Last updated: Jan 30, 2013 at 13:20 EST
If you love eating, here are a few resources to turn to to learn more about what’s going into your bodies. Eating is an art and it has also become a money-guzzling industry run by multi-national corporations where the key goal is profits. People, as individuals, are no longer making the right decisions for themselves and just giving into marketing and consumerization. A choice is a conscious decision and it must begin with the proper education and knowledge.
One of society’s biggest fears is the problem of obesity, which is really part of a bigger movement. There is a ripple effect from decisions made by a few parties. Narrowing down the problems, where it all stems from, and educating ourselves about our options and the entire system helps us take a wholistic approach to understanding what is happening.
In a quest to eat and live healthier this year and to identify ways on improving my lifestyle, I began a series of introspecting, writing out goals, brainstorming, research (not a ton, but enough for now). Along the way, I revisited and understood the links between the corporate world and governments better. Over the past few days, I have dived into multiple resources, started some interesting conversations, and pondered these issues a little.
One cannot simply read a single source and make a decision based on one opinion. Rather, gathering multiple sides to a situation and formulating your own opinion is the key to kick that behavioral change. In the marketing world, we love using the Awareness > Belief > Attitude > Behavior Model when it comes to behavior change. It’s all about implementing it into your daily lifestyle.
If your school has a course on Sustainability Marketing or Business Economics and Government or Policy, I would recommend taking it. I gained a lot of great insight from the course when I took it, and years later, it has made understanding how systemic change is crucial at beginning at the government level. Nevertheless, here are some resources and simple suggestions that will help start your own personal journey to discover how you want to approach a healthier lifestyle. I will start with an Action List first! (Just in case you don’t read it if I place it at the bottom.)
NOTE: Make sure you go through the lists of reading and video materials — it’s all really good stuff and I’ve taken a lot of time to put this together! I am open to adding more resources and tips to this page and would love your contributions to this page. If you have any suggestions or if I am incorrect on any points, please just comment below!
Related Blog Posts:
- The Story of Stuff – What Kind of A Consumer Have You Become?
- Nutrition Labeling – The Debate
- Are Marketers to Blame for Over-Consumption? (An Essay on Marketing vs. Consumerism)
What can consumers do?
- Be more conscious of your food consumption (Read labels on packages. Know where it comes from.)
- Avoid processed foods, fast-foods, and general sugar intake (15-25g / day is okay)
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup, fructose, refined white sugar (sucrose), and aspartame
- Avoid deep-fried foods, BBQ-ed foods
- Reduce levels of salt / sodium, eliminate trans fats and MSG (monosodium glutimate)
- Hydrogenated fats are really bad fats. Get healthy fats (chia seeds, flaxseed, avocado, salmon)*see related article below
- Be aware of all those chemicals actually made from corn (usually have those names you can’t pronounce, like “propylene glycol”)
- Definition of sugar = bread, pasta, corn, cereal, rice, potato (most breakfast foods)
- Educate yourself and your children about healthy eating early in life (Explain to them what’s on their plate. Teach them how to shop for healthy groceries.)
- Eat slowly so your brain can tell you you’re full (Use your non-dominant hand to eat.)
- In fact, eat until you’re “not hungry” NOT until you “feel full”
- Eat fruits and vegetables that are in-season (Fill 2/3 of your plate with fruits and veg.)
- Create grocery lists and plan your meals ahead of time (Grocery shop on a full stomach.)
- Make cooking a fun activity and not a chore (It’s called a culinary art for a reason. FYI. Food that tastes good can also be healthy.)
- Depending on your activities before/after eating, know the Glycemic Index of foods *see 2 related articles below
- Drink 8 cups of water a day (Avoid juices and soft drinks regularly) *see related link below
- Work out + detox food: GREEN veggies, chlorophyll-rich foods (organic veggies), gelatinous fibres (chia seeds, aloe vera) – get rid of the fat soluble toxins in the liver. Parsley and cilantro (has chlorophyll and binds with heavy metals – like mercury, respectively)
- Juicing – put high-green veggies
- Start a garden in your backyard
- Think: Calories vs. Nutrition
- Think: FOOD vs. QUALITY vs. COST (When you choose 2, you’ll sacrifice the 3rd)
- Think: Mind over matter – “MmmMmmm….these apples are SO YUMMY, crunchy, and delicious!”
It’s all about balance and doing things in moderation. I’m not suggesting you become a vegetarian all of a sudden or to break your wallet in order to eat well and have a healthy diet. Your main goal should be to achieve a healthy lifestyle, which is made up of many different components. (I’ll dive into that another day, as I dissect the components and do more research.)
- The Cornucopia Institute (A U.S. watchdog) – http://www.cornucopia.org/
- Who Owns Organic? Research from Michigan State University | Cornucopia Institute – http://bit.ly/WHTn1S (see mind map)
- The Politics of Food Guides (CBC, July 2012) “with food guides, food companies ‘have a very high vested interest in ensuring that the advice furthers their commercial objectives.'” – http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/07/27/f-food-guide-70.html
- Executive Summary: Eat your fruits and vegetables! | EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ *The Dirty Dozen (Foods with the greatest amount of pesticides use. A guide updated each year.) – http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/
- Healthy Every Week | Recipes and Tips (The Food Network) – http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy-every-week/package/index.html
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Drink Lemon Water – http://bit.ly/T74hBB
- Are flaxseed or chia seeds better for me? (The Globe and Mail, Jun2012) – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/are-flaxseed-or-chia-seeds-better-for-me/article4371817/
- Quinoa vs rice (3x less calories, 2x total fat, 1/2 the protein, 1/4 the iron, 1/4 the carbs) – http://skipthepie.org/cereal-grains-and-pasta/quinoa-cooked/compared-to/rice-white-long-grain-precooked-or-instant-enriched-dry/
- White rice vs. Red rice – http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-red-rice-and-vs-white-rice/
- 25 Healthy Snack Ideas for Adults – http://www.motivenutrition.com/back-to-school-50-healthy-snack-ideas/
- Glycemic Index (Wikipedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index
- Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods (Harvard Health Publications) – http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods.htm
- How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Hungry–and Fat | Observations (Scientific American Blog Network, Jan 2013) – http://bit.ly/WiXvnk
- How addictive is sugar? (BBC News, Jan 2013) – http://bbc.in/SxxCDL
- How Much Sugar Does Your Drink Contain? (Yale University Data Visualization) – http://yaleuniversity.tumblr.com/post/34230155923/continuing-our-celebration-of-national-food-day
- Carrot-Oat-Coconut-Banana muffin recipe http://naturesnurtureblog.com/2012/07/27/carrot-oat-coconut-muffins/
- The Year of Less (Blog) One family’s journey to being more environmentally friendly, as reflected in their lifestyle choices… one day at a time for 365 days! – http://theyearofless.blogspot.ca/ (http://www.imperfecthomemaking.com/)
- Tree Hugger Blog
- Food Inc. (93mins; 2008 *Available on Netflix)
Documentary on how the food industry controls food production. Touches on government control and regulation issues. **Notes available upon request.
- Hungry for Change (89 mins 2012 *Available on Netflix)
“This documentary exposes secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don’t want consumers to know about: deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping people from having the body and health they want.” **Notes available upon request.
- The New Green Giants (CBC Doc Zone: Sept 2012 *Free on the website)
A deeper look into the Organics industry. What does it mean to be Certified Organic? What happens to many organics companies that get acquired? What is Organic vs. Natural? What about imported organic foods and their regulations? Great case studies. **Notes available upon request.
- Eat. Cook. Love (CBC Doc Zone: Sept 2012 *Both episodes are free on the website)
“Healthy eating has become a complicated affair. Sifting through cooking paradoxes and food obsessions, the Doc Zone series Eat, Cook, Love reminds us that eating is one of life’s great pleasures.”
- Lousy Labels 2012: Food Packaging (CBC Marketplace: Feb 2012 * Free on the website)
“In this year’s Top 10 countdown of Lousy Labels, Erica Johnson finds the truth behind the latest buzzwords on food packaging. It will make you think twice before filling up your shopping cart.”
- Lousy Labels 2011: “Organic” vs. “Natural (CBC Marketplace: Mar2011 *Free on the website)
“The labels say ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ — but are they really? Erica Johnson separates the truly green products from the ‘greenwashed’ — products that look green, but really aren’t in our top ten countdown of lousy labels.”
- The Way We Green Speaker Series – Videos
- TED Talk: Jamie Oliver | Teach Every Child About Food – website
- TED Talks
- PopTech! Videos
I can almost guarantee if you search these topics, you’ll find a list of resources online to watch or read and even some amazing speaker series and events in your city.
Related Blog Posts: