You are what you eat. We’ve all heard the phrase before but have you ever wondered if there is actually any truth to it? Believe it or not, your diet is the key to your overall health and well-being. Good, healthy foods can promote the growth of healthy cells throughout your body, repairing damage. Bad foods, mainly those that are processed and far from what you’d pluck out of your garden, can actually injure your body’s cells, causing damage and disease.
As you pull out of that fast food drive through or pull the frozen dinner from your oven, have you ever stopped to wonder how your grandparents ate? Over the course of the past 100 years our diet has rapidly changed to include processed food, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and a host of additives and preservatives not known until recently. Eating has become less about keeping us happy and healthy and more about the pleasure of quick and tasty foods. Take a look at this scary comparison:
Here is what the average person ate over the course of the year in 1900:
- 131 pounds of homegrown vegetables
- 5 pounds of sugar
- Consumed small amounts of oil
- Didn’t drink soda
Now compare that to the average diet of a person in the year 2000:
- 11 pounds of homegrown vegetables
- 200 pounds of sugar
- 30 pounds of refined oils
- 53 gallons of soda
If that comparison doesn’t just make your stomach reel I don’t think there is much hope for you or your future health. The Western diet is out of control. We see it on our once a month trips to Sam’s Club where the fattest of the fat are lined up at each sample cart, stuffing their faces. Then they waddle down the aisle and throw in the most processed box of junk they can lay their pudgy little fingers on. With each bite, Americans are killing their families more and more.
Evansville, the city closest to our Half-Acre Homestead, just received the most glamorous title of the “Fattest City in America” in 2011. That’s right, we have more overweight citizens per capita than any other city in the United States. No wonder its so hard to find good, wholesome food in this town. With a McDonald’s on every corner (and literally I’ve never seen so many fast food joints in my life), the food conglomerates just keep raking in the dough while they make people fatter and sicker.
If you haven’t watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, you should. During our recent trip to visit family in Arizona, we sat down to watch this with my in-laws. It was shocking but inspiring all at the same time. If you’re worried it might be dry, don’t worry. The creators made sure to punctuate their points with entertaining snippets of animation. It proves that you can make changes to your diet and see almost immediate improvements in your health and well-being.
We need to make some serious changes in this country. Food needs to be more than just a passing thought better left to big agribusiness and corporate conglomerates that devise ways to generate the most amount of “food” for the least amount of money. We don’t have a lot of land on which to grow real food here at the Half-Acre Homestead. The little bit that we do have is productive and this year the goal is to make it even more so. Homestead Hottie and I are at a loss with our winter diet right now.
We can’t wait for the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that will soon be bursting at the seams out back and spilling onto the dinner table in our kitchen. Our life and our health depends on it and yours should too.
Will you be growing some of your own food this year? What do you plan to grow?
If you liked that post, then try these...
Booming harvest by Nate on August 24th, 2009
The so-called "Dog Days of Summer" are paying off in the veggie garden this week.
Healthy Smooth Foods by Nate on July 9th, 2012
If a food is smooth it probably tends to pack a punch of saturated fat and calories.
Wagon Full of Tomatoes by Nate on November 10th, 2012
My SFG is 6 weeks old by Nate on May 24th, 2010
Illustrated Food Rules by Nate on February 28th, 2012
I ran across this cool video thanks to the folks over at .
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