One of the questions I received a while back was “I would love to know how to easily transition to a more healthy way of consuming local food. One thing at a time type things” from Christy Farr. I started to think about how I could break down the message of learning to eat locally. I know that for me, it is a daily challenge. When unconscious routine takes place, it’s hard to make change. Eating locally is a lifestyle. It’s usually inconvenient and takes effort at first. It takes time to transition, and our current world isn’t helping much. There is so much food propaganda in the media that it is difficult to make your way to eating locally. So here is the first baby step to help you get closer to that goal.
Baby Step #1
Avoid foods you see advertised on television, the web, or in a magazine.
Food advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry. It IS propoganda. According to the Federal Trade Commission, food makers spend some $1.6 billion annually to reach children through the traditional media as well the Internet, in-store advertising, and sweepstakes. Food marketers are ingenious at turning their highly processed products into exciting, convenient and healthy food choices . As Michael Pollen states in his book “Food Rules” “The best way to escape these marketing ploys is to tune out the marketing itself, by refusing to buy heavily promoted foods. Only the biggest food manufacturers can afford to advertise their products on television: More than two thirds of food advertising is spent promoting processed foods (and alcohol), so if you avoid products with big ad budgets, you’ll automatically be avoiding edible foodlike substances. As for the 5 percent of food ads that promote whole foods (the prune or walnut growers or the beef ranchers), common sense will, one hopes, keep you from tarring them with the same brush—these are the exceptions that prove the rule.”
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid (literally and figuratively). Be a conscious consumer. This takes time, and when you feel like it’s an overwhelming transition, just start with a baby step.