OK, now that I have your attention… this blog has nothing to do with Nicky or being Fed up with my children, no way! Ok, so I am Fed Up with EB at times, don’t get me wrong, but I adore my children. I will write about my precious ones next time, I promise! This blog does have everything to do with health and healthy eating which I’ve been wanting to talk to for ages and finally have a moment to seriously sit down and write about since watching this fascinating documentary called Fed Up, which is another extremely well-made documentary about the food industry. Another documentary that I thought was groundbreaking was Food Inc.
Please watch this preview first…
Fed Up basically exposes how the food industry at large adds all kinds of sugar in every kind of food imaginable, which is a harmful, addictive substance, meant to generate profits, rather than provide the public with healthy food. What does our culture say we should do to combat obesity? But of course, we have to exercise, and the reason we’re all fat is because we’re too lazy… yadda yadda yadda. They’ve got everything wrong. This whole fitness craze to combat obesity is malarkey. Look, I am not knocking fitness, we should all move (I take the stairs all the time and park as far away as possible to force myself to move, I am even walking from time to time!) but let’s not coat up the real truth with sugar. Pun intended. My grandma lived to be nearly 102 and never visited a gym her entire life. Neither did her parents, who died in their late 80s (a feat in those times!). They all just ate good, fresh food. Period.
OK, so to me this whole fresh food is better than McDonalds was a no brainer from the get go, but I was lucky. I grew up in Italy. I have a whole different mentality about food than most people I’ve met in my adult life that grew up in the US. It seems as if only now people are waking up from an extended fast food induced coma and realizing that perhaps they’ve been duped their whole life. Watching the Biggest Loser it’s a shock for me to see how these people didn’t know that fried food or donuts are not exactly good for you. It’s just sad. I’ve been lucky in the sense that not only I grew up in the land of optimum food, but my grandparents owned a mini-farm which we visited every Saturday when I was a child. Because of their farm, we always ate fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and fresh eggs. We always ended lunch with a fruit, and ice-cream and the like were treats to have every now and again, maybe once a month if we were lucky and only during the summer. We ate cookies maybe only for breakfast. I never saw a candy bar until I moved to the US. Cakes were only for birthdays. I don’t remember eating that much sugar growing up, not because my parents forbid it or kept the candy away from us, it was just not part of the culture. It’s not that there aren’t sweets there, it’s just not ate in the vast quantities as they are here. All you have to do is think about how much candy is sold during the holidays. Isn’t Valentine’s Day about chocolates? Easter about candy? Halloween about candy? And let’s not talk about Christmas!
Just to illustrate, for dinner tonight I had steamed cabbage with salmon, which I considered a treat beyond measure. I know most people think I am crazy, but I will take that over any hamburger or french fries thrown at me any day of the week. When I was stuck at Stanford for a week with my son while he was getting his skin grafts I had a little salame sandwich for lunch and soup for dinner. Nothing sweet. While I was waiting for him to get through surgery I had a plate with cheese and grapes. I will take a plate of cherries before I touch any potato chips. It’s just how I eat. What you learn as a child stays with you forever. Since watching the movie I’ve replaced my soda with Dasani Sparkling Water, which has no sugar or anything added. Since watching Food Inc we went completely organic as well, which I have a hard time explaining to my parents in Italy, since there “everything” is organic.
When I took my husband and SD to Italy several years ago they were fascinated by the supermarket. There were hardly any cereals, a good quantity of cookies of all kinds, since Italians love their cookies poached in their cappuccinos for breakfast, but what most impressed them was the variety of fresh vegetables, fresh bread galore, an entire isle of salames, and cheese…. cheese everywhere. So much cheese, really, so many kinds of cheese, cheese and more cheese. Did I mention how much cheese there was? All kidding aside, the culture is what differentiates what is important and what is not. There are a ton of laws in Europe to keep the food supply safe. Their Fanta, for example, hasn’t been “orange” since the 70s because the food coloring was banned. Guess what? It’s still orange here in the US. Ick. I am not sure the government is to blame or not, all I am saying is that perhaps the soda industry should want to care about their customers. But they are only in it for profit after-all. Aren’t they? They never will. Hopefully movies like this can produce a movement to wake up those sleepy heads in Washington. One can only hope.
In the meantime, take a look at your fork… what goes in is important, make it good!
Love & Light,