According to the CDC, more than one-third, or 78.6 million adults, in America are obese. The lack of affordable, local food in the majority of the United States, coupled with the astounding amount of processed, marketed, cheap “food” almost makes these numbers understandable. Almost.
Back in 1985, I gave myself the gift of European travel, spending most of the five months abroad in France. I had just graduated with a degree in Fitness/Nutrition, was obsessed with being thin, and coming out of a closeted battle with anorexia/bulimia. What France offered me was perhaps the most important introduction of my life: streets dotted with produce stands, boulangeries, fromageries, boucheries, all selling fresh, locally sourced, untainted foods. At 22, I came to know what real food looks, smells, and tastes like. I was privileged; most people never get the opportunity to explore healthier lifestyles. I was lucky; I got to know what my body and mind felt like away from processed, boxed up, and shipped-to-the-supermarket food. For the first time in my life, I was able to get to know my body and give it what it needed when it needed it. It tasted good. I felt great. Most importantly, while living in France, the eating disorder vanished.
This winter, my husband began growing greens in our basement. Starting the process from precious seeds, installing grow lights, playing classical music 24/7, the resulting kales, lettuces, basil, to name a few, are, even for me, indescribable. It takes patience, devotion, and a burning desire to live with more vitality, the kind of real energy a human being can only extract from real food.
Living in Reston, Virginia has been a life-enhancing experience on some important levels. However, on the food front, we’ve been less than ecstatic. Spoiled perhaps by the importance local food plays in the Santa Fe community from where we moved July 2012, living in a food growing climate where pesticides are common and affordable organic food is not, we’ve done the best we can, which, when compared to what we were used to, has been expensive and inconsistent.
Recently, though, I was given the contact information for a local food delivery service, Hometown Harvest. Please check out their website and discover what I believe is becoming the wave of the future. If enough of us fed up consumers begin to understand the relationship between fresh, locally sourced, nutrient rich, year-round food and strong immune systems, elimination of mental unrest, and maintaining a positive body/mind relationship, I truly believe we can outsmart Monsanto and those who support its atrocious ways in the name of profit.
I see a future where obesity becomes obsolete, and along with it, the resulting medical disasters. I see a future when health is the norm, and pharmaceutical reps are seeking alternate careers. Growing food, or supporting local farmers who do, is the first step towards creating my vision of utopia. Won’t you join me?