Everyone seems to want that quick fix. Commercials, which seem to share equal time with any TV show, pitch the quick fix. But the truth? The quick fix does not seem to work. Take diets, for example. People purchase more diet books than any other type of books. Do any of the short-term diets work? No. Studies show that over 98% of every pound lost is eventually gained back. That is why I preach a lifelong shift in your eating style, not some new diet. Each of us should employ long-term thinking, combined with lifelong behavioral changes, to change our eating style and our food supply.
So, if there is no quick fix, what can we do about our contaminated food supply? We have to fight one small battle at a time, looking for small changes. In California, over this last year, there was a ballot initiative to require labeling of GMO foods in the grocery stores. Monsanto poured in millions and millions of dollars and convinced the public to defeat the measure. Their most effective argument? Our food prices would rise because of the extra cost of labeling. Who wants higher food prices, right? Sorry. Me! The United States has the cheapest food of any industrial country, yet we spend more on health care than any other industrial country. That is the failure of short-term gain, long-term loss.
California lost our ballot initiative. The state of Washington has their own ballot initiative (Initiative 522), slated for a vote in early November, for labeling GMO food. However, over the weekend, I read that Monsanto had raised another huge “war” chest with six donors contributing 1.5 million (as an individual average). Now, we are all aware of the increasing financial disparity in this country. We are all aware of how we have developed into a split country of the 99% versus the 1%. How do the wealthy keep growing richer? By buying their way to higher profits. After all, if 60+ countries around the world require labeling, who would fight it in our country? I give you one guess. And their goal is their profit, not our health.
So, again, what can we do? As baby boomers, we can take the lead on educating our children and grandchildren. Not everything has to be done in our own self-interest. Maybe we can work equally hard to save future lives. Want to do something radical? If you have grandchildren, present a voice at your child’s grade school for better, non-GMO cafeteria food. Want to know what they serve in a Harlem grade school for a typical lunch? Nachos, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, hamburgers, and a pork glazed meat sandwich. Want to know what they serve in a better grade school? Tofu-filled spinach wraps, vegetarian chili, black bean quesadillas, and falafel in a wrap. Guess which school has better health and lower blood level of GMOs? Guess which school has the higher test scores?
So, what do you say that we join together and make a commitment to slow and gradual progress toward better health and a better life? Let’s all realize that our progress starts with a healthier food supply with fewer contaminants, reduced chemicals, eliminated hormones / antibiotics, and zero GMOS. If we have to go state-by-state, vote-by-vote, purchase-by-purchase, we can still do it. We have all the time in the world. Or do we? With long-term thinking and lifelong plan, that does not mean that you have to wait to initiate change. Take action now. Really, do you see any other alternative? And remember: “The constant dripping (of water) can hollow the hardest stone.” Together, we can make a better world for ourselves and those people who follow us. How’s that for one part of our legacy?