I recently returned from two years in Northern Italy. No, I’m not wealthy. I’m a U.S. soldier, and I was stationed at Camp Ederle in Vicenza. The reason I mention that is living there was an incredible eye-opener. The Italians have the eating thing solved. Farms are mixed in with malls and office buildings. People see where their food comes from. Food is fresh, all the time. Everywhere. If it’s not, somebody’s going to go out of business, fast. The country is set up that way. You can buy fresh milk that goes from the cow to whatever container you bring to carry it home. Markets are everywhere selling fresh veggies. Italians aren’t inundated with the relentless advertising of food-flavored garbage we put up with (and welcome) in America. Fast food isn’t popular because 1. it doesn’t taste as good as real food, and 2. it’s not good for us. It’s the ‘slow food’ movement in action. (Google it.) Italians have their entire society set up to allow them access to the most basic human need: good, healthy food. It doesn’t hurt that they walk and bicycle all over the place rather than drive. I saw almost no fat Italians over there in two years–I mean, literally like two of them.
What we need is to change our culture in America to promote a healthy lifestyle rather than mindlessly supporting huge companies that produce junk food at huge profits. If the ingredients include more chemicals than food ingredients, perhaps that bag of crap doesn’t belong in my stomach.
Though it is so often repeated, few people seem to want to hear the truth: eat Real Food, in reasonable quantities, and exercise regularly. Unless there are other health issues at work, the result will be a healthy weight and a better quality of life. We don’t need ‘low-fat’ and ‘diet’ junk food. We need real, simple, honest food. Why is it so hard, and so expensive for us to find it.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we tolerate it? Let’s fix this for our children. Wake up, America!
Glen Pendlay does a better job of laying this out, and his blog has attracted a lot of commentary. Check it out at http://glennpendlay.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/im-pissed/