Live Free or Die: Poisoning the Well

“Everytime you eat or drink, you are either feeding the disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan

Health is a choice that we make every single day. The bad news is, most of us don’t know that we AREN’T making healthy choices. In fact, we are being duped into thinking that we are.

Marketing has taken the place of truth when it comes to large corporations and our food. Buzz words like “natural” and “healthy” have been denatured (literally) and slapped on the front of our “food” packages.

We are manipulated into buying products and increasing the profit margin of companies that do not know our names, our faces, or our families. BUT, no one is actually forcing us to buy anything, it is all our “choice”. Except, what kind of a choice is it really? We are bombarded with “food” options that when consumed over time may cause cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart attack, stroke and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few. Which one would you like for lunch today? And would you like to upsize that for just a dollar? Sure, lets up the irritable bowel for a dollar. What a deal!

We think that by ordering the salad that we’re good. Except the veggies might be genetically modified, the chicken is riddled with hormones, the fish has way less nutritional value because its farmed and fed corn (because that makes sense – no it doesn’t. It’s cheap!), and the dressing has 300 calories (minimum), tons of distorted fats and a boat load of artificial ingredients that has who knows what effects on us. YUM.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” What has happened that we need medicine because of our food?! How did we go so wrong here?

It is a matter of two simple things: convenience & technology. Our world is fast and we need to keep up. We attempt to multitask at any moment possible; driving and texting (STOP), performing more than one task at work at a time, and of course, eating on the go. We also carry computers in our pockets and are exploring space; technology is what we do.

Now, “foods” on the go share similar qualities. They need to be consistent, quick and accessible. Before a more recent surge in “healthy” fast food options, our run of the mill fast food opportunities were also cheap. But those options are not inexpensive by any means. In the moment, you pay less cash up front, but over time (and not that much time according to some food-based documentaries available on Netflix) the toll taken on your health is massive. When considering the cost of western medicine and “health” insurance, eating fast doesn’t save you anything, rather it becomes MORE expensive.

Now let’s say that you don’t eat “fast food”, but you do eat out often. Do you know what the ingredients are?  Do you know where they are sourced? Do you know how they were processed (meats), preserved (pickled goods, sauces) or how old they are (veggies and fruit)?  Do you know what is in season? What about shopping at a food store, do you ever actually read the crazy sh*t on the ingredient lists? When buying your veggies, have you ever seen the farm that they grow on or know the names of the people picking your food from the ground? Do you know any of these answers?? Probably not.

How did we become so disconnected from our food? How have we accepted this disconnected and ILL system to be our norm? More importantly, what do we do to get out of this systematic slow poisoning? To start, vote for the systems you believe in and value with how you spend your money. Find your nearest farmer’s market and shop there instead of ‘Agenda Market’ or ‘McCancers’. It’s actually LESS expensive overall. Get to know the people who grow your veggies and raise your chickens. Commune with your neighbors and share recipes. Forget google and call your grandma for a recipe! Can’t cook? Learn. Be an advocate for yourself. Heal yourself. Live in vibrance. Check out the East Falls Farmers Market every Saturday 10-2. Not close to East Falls? Visit www.FarmToCity.org for an extensive list of markets near you.

Live Free or Die is a regular column on LIVING rather than just being ALIVE.

About Justine Bacon 9 Articles
Justine is an explorer of body, mind and world. Hungry by nature, she travels near and far in search of her next meal. Along her travels, Justine has visited breathtaking places and met some of the most incredible people. Moved, challenged, enlightened and humbled by their stories, Justine is eager to tell their tales. An avid label reader, she scrutinizes standard practices, placing food and food companies on her chopping block. An advocate of her own health, she works to inspire others to do the same by revisiting our ancient history with food and fiercely questioning the status quo. Justine loves being active and outdoors as much as possible. In her free time, she enjoys making playlists, reading menus and listening to podcasts. Justine holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Temple University and lives in Philadelphia with her partner Jeff and their 3 animal babies Bings, Marty and Elvis.

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