Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who Controls What You Eat?

During the last decade, there have been an alarming number of food recalls. Not only have the number of recalls been escalating, but the breadth and depth of these food related incidents has expanded. According to the FDAs website there have been over 1 million pounds of meat recalled in the last three months. What factors are influencing this phenomenon?

  • Disconnect with Food- We no longer have a realistic idea of where our food comes from or how it is affecting our lives.
  • Food Politics- Who is really in control of our food supply? Corporate food producers, suppliers, and manufacturers.
  • Industrialized Food Production- Factory farming is not alligned with the values mosst of us embrace.
  • Globalization- The import and export of food ingredients is not regulated sufficiently, as evidenced by the pet food recall and contaminated, imported berries.

What can you do to protect yourself and those you love?

  • Don't Believe the Hype, fads, partial truths, health claims, and marketing tactics.
  • Decrease Consumption- Especially animal products. There is a huge surplus of food produced in this country. I realize there are underfed/undernourished people in this country, but its not due to a food shortage. Food is wasted, discarded, and rotting in every state across this nation. Instead of focusing on improving the quality of our food supply, we are still trying to compensate by increasing the quantity of food produced. This practice has exaserbated the current health problems of our nation.
  • Educate Yourself- Find professionals who truly care about your health and nutrition. Those who are devoted to finding and sharing the truth, regardless of how uncomfortable it may be and who have nothing to gain except improving the current nutrition and health of our nation. (In other words, no money or politics involved.)

To start your education, check out the following sites:

New Year, New Resolve

I have been rolling resolution ideas around in my head for the past week and am finally down to the wire. I would love to do something profound to grab the attention of the masses, but the crazy ideas I come up with are either far to unhealthy or are just too time consuming for a single parent, working FT. So, here are the options I am left with for 2010.
  1. Consume no products that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  2. Purchase no food products with health claims or deceptive wording on the packaging.
  3. Feed my dogs more whole foods along with their no by-product, artificial flavor/color, etc.
  4. Plant only organic vegetables this spring and save the seeds. (Monsanto can kiss off!)
  5. Read at least 6 books correlating the food and health issues of the 21st Century.

This doesn't seem like near enough in the overall scope of our food and health crisis, but they are my 5 things and I will own them. These new resolutions will add to the other things I already do for myself, others, and the planet. Just "one thing" is not enough, but it is a good starting point. We all move at different speeds and take different paths even when traveling to the same destination. Remember to enjoy the journey and bring a friend along for the ride.

Feel free to join me in any of these resolutions, even if only for a season or shorter period of time. I would love for you to share your thoughts and ideas. What are you resolving to do in 2010?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nutritionist vs. Dietitian

The truth is that there actually is a significant difference between a nutritionist and dietitian, although they are often used interchangeably.
A nutritionist is defined as specialist in nutrition. Depending on state law, however, a person using the title may/or may not be trained in the science of nutrition. There are certification programs, but no licensing is available.
Where as a dietitian is well-educated in the science of nutrition, required to pass a national exam, and must receive continuing education in order to remain registered. Membership in the American Dietetic Assoc. and state licensure are optional, but may be required by an employer.

Don't be afraid to ask about the qualifications and education of nutrition professionals from which you get advice.