Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SAD: The Standard American Diet

A seventy-five pound box of food was dropped on my porch recently. It must have been a food bank distribution, dropped on the wrong porch by accident. It was a lot of food, which is great, of course, for people who are having trouble paying their food bill. However, the great bulk of the food was pasta, sugar (confectioner), and corn starch. There was also baking soda, tea bags, soy sauce, barley, and one can of beans. But more than fifty pounds of pasta and sugar.

I had a boss once who ate what she called "white food" when she was depressed. White bread, egg or tuna salad, cream soup, crackers. Chicken or the egg? Was her diet making her more depressed? Would she have felt better sooner if she'd chosen broccoli and brightly colored fruit?

There are plenty of nutrition studies that show that colorful, fresh food is better for you. But it's true that it many cases, it is also more expensive. That is one reason that buying from local farmers, leaving Whole Foods out of the equation, can both save you money and keep you eating healthier.We'll be doing some shopping trips soon to compare the prices between a bag of food from wintergreens, and a bag of food from local groceries. I'll make you a wager we come out significantly cheaper. (No shipping! Minimal or no packaging!)

I overheard a teen today saying "There's nothing to eat near my house, there are only grocery stores." I think she meant that there aren't any pizza joints or chinese take-outs where she lives. Many people have a similar problem, but different: only grocery stores, no FARMS. Fortunately, in the Hudson Valley, we don't have this problem.

*wintergreens is applying to be able to accept Food Stamps. Everyone should have access to great food, and the health and happiness it can bring.

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