I just read that Oprah is challenging her staff at Harpo Productions to join her in going Vegan for one week. That means no meat, no dairy, no animal products. Could you do it? Probably. Should you do it? Most definitely. Oprah is set to deliver this challenge on today’s show featuring well known authors Michael Pollan (The Omnivores Dilemma) and Kathy Freston (Quantum Wellness). I suspect this is all tied in to a new book launch for one of them but for me the timing of this show is a little uncanny.
I have spent that last week reading several books I picked up at my local Whole Foods. One of them The China Study is a book about a study that looked at 6500 adults from more than 2500 counties across China and Taiwan. It talked about how their diet based in nutrient rich foods reduced and in some cases reversed ailment including obesity. I had read a similar book years ago The Okinawan Diet that basically talked about the same thing, these people on an island off Japan had the lowest rate of cancer and were living well into their late 90s by eating a nutrient dense diet that was low in animal protein. It got me thinking about my own family and how much meat and carbohydrates we consume. I would say that at least 50% of our diet is made up of carbohydrates and animal proteins I can see now that this needs to change. I don’t want my kids to battling weight issues well into adulthood. I don’t want them to be added into the kids counted as being overweight or worse having to deal with something as preventable as diabetes.
- 1 in 2 adults is overweight and 1 in 6 is obese, according to these 2010 statistics.
- 1 in 3 kids in the world are overweight.
So what are we going to do about it. I decided that I needed to focus on making more healthy foods available while helping them understand the importance of their food choices.
Something we have here in Southern California is access to a wide variety of fresh produce. The area I live in now was once home to thousands of acres of agricultural land, sadly most of those plots have been replaced by track homes which mean more produce has to be shipped in from other areas (including overseas). Even though I can pretty much buy produce year round I learned that’s not always a good thing either. You probably have heard the term “ripening rooms” nothing natural about that. Picking fruit before it ripens naturally and exposing it to ethylene to speed up the process robs the fruit of the nutrients it picks up from the soil. That little factoid is enough to motivate me to drive to the nearest farmers market or Whole Foods. If you follow me on twitter you know I love to check in and tweet pictures of my latest finds here. I do love this place and they don’t pay me to say that.
This is becoming a serendipitous story actually. I have so many little side stories that have started running since this whole sense of “awareness” about food that I may need to do an entire series on this. I want to tell you about my tour of Whole Foods and how that started me researching juicers which lead me to search out some great local farmers which led me back to Whole Foods where I met this local goat farmer Dan who I talked at great length about the goat cheese industry after I confessed that I began to think that I was contributing to the inhumane treatment of goats by eating massive amounts of chevre after reading Penelope Trunks post Goat Cheese is the New Veal. Confused yet? Yea me too. So let’s climb out of this rabbit hole together shall we.
Um… how about tomorrow? I’m sorry its 1am and I have a whole story to tell (pun intended) including photos and I don’t want to turn this post into a novel. So do one thing, tune into to the Oprah show and watch her Vegan Challenge and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow to chat about it. It’s a date.
food photo source: istock