The Right to Know the Impact of What’s in Our Food

The Right to Know the Impact of What’s in Our Food

We all have the right to food! We also have the right to know the definition of food, the purpose of food, and the impact of each of the ingredients in our food. For that, we need to be educated—most likely, self-educated.

Food, noun is defined as:

  1. material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy
  2. nutriment in solid form (more or less solid nourishment, as distinguished from liquids)
  3. something that nourishes, sustains or supplies

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/food

 Nourish, verb is defined as:

  1. nurture; rear
  2. to promote the growth of
  3. to furnish or sustain with nutriment: FEED

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nourish

What should we be feeding ourselves and our families to ensure optimal health?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, presents overall guidance in choosing nutrient-dense food and beverages in place of less healthy choices.  The guidelines recognize that individuals ultimately decide what and how much to consume. However, it also states that health professionals, communities, businesses and industries, government and other segments of society all have a role to play in supporting individuals and families in making choices that align with the Dietary Guidelines and ensuring that all people have access to a healthy and affordable food supply.¹ 

Some nutrient-dense foods, like fruit, have a sweet taste and also contain fiber which we need. However, highly processed foods and added sugar are not nutrient-dense and are not part of a healthy lifestyle.

Danger in our Food

Harvard Health published an article titled “The Sweet Danger of Sugar” in November 2019. It said that too much added sugar can be one of the most dangerous threats to cardiovascular disease. Added sugar is sugar that manufacturers add to products to enhance flavor or extend shelf life. The article went on to say that in the American diet, the top sources are soft drinks, fruit drinks, flavored yogurts, cereals, cookies, cakes, candy and most processed foods.²

Even though there are more and more studies on the danger of sugar, you will find it in many items on grocery store shelves. The World Health Organization is challenging us to eat no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Could you imagine putting 6 teaspoons of added sugar into your mouth each day? Even that seems like a lot!

Sugar conversion:

1g = 4 calories

4g = 1 tsp

12g = 1 tbsp

According to Eric Edmeades, designer of The Immunity Blueprint, sugar stimulates appetite and suppresses the immune system. It is a leading cause in today’s Diabesity epidemic in the United States. Added sugar has been linked to a number of health issues including: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, dementia and even cancer. If you think that artificial sweeteners are a good substitute, think again. Dr. Marlene Merritt, author of Smart Blood Sugar, says most artificial sweeteners, such as Aspartame, are nothing more than toxic junk.

If you really want that sweet taste, Healthy Keto Expert, Dr. Eric Berg, DC, recommends “good sweeteners” such as:  Xylitol (non-GMO), Erythritol (non-GMO), Stevia and Monk Fruit.³ He also suggests the herb gymnema for those who need help to control sugar cravings.⁴

Interesting to note, the United States spends more on healthcare per capita (per person) than any other country in the world⁵ yet the US does not even rate in the top 10 healthiest countries.⁶ These are clear indications that something needs to change.

What actions can we take?

Read the labels! Educate yourself on the ingredients in the food you are consuming.

In summary, 1. know the purpose of food: to nourish an organism in order to sustain life. 2. consume nutrient-dense foods (if possible, work with a nutritionist to come up with the best plan for you or check with your PCP) 3. do your best to eliminate added sugar and artificial sweeteners from your diet. AND, 4. help educate others to do the same.  

Take responsibility for your nourishment. Contribute to a more healthy, free world for us all.

 

References:

¹https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/DGA_2020-2025_ExecutiveSummary_English.pdf

²https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-added-sugar-who-six-teaspoons-per-day-20140305-story.html#:~:text=The%20World%20Health%20Organization%20is%20challenging%20you%20to,daily%20calories%20come%20in%20the%20form%20of%20sugar.

³https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jROu0Mo3A9M&t=23s

https://www.drberg.com/blog/gymnema-herb-the-best-herb-for-sugar-and-carb-cravings

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-highest-healthcare-expenditures-in-the-world.html

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-healthiest-countries-in-the-world.html#:~:text=1%20Spain%20is%20considered%20to%20be%20the%20healthiest,in%20the%20country%20during%20the%20past%20several%20years.

 

Disclaimer: This blog page and website are for educational and general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, prescription or recommendation. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or changing your health regimen or diet.

The Right to Health and Well Being

The Right to Health and Well Being

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 25: The Right to Health and Well Being

    • “Everyone has the right to a standard of living¹ adequate for the health² and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    • Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.”

There is so much packed in this particular UDHR Article that it is difficult to address all in a short blog. This blog will touch on pieces of the Right to Health.

Merriam-Webster defines health as the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; freedom from physical disease or pain; a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well².

If we can agree that there are 3 parts to a human being–body, mind and spirit–then, in order to have true healthcare or healing, we would need to consider and address all the parts–the whole–in any medication, treatment or therapy prescribed.

Some things to look at:

    • Are your medical care providers addressing you and/or your family members as whole human beings—body, mind, and spirit?
    • Is your current treatment or therapy getting to the source of the illness or injury resulting in true healing and you thriving and doing well?
    • Do you find yourself going deeper and deeper into the medical system (one doctor after another) or are you healed and thriving?
    • What kinds of things are you putting into your body, mind and spirit? Are they promoting health and healing or are they covering up symptoms, or worse, destructive?
    • Are you surrounded by people who build you up or people who have ways of nullifying³ you–making you feel smaller?
    • What changes do you need to make or actions do you need to take for you to thrive and do well?

Take time to answer the questions above and decide how much responsibility you are willing to take for your own health.

Another key point to consider about health is a famous quote by Greek physician, Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.” Not only does everyone have the right to food but the right to nutritious food so we are able to maintain healthy bodies and minds.

This quickly leads into the need to keep our environment clean (air, water and soil). Without nutrient-dense soil that is free from toxic pesticides and insecticides, our foods have little chance of being “medicine”. Organic foods tend to be more expensive, hence, the standard of living adequate for the health of self and family rises. However, one could argue that if nourishing foods are going into the body, it would reduce the high cost of medical care on the back end.

There is clearly plenty of work to do to bring this human right to life and make a fair and free world for us all. How do you want to help?

¹Standard of living – Standard of living refers to the material basis of well-being, which is reflected in a person’s consumption level. Standard of living of an individual or group of individuals is determined by their access to resources, which comprise of both cash and non-cash income. https://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/9-domains/standard-of-living-and-happiness/
²The derivation or origin of ‘health’ is before 1000; Middle English helthe, Old English hǣlth. See hale, whole, from dictionary.com
³Nullify – to make null, to make of no value or consequence. invalidate or cancel the effectiveness of something; to deprive of effective or continued existence. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nullify

Post By:  Ellen Firestone

What Does it Take to Live the Pledge?

What Does it Take to Live the Pledge?

Do you remember back in grade school when we started our day with the Pledge of Allegiance? With right hand over heart, we recited this pledge every day while admiring our Flag. I remember feeling very proud but not sure I truly understood what I was actually pledging OR, that someday it might take something more than words to fulfill the pledge–it might require action.

My son said the same pledge when he was in school and my nieces still say it today.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

So, what did that actually mean? And, more importantly, did we really mean it?

Pledge: to promise solemnly.¹

Allegiance: devotion or loyalty to a person, group or cause.²

Republic: a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.³ 

Indivisible: not divisible; not separable into parts; incapable of being divided.⁴

Liberty: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control. Power of Choice.⁵  

Justice: the administration of law, especially the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity.⁶ 

All: Everybody, Everything.⁷

Most of us have probably rarely considered the possibility of losing the liberties we’ve been so fortunate to have in the United States of America.  

If we truly pledge this allegiance (promise to be loyal to the cause), we need to be highly aware of decisions and events happening in our own country and around the world so as to prevent the slow encroachment and violation of our human rights and liberties.

We can begin by knowing our 30 Universal Human Rights and make sure others know them as well.

Freedom is not free. It comes with responsibility.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 21, Section 3 states: The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government. Our responsibility does not end with a vote. Another action you can take is to continuously use your voice effectively with your Congress people.

Know Your 30 Human Rights. Live the Pledge. The power is in you!

Post By:  Ellen Firestone