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I am currently working on a Master's Degree in Nutrition and requirements for Registered Dietician R.D. I plan to run my first full marathon in 2009. This blog is about everything I learn, eat, and do along the way. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Organic, Inc

I basically try to follow and enjoy a diet high in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy and eggs, lean meat, fish and little alcohol. The body digests these foods over time, slowing gastric emptying into the pancreas, keeping insulin release stable, blood glucose levels fairly stable.

I found Organic Inc immediately interesting because this is all discussed in its first chapter! This "diet", tends to be thought of as the South Beach Diet only because Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston came up with diet to comabt heart disease and with comibination of reduced calories, subjects lost weight. The South Beach diet didn't offer up anything that nutritionists were not already saying at the time of its outburst, but its association with buff models and the miami area founder- led it to take off -becoming a spin on the nutritional approach going back to Hunza peasants of Britain, who have historically incredible survival rates ( their diet was high complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit, well taken care of livestock).

When you add in organic, local foods to this model, it no longer becomes a "prescriptive diet" for losing weight- it somehow becomes your "way of life". You increase sustainability by choosing local foods, you increase your health and eliminate pesticides in your body by choosing organic. It doesn't mean you have to shop at Whole Foods.... it means that you are a consumer that CARES!

The marketing exec from Whole Foods tells Samuel Fromartz (author of Organic, Inc), We knew consumers for quite some time heard about Organic, but no one really knew what Organic meant. For that matter, we also knew consumers did not CARE- they just wanted to feel good about the choices they made.

Whole Foods is also developing a way to ensure their meats are not only free of antibiotics and hormones, but also raised to animal-compassionate standards, another means of increased sustainability. Yet, Whole foods capitalizes on consumers- American consumers LOVE FOOD, they also LOVE SHOPPING, yet most HATE shopping for food. Whole Foods makes that easy, they make the choices for you- telling you its good.

Their 365 brand of organic products is an example - You can buy a bag of 365 organic pasta for less than $1 or you can buy Montebello brand pasta grown on hilltop in Italy, farmed free of chemicals for $2.99. The WF brand makes "organic" easier- cheaper. I question though, the sustainability factor; What about LOCAL people???!?! Yes you are doing a "good" thing for your body by purchasing organic, but what about the cost of transporting that hilltop Italian pasta from Italy? The jet-fuel, the gas mileage to the Whole Foods??

I mean, is it really worth it for the economy? Most people today in the U.S do not own a pasta maker or know how to make pasta. This is where my recent reading of Slow Food Nation and Gastronomical Me come into play. Shouldn't we also be concerned with sustaining the economy and sustaining human growth by education consumers to be co-producers, to know what gastronomy is and why it is important to have skills such as making pasta, or growing vegetables free of pesticides ?


VeggieGirl said...

Very thought-provoking!!