Learn about what’s in your food by reading just 2 books and seeing 3 films. This is a beginner’s primer on food, fast food, food sold in grocery stores. I dare you: if you can read just two books (Fast Food Nation & Supersize Me and see Fresh, the Movie, Food, Inc. and Farmageddon and NOT remain complacent about your food I’ll send you a bucket of sand to stick your head in! Food will never be the same, I guarantee it!
Fast Food and the Supersizing of America by Morgan Spurlock. Did you catch that movie, ‘Super Size Me’ (2004) ? This book is in print what he went through in investigating fast food. He ate ‘McJunk’ for a month. Believe me, if you read this, a trip to Mickey D’s or any other place won’t be as appealing! It really shows what goes on in the food industry that they don’t want us to know! For More Information, go to: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Eat-This-Book-Supersizing/dp/0399152601
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. After reading this and “Supersize” above, I guarantee that you will change the way you eat when you eat out. Hopefully it will change what you buy at the grocery store, too.
This book provides information that Ronald McDonald, the Colonel and the BK King don’t want you to know. Even facts about one of America’s most beloved men, Walt Disney, reveals behind the scenes government deals. Far from being the lovable, concerned companies for us and our children, this gives a disturbing glimpse behind their true motivations. Chapters on food additives, the meat-packing industry, corporate policy about treatment of employees as ‘disposable items’, secret government deals will surprise you. EVERY parent should read this book and pass it on to their kids. Then see if you really want to eat that burger or drink that ‘shake’.
Interesting article in “The Daily Beast” on Schlosser’s book: our fast food nation and the “health” of food, 10 years later: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/12/still-a-fast-food-nation-eric-schlosser-reflects-on-10-years-later.html
The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason Most of us have no idea of where the meat on our table comes from, do we? We just go to the store, pick up neatly packaged items and go home. Unless you’ve been raised on a farm, you probably never even think about it. This book is very well written, describing three different families and their food choices. From the family who shops at good ole Wal-Mart, to the family which is concerned with the impact their shopping choices have, and finally the vegan household. The authors backtrack to find out the origins of the food. Some of the parts will shock you; others will make you laugh. Citing the vast differences between American and European food industries, hopefully this will lead you to make food choices with a conscious.
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And “Don’t eat any food your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” (I’d make that great-grandmother) is the author’s advice. In the last 50 years with the advent of the food industry’s embracing of ‘Better living through chemistry’, instead of eating FOOD, we are consuming EDIBLE FOODLIKE SUBSTANCES. Obesity rates have climbed; there is a rise in allergies, cancer, depression and many other neurological disorders. Many diseases which we now suffer from are caused by our food. Widespread use of artificial fertilizers, the abandonment of crop rotation has led to a depleted soil. Food is less nutritious. Add to this food producer’s inclination toward cheap food, food additives for flavoring have become the norm. This is another book with a lot of information to help you make healthier choices.
Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall: This is a wonderful book, well written, inspiring, and full of information. If you haven’t thought much about where your food comes from, this is an excellent book. As the title says, there is ‘Hope’. The first part of the book details the food chain; the latter part shows what we ALL can do to foster the hope. Yes – you CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! A must-read for everyone interested the evolution of food and how we got to where we are today…, so far away from the idea of raising food naturally and the impact this has on the Earth but also on all of us.
Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food by Andrew Kimbrell. Genetically engineered food has crept into over 60% of processed foods sold in the grocery store. There is currently no law that they be labeled as such. Scientific tampering with food has caused an increase in food allergens. The American public are being used as guinea pigs and there have been no long-term studies of the effects this food has on us. This is a very informative book containing a lot of resources on how you can get educated and involved. This is just another example of the potential power of the American consumer.
An excellent (and scary) book about the use of chemicals and pesticides:
Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber. Ms. Steingraber follows in the footsteps of Rachel Carson in this book about people, land, the environment and how we are contributing to poisoning our ecosystem with chemicals. She is a cancer survivor -and- a scientist. The connections she shows between cancer and environmental toxins are frightening! She examines such communities as Boston, Long Island and other areas around the United States where cancer rates have risen drastically in the last 50 years. Think those lawn chemicals you buy at your local home improvement store are safe just because the manufacturer tells you so? Think again, folks. Plain and simple; it’s poison, and you’re spreading it on your lawn for your kids and pets to play in! This also should open your eyes to the impact that YOU are having on the environment every time you use chemicals in and around your home! For more information, go to: http://steingraber.com/
FRESH, The Movie
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I’ll say it again: an INFORMED CONSUMER is a POWERFUL CONSUMER!