The other day, I was in the dollar store and I bumped into two obese women loading up on foods that were marketed as low calorie. I tried to explain to them that eating an apple or any whole, unprocessed foods is the best way to lose weight. Their situation reminded me of how difficult it is, for the average American, to learn how to eat well because they are constantly being mislead and misinformed by food companies. Here’s a brand called Nature’s Promise (Stop and Shop) hawking a product that is in every way not natural. It should be illegal to have margarine labeled natural or organic because it leads people into believing that its healthy and environmentally friendly, when it’s anything but. Margarine is made from a variety of monocrop derived vegetable oils that are high in omega 6 fatty acids that are implicated for heart disease. This oil is extracted using free radical releasing pressure and heat. Then, the oil is treated with sodium hydroxide to stabilize it. Finally, it is hydrogenated to give it that buttery texture; which converts the oil to a trans fat, which in turn increases your cholesterol, more than any other type of fat. The food companies have literally altered the culture of eating in America. They are, largely, responsible for the epidemic of obesity and heart disease. What can each of us do to restore, revitalize, and reinvent ourselves and our communities to a culture of heathy eating?
Yesterday, I found a gentle natured grey tree frog. The frogs’ populations have been diminishing for three quarters of a century, because many of marshes that they inhabit have been either developed or converted. It didn’t seem to be afraid of me and it’s skin’s delicateness reminded me of how my grandmother’s hands felt, with skin so soft it was as if it floated on her flesh.