What’s Wrong With Our Food System?

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Making my own granola bars after learning the following…

In the past six months or so I’ve become increasingly conscious of the food we’re putting into our bodies. Not out of a desire to “look good”, but rather out of a growing awareness of the horrible ethical, environmental, and health risks associated with mainstream foods coming out of large corporations. Not to worry, I’m not about to launch into a pro-vegetarian rant- we’ll save that for another day ;).

I’ve been following more and more health-conscious bloggers, like Minimalist BakerErin Ireland, and of course the so-successful-you-can’t-help-but-hate-her Deliciously Ella. Looking back, I think this growing awareness of my own health came out of my large inability to control it while I was travelling in India and Thailand. Don’t get me wrong, I can put away plates on plates of noodles and curry better than anyone, but after weeks of indulgence, you can’t help but just feel a bit… sick. Literally sick.

Once I got to the health-food havens of Chiang Mai and Bali, I had a new appreciation for salad! A lack of fresh vegetables had made me feel lethargic, sluggish, and just overall dull. My intention was not originally to become a vegetarian. But over the weeks that followed, I felt myself come alive again as I embraced a plant-based diet. I finally made the connection that the food we are putting in our mouths everyday is literally becoming our bodies, forming new cells, connective tissues, and strengthening or hurting our many internal systems.

My new fascination with health has caused me to listen to podcasts dedicated to the subject. And today, I sat at my desk doing my work and devoured this one. Give it a listen. But for a short synopsis, “Vani has had incredible success in getting massive food corporations like Kraft, Chipotle, Subway (and many more) to make changes in their ingredients lists and become more transparent about what actually is going into their food”. While this may not be a shocker, large-scale corporations prioritizing profit over people are consistently hiding the truth behind the countless chemicals unnecessarily injected into our food.

Things like yoga mat plastic chemicals are finding their way into your favourite bread at beloved Subway. Colour dyes which have been scientifically proven to cause issues like ADHD are found in your Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. McDonald’s french fries have 19 ingredients.You see the theme. I’m not advocating for abolishing all of these feel-good foods from your eating habits. But don’t you agree that as consumers, when we order a coffee, we should just get… coffee?

And don’t get me started on organic meat and produce. It is so incredibly flawed that food laden with herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones is the norm, and anything lacking these disease-causing substances require a special label and are five times the price. While I find it unlikely that this system will change overnight in our profit-prioritizing capitalist society, you can start small. Get educated. Do your research. I’m all for indulging, but eating a bag of chips should not be giving you a risk of cancer. That’s just me.

 

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