Let’s Talk (#4)

“To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.”

-Adelle Davis

Is this true or false?  In your opinion, to what extent does the processed food industry and poverty affect obesity rates?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

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Slow Food Growing Fast

Has anybody ever heard of an organization entitled Slow Food?  I have recently came across their website and wanted to share it with you.  Slow Food was born in the 1980s when a food revolutionary by the name of Carlo Petrini led the charge in publicly protesting the possible construction of a fast food restaurant in the vicinity of the Spanish Steps.  The activists were disgusted by the manner in which culture and tradition were quickly being replaced by food fads and quick culinary fixes.  Since the protest in the 1980s, Slow Food has impacted over 160 countries and inspired millions of people to participate in their quest for biodiversity and equality in our global food system (Slow).

At the heart of Slow Food’s mission are three tenets… to foster meaningful relationships between farmers and their customers, to preserve the dwindling variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products that were once in abundance (something that Slow Food refers to as food biodiversity), and finally to educate the general public about the aspects of agriculture and industry that threaten food justice.  Slow Food sums up its unique food philosophy using three words: good, clean, and fair.  They believe that good food should be nutritionally dense and of high caliber.  They believe that the output of food should be clean, or in no way pose threats to the environment.  Finally, they believe that the process in which people gain access to food should be fair, and that the atmosphere of the workplace for those employed by the food industry should be dignified and safe (Slow).

Additionally, the structure of Slow Food consists of a headquarters in Bra, Italy, a series of national organizations that stem from the headquarters, and countless convivia, which are populations that plan and host culinary and educational events across the globe.  It appears that those who decide to become involved can participate domestically or abroad.  For instance, Slow Food is responsible for global events such as AsiO Gusto, Cheese, Slow Meat, and Terra Madre Day.  After one becomes involved, they gain access to this diverse group of people bound together in order to achieve a common goal, they are presented with the opportunity to support Slow Food events, and they can dialogue with their local chapter to increase their involvement (Slow).

Slow Food believes that each person has the potential to become a more aware and knowledgeable consumer… below is a blurb from Slow Food’s website (http://www.slowfood.com/international/27/be-a-responsible-consumer) detailing their suggestions for becoming an empowered consumer:

“Go Slow in your life

1 Buy whole ingredients. Cook them. Eat them.

2 Avoid processed stuff with long ingredient lists. Eat real food.

3 Grow some of your own food. Even if just on your windowsill.

4 Whenever possible, know the story behind the food you buy.

5 Buy local food; find out what is in season!

Go Slow in your community

1 Cook and eat with others – not just family and friends. Bring new people and perspectives to the table.

2 Join a community garden and grow food with others.

3 Connect with your local Slow Food chapter.

4 Shake the hand that feeds you. Meet the people who grow your food. Shop at a farmers market, visit a farm or buy shares from a farm that offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

5 Learn about your local or regional food history and cultural dishes.”

How will you “Go Slow”?  Do you believe that there is a need for organizations such as Slow Food?  Why or why not?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

Slow Food. Blu Lab, 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <http://www.slowfood.com>

Simply Gum

At this point in September, most schools and universities are back in session… let the gum chewing commence!  I thought that it would be interesting this week to highlight a company that produces gluten-free, nut-free, biodegradable, and vegan chewing gum.  Entitled Simply Gum, this gum is as sincere as it sounds.  Free from aspartame, preservatives, synthetics, and other nasty chemicals, Simply Gum is like no other of its kind (Simply).

Simply Gum is manufactured with the following six ingredients:

  1. All Natural Chicle
  2. Organic Dried Cane Juice
  3. Organic Vegetable Glycerin
  4. Organic Sunflower Lecithin
  5. Organic Rice Flour
  6. All Natural Flavor

Additionally, Simply Gum boasts six flavors… (I’ve listed them below in my order of preference, but truly they are all wonderful)!

  1. Cinnamon
  2. Ginger
  3. Mint
  4. Maple
  5. Coffee
  6. Fennel Licorice

Simply Gum can be purchased in bulk or individually in a variety of ways.  If ordering from online, Amazon is your best bet.  In terms of retail, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma, Lolli and Pops, and Sprouts Farmers Market also carry Simply Gum (Simply).

Below is an excerpt from the “Our Story” portion of Simply Gum’s website (http://simplygum.com/#story):

“We set out to make a better chew.  The regular chewing gum you see on grocery store shelves is filled with artificial substances, including some of the same components used in the manufacture of car tires, plastic bottles, and white glue, as well as artificial sweeteners like aspartame.  Consumers are kept in the dark about what they are chewing because the FDA allows conventional gum brands to hide up to 80 synthetic ingredients in the catch-all term “gum base” on the label.  Although there are a few gum brands in the US market claiming to be “natural,” all of them include synthetics in their base.  We knew we could do better.”

And better they certainly did!

Please let me know if you have ever heard of Simply Gum, and if you have tried it before, what is your favorite flavor?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

Simply Gum. Simply Gum LLC,  2015.  Web.  2 Sept. 2015. <https://www.simplygum.com>