Holistic Food; What am I REALLY eating?

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Looking at food from a Holistic perspective can be intimidating. It can be a challenge to navigate through the plethora of flower essences, digestive supporting foods, vitamins, and diet assistance products.  Not to mention the Raw Food movement; an effort to make a change in one’s diet in order to include more uncooked, unprocessed, and organic foods. Making these changes to your diet can be as simple as grabbing some organic tomatoes from your local grocery or as complex as balancing respiratory, skin, digestive, and joint and muscle care through the use of certain foods in unison with certain vitamins and minerals.

The Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods takes a trip to a New Age Spa in Arizona to experience a Holistic Approach to life, including various ways to eat holistically. You can find the video here.

The beginning of making a change in your lifestyle is to understand what ingredients go into the production, manufacturing, and eventually inside of the foods you are currently eating. In order to tackle the Holistic Food perspective I want to start with ways to make ingredient knowledge more accessible. One of the most interesting methods used in order to become more aware of the ingredients that go into the foods you eat every day is called Fooducate. This app is available for Android and iPhone users allowing the ability to scan the bar codes of their favorite products and see what is really inside such as:

  • Excessive sugar
  • Trans fats
  • Additives and preservatives
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • Confusing serving sizes

After the consumer see’s what unsightly ingredients really are in the foods they love, Fooducate then allows the user to select healthier alternatives to the same product. According to their website, “… Fooducate is like taking your own personal dietitian to the supermarket…”. Apple also rated Fooducate as the “Best app of 2011 in the Health & Fitness category”.

In another effort to understand labeling and ingredient lists, Slow Foods USA has partnered with Justlabelit.org in order to petition for the FDA to label genetically engineered foods. Below is a video of a mother who is involved with the Just Label It effort.


What are your thoughts on Holistic Health, especially food? Would you consider “going raw” or eating totally organic foods? What about the FDA’s labeling processes – would you sign a petition to require the FDA to label genetically engineered ingredients?
Peace, Love, and Holistic Health!
drdonley

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9 responses »

  1. I think it is definitely a positive strategy to label genetically engineered ingredients. Some individuals really find it empowering to know exactly what is going into their bodies. This empowerment stems from the high level of uncertainty that is dramatically reduced with the detailed knowledge of one’s diet.

    On the contrary, what about the individual who wants to take the initiative to eat foods that are easily digested and fuel the body in a more productive way, but simply lack the nutritional intelligence of ingredients and their impacts? How do we cater to them? Are the mobile apps that user friendly with jargon?

    To answer your last question, (and I may be contradicting an above paragraph) no, no I would not sign a petition to require the FDA to label genetically engineered ingredients. I am personally not cautious with my food choices, but as I mentioned earlier, I think it is a positive change for those who are truly committed.

  2. Thank you for your comment Tony! You are totally spot on in referencing uncertainty reduction through increased knowledge of ingredients!!

    I believe that through Fooducate they use a rather simple system and make it easy to understand. They use a letter system to give all products a grade (A-F). These grades are based upon the professional opinions of dietitians and nutritionists on staff. For more information on their grading system you can refer to their blog post on the topic. http://blog.fooducate.com//2011/01/26/how-fooducate-grades-products/ The problems that I did notice are the availability of the recommended replacement items in local grocery stores. Yet again, that will take a need for a strong consumer voice in requesting those products locally.

    I appreciate your honestly about the FDA petition. Not everyone is truly committed to this food movement. I know that I have a hard time making healthier choices when it comes to what I eat. I think this leads to the idea of motivation. I need to look at what would truly motivate me to make a lifestyle change. Stay tuned, that might be a possible topic to be discussed!

    Thanks again for your input, and keep it coming!!

  3. I agree! I downloaded the Fooducate app on my iphone! I love that I can shake the phone and it will grab a random product. This is great for our strive for a more holistic health! Loving this new age movement!

  4. A few years ago, I became ill and went to many doctors and even had surgery. Nothing got better, and then one day I met with a nutritionist and one simple question, “Why do you not drink milk?,” turned everything around. Come to find out I never “out-grew” my milk allergy. Now I know what the problem is, but inconsistent labeling regulations make life difficult. Italic, bold, asterisk, or list copy are all acceptable methods to call out the major allergens, but these ambiguous regulations do not make it easy to find this very important information. And what does “may contain” really mean? My allergy made me become more informed about the food I eat. So, of course I think the Slow Food Movement is great, because we should take the time to know what is in our food and we should be informed through package labeling, as well as manufacturing process information.

    Thank you for the petition link, and I look forward to reading more about the food we eat and how we can be more holistic and healthy.

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