Let Your Food Be Your Medicine

Healthy fruits and foods from a local farmer's market. It never ceases to amaze me how freakin’ complicated something as basic as eating food has become.   I really love my body and care a lot about what I put in it, so I read ingredients before choosing to eat certain things.  I mean, if you look at what passes for ‘food’ these days, it’s scary.  My rule of thumb – if I can’t pronounce it, if I can’t trace it back to its original form (plant or animal), or I don’t know what it means, then I don’t eat it. It makes things a lot simpler.

The unfortunate truth is that we really have to be careful about what we put into our bodies.  Yes, there is the FDA, but their safety ratings don’t come close to what I would consider safe.  They’re just fine with people consuming foods sprayed with cancer-causing poisons – how does that make sense?  So, I just follow the rule Let Your Food Be Your Medicine.

Does chemically-drenched produce, drugged-up meat and highly processed food sound like life nourishing, vitality-packed goodness?  Of course not, but the biggest deterrent from everyone eating ‘organic’ food is price.  Organically labeled foods cost twice to three times as much, and even that label doesn’t mean much anymore.  Sometimes it just seems hopeless, not to mention a waste of time, to find real and healthy food that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Fortunately, we live in one of the most fertile places on earth and have access to numerous Farmer’s Markets.  This takes a lot of the guessing work out of eating – there are delicious fruits, veggies, many organic choices and the money goes straight to the folks growing the food, cutting down on costs.   Yes, they have organic meat that costs more than what you’d find at the grocery store, but guess what – we don’t have to eat meat with every single meal!  Its true, you would still be alive and kickin’ if you ate meat just once or twice a week, I promise.

At its best, growing food is an art.  Take Joel Salatin: his Virginia based Polyface Farms is a virtual orchestra of animals and produce, with each waste product feeding some other part of the farm – there is virtually no waste and no chemicals.  (If this peaks your fancy, you can catch him speak in Berkeley on January 21, 2011.)  At its worst, food production looks a lot like our agro-farming model here in the United States.  Not only do we poison our own precious bodies with chemicals, we poison the earth, the rivers, and other animals with the chemical waste necessary to produce food on such a massive scale.  And even with our ability to produce unheard of amounts of grub, people still go hungry.  ITS PURE MADNESS.

I really believe we need to stop looking to the government to protect our health and wellbeing (though they should, history has shown us they usually don’t).  It is up to us to take care of our bodies – we only get one – and support food growers that care about our health.  Like one young man said, ‘you can either pay the farmer, or you can pay the hospital.’  It may cost more on the front end, but obesity, diabetes, cancer – all of these diseases are related to our food.  Without our health, we have nothing, and who really wants to get involved with the Medical Mafia if you don’t have to?

So show some local love, and visit a farmer’s market close to your home.  Prevention is key.  And it starts with making common sense food choices – you are what you eat… let your food be your medicine.  And if you got a yard – grow your own !