. I'm not just lecturing to you but myself also (I smoke). I am also not telling you to join a diet plan. Be sensible about what you eat. I personally have been cutting out as much processed food as I can and I have noticed that we have been getting sick a lot less than usual.

Although I take issue with the point about fried not being a food group (see my comment on her post), what’s important are the connections between health, food, and self-reliance. 

Don’t stop reading! I am not a health-nut or a food elitist. I am not going to preach. I do NOT think you are too stupid. In fact, I think you are too smart to *not* think about these connections if you haven’t already. Which brings me to the Spectrum of Food Choice

At one end of the spectrum there is 100% control, and thus 100% self-reliance. Consider what this means. You own property and on that property you maintain a well with good quality drinking water. You grow all the vegetables and fruit your family eats, including citrus fruit-- there will be no scurvy in your house! The seed is of course heirloom, open pollinated, and you save your own. You raise chickens, cows, goats. Your property has a food plot for deer and other game, including turkey, quail, dove. You grow coffee & tea, hops for beer. No name it, if you consume it for food, you grow it. Furthermore, you prepare it in your home; the conditions of meal preparation are under your control. From seed to table, you are in complete control. (Keep in mind, if you buy fertilizer, pesticides, genetically modified seed, you’ve lost some control.)

At the other end of the spectrum there is 0% control, and thus 0% self-reliance. Consider what this means. Someone else-- someone who you do not know and most likely more than one someones-- prepares everything you put in your mouth. Those people work in a kitchen behind closed doors. You have abdicated control over those conditions to someone else you do not know, the health inspector, and you have no idea what “Serve-Safe certified" means (must be "safe").  Although you have passed SYSCO trucks on I95, you do not know who the restaurants' produce suppliers are, or where their "supply" comes from. Poultry & meat and meat supplier... ? Where does cooking oil and ketchup from??

Between these two end-point lay many others-- at least as many points are there are people. Some of those points represent our choices-- your day-to-day food choices, my day-to-day choices. 

To reiterate, I am in no position to preach. I consider myself something of a sausage gravy & biscuit connoisseur, and I have to tell you that the sausage gravy & biscuit I had at McD’s wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t great, but I’ve had worse at places that should have served better. So I’m not preaching. But I am going to challenge you to think about where you are on the food choice spectrum, and encourage you to make choices that move you ever closer-- ever so slowly-- to 100% in control. 

Eating a salad is better than not eating a salad. Eating a salad at a “local” restaurant that takes advantage of what’s locally available is better than eating a salad at ___ chain restaurant. Fixing your own at home is still better, even if you eat a bag salad (maybe). Buying a fresh head of lettuce is better than buying a bag. Growing lettuce ... . 

I have no evidence for this, but I think a home grown salad* a day keeps the doctor away. Food for thought: one way to stay out of the “health care debate” is to stay healthy.

No matter where I am today on the food choice spectrum, tomorrow offers me another set of choices. I-- that’s right, I, me-- can choose. So can you. 

* Big mistake to think a salad has to be based on lettuce. Sprouts, micro-greens, dandelions, pepper- or tomato- based salads, all with easy homemade dressings are wonderful alternative to the seasonal lettuce based salad. 

The image comes from ConsumerFreedom.comThe Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. We believe that the consumer is King. And Queen.

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