Sometimes it takes a big slap in the face to really drive something into my grey matter. I’m not talking about a casual acknowledgement or passing lip service but an earth-shattering, never doubt it again shift in thinking. Last week two events occurred together which delivered that slap, removing any doubt. Joel Salatin spoke to me; he was actually speaking to a whole room full of people but I felt part of that message was for our family.
You see, earlier that week a close family member was admitted to the hospital in acute kidney failure. She has many health issues, many medications, and eats a standard american diet (SAD). I don’t blame her-she is doing what is normal, what is statistically average, what her doctors tell her. I don’t think she knew any better and that complacency and trust in the establishment had her truly circling the drain. She is home now, back to her meds and SAD diet. I love her, but don’t know how to help her.
A few days later Joel was talking about ‘Folks, this ain’t normal’. In the last 100 years Americans typically spent 18% of their income on food and 9% on health care; recently those numbers have reversed. Food (to use that term loosely) has become very cheap and health care has become relatively expensive. Certainly no cause and effect conclusions can be drawn-way too many confounding factors, but interesting none the less. Perhaps we should be thinking about more than the monetary cost of food choices. ‘
I am also interesting in epigenetics-environmental (nutritional) influences on genetics. Perhaps our SAD diet, high stress levels or lack of sleep are affecting how our genes are expressed. As the link the Time article above suggests-environmental influences also affect your children and grandchildren. Scary stuff, huh? Think twice before you cram yourself full of NutraSweet and Red Lake #3. Even if you don’t really care about your health-what about your future children or grandbabies?
This confluence of events has driven it home for me. I really am what I eat, and think, and do (and so are my children and children’s children). I wish I knew then what I know now. The beginning of the quote in the title is from Joel Salatin –‘If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?’