American College of Sports Medicine Addresses “My Plate”
I was pleasantly surprised to read an article in the ACSM Bulletin that did not extoll the benefits of 'healthy grains' and 'calcium-rich milk' for once!
Written by an RD, the piece points out quite succinctly that, "if we eat foods closer to the way they are found in nature, we will be a healthier nation".
It goes onto say, "We can all agree that eating less junk and highly processed food is ideal." But then comes the blow: "eating junk and highly processed food is sometimes unavoidable. If we set standards for healthy eating that are too high and unachievable (without sensitivity to budget, culture or food preferences), the great majority of people will feel that it is not worth it to try."
I disagree. True, there are millions of people who are living on barely enough to scrape by, but that should not mean that the government should take the attitude that due to the fact that a particular demographic is living at or below a certain income level, we should categorize poor-to-no-quality foods and suggest that they be consumed!
To do so would be to perpetuate the cycle of providing misinformation and encouraging people en masse to believe that it's an all or nothing situation. As though if one cannot to source all their food from Whole Foods, they may as well just throw their hands in the air and head straight to McDonald's?
Why not entertain the idea of strategzing how to get REAL FOOD to people who cannot afford it in the current societal model?
Easier said than done, of course, but it's the small steps we all make as individual leaders and educators that can make an impact, so please, do your part! Whether you have the time to help plant a garden at a local elementary school, develop and run a fund-raiser to help a family in need have fresh, lovely food in order to have a delicious holiday meal or simply make a donation to a cause fighting childhood obesity, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD and don't 'leave it to someone else (even if that someone else is the USDA) to make positive and lasting changes.
I have gone and done it again; gone off on a Paleo tangent. I'm neither apologizing nor pretending it won't happen again!
What can I say? My passion for getting people to eat healthfully runs deep!