Laura Wood

Food is a very strange thing indeed. Although we eat three times a day, everyday, we rarely ever question it. What are we REALLY putting into our bodies? Where does it come from? How was it made? How much energy was used in making it? How much water? Were the animals in bad living conditions?

Farmer’s markets are a movement that is helping local farming and local thinking flourish. Giant mono-crops are crushing food diversity that is crucial to survival. Putting all our eggs in one basket is one of the oldest lessons in history. Ireland back during the potato famine was caused by the lack of diversity in the potato agriculture. They only grew one type of potato, so when a spore come over the island, it turned them all to mush. The natives of South America, on the other hand, grow hundreds of different variety of potatoes and on different sides of the mountain. If one type of potato has a particularly bad season, the people will not go hungry. They have many other types of potatoes to fall back on. The sooner people realize that diversity in everything, food, people; ways of thinking are essential to healthy living and growth.

potato varieties from south america

Sometimes what holds us back is the cost of such food. Though it may seem “unrealistic” to some, the benefits far outlast the alternative. You either pay for good food now, or pay for hospital bills later. Many People’s severe health issues have been severely lessened or even in some cases, completely reversed just from eating right. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US, and our health of the environment goes hand in hand with the health of our very being, and vice versa. Going organic can help reduce CO2 into the atmosphere by buying locally; items don’t have to waste fuel transporting the food. The environment can live in harmony if we just realize how to make things local and diverse.

Organic food not only ensures the meat produced is from free-range cows, chickens and pigs but also ensures there are NO pesticides used in any food. Eating locally and organically can significantly solve multiple health and environmental issues. When will we learn that what we put into our body MATTERS? You truly are what you eat.

The old food pyramid (what does the government know anyhow?)

I know that personally growing up in a Midwest family, I was never taught on what good or bad food was, just that to never waste it. We always were told; eat, as much as you can because one day, they’re might not be any. My grandfather was the youngest of 6 and worked on a farm, dropping out of school by the 8th grade. They would pass the large pot from the oldest to the youngest, since they needed it most. More than not, there would not be any left when it reached him. He suffered much malnutrition from this.

In his later years, still skinny as a rail, he always scraped his plate clean. He would never waste a single thing. Now, he has high blood pressure, low circulation and one day has to amputate his food because of it. Funny how easy it is to go to such extremes. In this world there are the people who have too much and the ones who don’t have enough. We need to make this balance, because one day the scales might not tip back.

New Food pyramid


6 responses »

  1. tetchist says:

    I really hate the new food pyramid. As an ADHD child of the 90’s, I demand pictures and other things to help keep my attention on the I forget what this comment was supposed to be about.

  2. tetchist says:

    Also, potatoes are wicked-diverse.

  3. It was interesting when you mentioned the potato famine in Ireland. It reminded me of the part from the bee documentary when monocropping was discussed and how one type of parasite can whip out acres of food. Without diversity of food this will continue to happen.

  4. I actually prefer the old food period. Its visually understanding, though it may not be politically correct. It get the point across.
    Either way i believe a balanced diet truly is key in a healthy life style.
    Growing up with Korean diet that is primarily grain (rice) and vegetable side dishes I have a fondness of my green food. Even more so now in college where some of my favorites aren’t variable or even fresh.
    It has left a huge mark on me and made me realize how important it is to get fresh things, even local things! Just cause they’re healthier per se. And how much i miss vegetables.


  5. My grandma grew up with the same problem. Her and her siblings grew up in an orphanage, and were taught to never waste anything. Even today she eats whatever is given to her, and will sometimes eat things that have expired. One time, she almost ate something out of a can that was 10-years-old saying, ‘It’s still good’.
    My mom is the same way. Grandma taught her to never throw away anything, and eat everything on her plate. They grew up in the Midwest, and ate healthy food. Not that they really know since they ate what they could afford. It’s the same way in my house today, but we still have leftovers, which we eat until it’s completely gone.
    Today, I see people waste a lot of healthy food and load up on the junk. I’m like that too sometimes, but I try to keep a healthy diet.

    Klarissa Parduba

  6. mvalenti (10) says:

    I think a lot of people’s grandparents and parents were taught not to waste food because there usually was not enough. Funny now how the problem is we have food, maybe too much, and a lot of it is bad for us. I think nutrition is severely overlooked when being taught in schools. I know I didn’t (and still don’t) know the first thing about having a good diet. We definitely need more genetic diversity though, and not put everything all in one basket like you said.

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