Are you as fed up as I am?
As we start the New Year, my hope is as shiny as the tinsel on the tree. I practically vibrate with the aspiration of a healthy year.
And then I read the news or turn on the TV and watch ads for junk food and I realize that nothing has changed. Nothing will change…unless we change it.
I watch as food corporations purposefully hoodwink us into thinking there is an actual Marie Callendar standing in a country kitchen making our pot pies that we pry out of the frozen section of our supermarket. Commercial soup conglomerates imply that your grandmother would love the way they made soup. Bread companies try to snow us with the idea that each loaf is kneaded and baked by hand. And then there’s my current favorite with fried chicken meals being sold as “a real dinner.”
They sell us energy drinks loaded with chemicals and sugar, hawked by fit athletes; specialty coffee drinks with more calories than an entire cake; donuts, cookies, burgers, cheese-stuffed pizza crusts; fries with cheese; pizza that gets delivered with deep fried donut dough to dip in cinnamon frosting.
To add insult to injury, news stories blast story after story about the need for Americans to eat more vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Headlines scream at us in the grocery store with smiling doctors and nutritionists holding abundant basket of fresh food trying to show us how appealing it is for us.
And they’re right, but how do you stand up to the onslaught of marketing, smothered in fat, sugar and salt? How do we stand up to the cravings those foods create? Yes, create. Junk food is designed to leave us wanting more…and more…and more. It’s what flavor houses do…create addiction so you keep coming back for more.
It’s brilliant for business and terrible for humanity.
I frankly, have had it.
Now you can say that corporations don’t have the obligation to worry about our health and wellness. And you would be right. I say it all the time. While they market to us relentlessly, we do have a responsibility to control our desires and our eating. At the end of the day, we…and only we decide what we take in. We vote with our dollar with each purchase. We either tell them we’ll eat the swill they market…or we tell them we don’t want it and we won’t buy it or stand for them stealing our wellness.
How does change occur? We change. If we decide that we will no longer buy what they sell, they’ll change what they sell. If we no longer want a representative in office, we will vote for another. If we no longer want cheap junk manufactured in other countries, they will no longer be imported.
When we decide we want change, we have change. We cannot, however, complacently sit by and hope for change. We can’t just talk about change.
Change is about inspiration. Change is about rocking the boat and demanding better for ourselves, our loved ones, our community…our planet. If, for instance, you demand Fair Trade chocolate that’s delicious and affordably priced, do you realize how far your choice reverberates? From the grower who can now grow food for his community to the manufacturer who is using quality ingredients to you, the consumer, then the chain of child labor, unfair wages; damage to the planet will reduce. If we all demanded Fair Trade chocolate (and coffee and vanilla…) more would be produced; the prices would come down and the world would be a better place. It’s that simple and this is just one little example.
Imagine buying fresh organic foods accessible to everyone because the demand was high and farmers grew what the people needed easily. Imagine not having to read each and every label as though you were a detective. Imagine not being hoodwinked by scheming corporations looking to line their pockets by selling you cheaply-made goods.
I know it’s a bit of a pipe dream considering the world we live in. But if we don’t start somewhere; if we don’t begin to demand change, we will never see it.
It’s time to say #EnoughAlready.
Tell me all about the changes you have made; are making or hope to make to improve wellness, make a lighter footprint and make the world a better place. Share your tips, your ideas and your inspiration with us all so we can band together, work together and be the change we want to see in the world.