Friday, May 16, 2008

Are You What You Eat?

Eat LocalMany people aren't aware of the impacts of diet on your life. Today many Americans would rather run to the five minute drive through than work for an hour preparing a family dinner. This article from ABC News focuses on how eating well and eating local can have a great impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

Power of 2: Change the Way You Eat

The bumper sticker says it all: "If I am what I eat, than I'm fast, cheap and easy."

Last year, Americans spent more than a half-trillion dollars dining out. Thirty-eight percent of that sum — more than $138 billion — was spent on fast food raised on massive factory farms, shot full of preservatives, often fried and served in large portions. Drive-through windows encourage a mindless consumption of that food, often alone and on the run.

"We're moving to a culture of 24/7 snacking and eating in front of the television and eating in the car," says
Michael Pollan, author of "In Defense of Food." "One study suggests that 20 percent of American food eaten out of the house is eaten in the car. Isn't that outrageous?"

So the first suggestion most nutritionists make is to skip the fast food and eat more "slow" food. In other words, when possible take the time to prepare a meal yourself, sit down with others and savor it. This simple act can improve both your digestion and your social life.

"People don't wolf their food when they're eating with other people," says Pollan. "It leads to people having family dinners again, which is one of the most important social institutions we have."

According to a recent
Columbia University survey, teenagers who eat with their families at least five times a week are more likely to get better grades in school and much less likely to have substance abuse problems. Cultures that encourage long, home-cooked meals like Italy and France have lower obesity rates.

And savoring leads to craving fresh ingredients, and our second powerful tip: Whenever possible, eat more local food produced within 150 miles of your home.

"It connects us to a desire to know where our food is coming from," says renowned New York chef
Dan Barber as he strolls through a green market in lower Manhattan. "I think it's a desire that's hard-wired. It's been with us since we were hunter/gatherers. We were searching around for food that was tasty and food that wasn't poisonous for our children and food that was healthy."

1 comment:

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