I am a huge fan of Oprah. People can say what they want, but when she focuses on a topic she makes a difference. For some reason, the way she puts things out there makes me want to better myself and the world. (sad but true) As a matter of fact, after the episode about the importance of going green, and the garbage that is piling up in the Pacific Ocean I began recycling, I stopped using paper plates, and I use paper towels much less. Wednesdays episode had a similar affect on me. In this episode she spoke about the book Food Rules, the movie Food Inc,and featured Chipotle. The images were shocking, and she made me want to join what she called “A Food Revolution”.
I eat bad…I mean really bad. I make efforts sometimes, but even the food I THOUGHT was good really isn’t! I have heard about buying organic, or free range, but how can I afford it? But after seeing this episode of Oprah, I have to ask myself what is it costing me health wise?
Check out the picture of the two chickens. Both are 33 days old…but the one on the right is filled with hormones to make them bigger faster! They also said that people want so much “breast meat” that they engineer the chickens to actually have BIGGER BREASTS! Doesn’t sound very natural to me! How about these statistics??
Although “real” food is often more expensive, Michael says you either pay for real food now—or pay the doctor later. In 1960, Michael says 18 percent of our national income was spent on food, and only 5 percent on health care. Today, he says 9 percent of our income is spent on food and a whopping 17 percent on health care. “The less we spend on food, the more we spend on health care,” he says.
It’s so true! When I shop I buy the cheapest milk, the cheapest chicken, and the cheapest vegetables. What I found most interesting is what he said about what eating this is going to do to our health in the future. Do we even know? Do we want to eat chickens that are treated like this????
I have heard that the easiest way to start to change the way you eat these items is to buy Organic Dairy, Fruit, Vegetables, free range chickens, and grass fed beef. Could doing that be so hard? Will it really cost THAT much more? But if it does cost THAT much more, is my health worth the extra dollars???
This figure saddened me a bit…
This issue extends much farther than your local drive-thru. It’s also affecting our local supermarkets. Michael says experiments have found that $1 can buy you 1,250 calories worth of food in processed food aisles. “Take the same dollar to the produce aisle? You will get only 250 calories of broccoli or carrots,” he says. “We’ve made it rational to eat badly.”
How bad is that? But it’s so true! It’s expensive to be healthy! And how can we stand for that? We are such a fat, and unhealthy country….why do we do this to ourselves?
So maybe this was an eye opener for me. The Captain thinks I will buckle once I see how much it really costs to eat the way we are supposed to. To me that just spells CHALLENGE! So I am challenging myself to do better. I want to do what Oprah calls LEANING towards change. That means taking it slow and making small steps, but in the end small steps could equal big change. So who’s coming with me?
I interviewed a chef once that said it’s best to shop from the outside in at the grocery store…..the freshest foods are on the outside aisle of the store (veggies, fruits, deli, etc….) and things with preservatives are on the inner shelves because they can survive longer. Interesting right.
I have heard that too. I was going to do a blog series and blog about me trying that out…I failed..lol But it’s a good spot to focus on.
In the long run it cost less when you choose to eat healthier foods. Portions are smaller so you are actually buying less food. Your health is better which should eventually lead to lower health care costs.
When you incorporate healthier and better foods into your lifestyle you will also find yourself willing to do things more that you may not have wanted to do before. You will find more energy and feel the need to get off the couch more. One good thing leads to another.
The NY Times had an article a while ago about going organic. I find it is a good starting point:
As for free range chicken and grass fed beef…personally I find that they tastes better. But honestly in the end the biggest way to make an impact is to no longer eat meat at all.
Its funny to say don’t eat meat. I could NEVER cut out all meat, but they brought up the fact that back in the day chicken used to be special..and only eaten on Sundays…they said on another Oprah episode that if you cut out meat 1 day a WEEK (which is easy) that it helps alot! I will have to check out those articles..
The meat industry as a whole is atrocious on every level. From the most basic level of how the animals are conceived, cared for and fed…then there is the environmental impact of the meat production.
We cut meat out of many of our daily meals and substitute the protein with other ingredients. Adds variety, costs less and it is healthier. Still it wasn’t easy to do.
I too love Oprah and have that episode DVR’d. Now, will make hubby watch it with me. There is no need to treat animals that way!
Did you see Oprah’s episode on driving and texting/talking?! That one changed my life and what I do in the car.
I did not see that episode actually, but I am ALWAYS telling my husband that he is giong to kill me one day and feel REALLY bad cause he was texting. It’s HORRIBLE! I have blue tooth in my car and love it. I don’t text. it’s dangerous.
I urge you to watch that Oprah. I used to drive and always talk on my Bluetooth and this episode changed that. Did you know that driving while TALKING is like driving with the legal limit of alcohol in your system?! This makes you 4x more likely to be in an accident, and texting makes you 8x more likely! Watch the Oprah, it is totally worth it. I think I linked it in my blog! Especially with us trying so hard to get pregnant, I changed everything!
Oprah is great! (although I admit I’ve switched to Ellen at the 4PM time slot when I get the chance).
I’ve heard similar stories like this before. I actually switched to Organic Free Range Eggs and don’t really eat chicken (to cook it grosses me out). For us, the best way to eat I think it as fresh as possible, limited processed food. I learned a lot about eating like that when I did the core program on Weight Watchers. Brown Rice, homemade soups, fresh potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey, spices, fish, etc. I plan to make olivia’s baby food too. Not only is this a healthier option, I think but can also be a more affordable one.
I tivo both Ellen AND Oprah!:) I too have thought about making my own baby food when the time comes. So I’ll let you do it first and let me know how it goes! 🙂 I know you are a healthy eater. I’d love any recipes you have that give other options!
I absolutely love this post. I try to make changes in eating, but find it very difficult. I think that this post has given me the insite to look into it further to really make the change. Though I eat Organic when I can, it’s tough to find it where I live at times. I don’t eat meat alot, but I know I can do better by selecting free range chicken or even buying local if possible. Luckily my family recycles, but foodwise – we need to change! Thank you!!!!
Don’t worry I find it difficult too, and I have the stores around me! I just have to make better choices. I think as Americans we just need to say that “this is not ok”…so I guess little by little we all can.
These stories just break my heart! I really want to try and eat more organic… especially when I think about TTC, I hate to think not only about what those poor chickens go through, but how I am then ALSO injesting all those hormones too. Not so good!
What did they say about Chipotle? Hopefully it was good, because I like that place.
I have been thinking about it for TTC reasons too! even when I’m pregnant it will be good to eat better…
As for Chipotle they said it was GOOD! all the chicken and pork are free range, and all the food is fresh! (except corn) and some beans are even organic. They said when it comes to fast food, it’s the best alternative and worth the extra $$
The irony is they are owned by McDonald’s.
Not anymore:) Mcdonalds just had a majority share http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipotle_Mexican_Grill
The had the founder on oprah and he was pretty cool!
That is good to know.
It is an interesting business model and hopefully more businesses will take note.
Oprah is the devil
.-= Cap. Awesome´s last blog ..Random Thoughts =-.
You’ll be happy when you get healthier meals!
Making the change will be one of the most important things you can do for your family! We made the switch over 2 years ago and our grocery bill hasn’t increased. We just buy less junk and snacks, more good meats. Not only do we eat better, we’re healthier! I’ve overcome fertility problems, migraines, and my chronic sicknesses in the winter.
Ever since I had my kids I have switched to organic milk but now I will def be following the rules more… I feel lucky that we live so close to great organic food stores such as whole foods, trader joes and FAIRWAY ( my fav)! I know that I want to give my kids the best food cause that is what they deserve! I am def up for the challenge!
You are right! We do have a lot near us! I have to make more of an effort. Thanks for joining the challege!
Eating healthy is more expensive, but for us, it’s worth it. I don’t always get to buy organic. Some things aren’t even available in our area in organic. But we do try. Maintaining a healthy weight really does seem to cost less in the long run.
I think trying is a great way to start! I have already been thinking of small ways to start such as buying whole grain rice and cook it rather than buying the 90 second rice in packs…small stuff;)
Great post. I have had several students write thesis papers on this. A very convincing argument. My fiance does not eat very healthy at all. I’m in the middle somewhere. But I have a Trader Joes on my way home from work and their prices are great! Thanks for the motivation!
Thank you for this post. It is super informative. I’ve been on an almost full year dry spell of Oprah. I don’t miss cable but at times I do miss my O, especially when people post her goodies like this! Thanks for the info. Most food products are owned and made by large corporations that are mainly looking at their bottom line and not our health by any stretch of the imagination. Packaging is also a big ploy they use to distract us. Read the labels people.
My best, Lynn
oh no an Oprah dry spell? I wonder if you can get them online?? lol Ya it’s sad when you actually look into what you are eating. I am looking to really make a change.
A few years ago, I read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and then Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Those books definitely got me thinking about what we eat…maybe you could check those out while you’re hibernating this winter! I am making my baby’s food, and it’s not too bad. They key is making a larger batch and freezing it, instead of steaming and pureeing one carrot at a time! Let us know what changes you make and how they’re going. Good luck!
Thanks for the book recommendations!I definitely need stuff to keep my busy during my hibernation:) When the time comes for me to make baby food I am certainly going to reach out to my blog friends for help! so be ready:)
I’m on the real food bandwagon. For me it’s tough though — I’m super cost conscientious, so it’s a struggle to pay for the more expensive food when it costs more. But I know it’s better for the environment and for my own health, so I try.
Since October, I’ve been doing a CSA — you basically by a share of a farm and you get a box every couple of weeks of their fresh produce. It’s organic. It’s local. I pay the cost upfront and I really like that I don’t have to pay each time (it feels like it’s free food). And it’s fun to try new vegetables. Unfortunately, the farm is in between seasons right now, so I don’t get produce now until April or May.
I’m rather cost concious myself…so this is going to be tough, but I figure if I cut out alot of processed food, it will make up for it? I’m very curious of this CSA thing…I am going to contact you about that for more info:)
It’s so awesome seeing some of this real food stuff go mainstream. I clicked over to you b/c of the #realfood hashtag on Twitter. What a great goal, and I LOVE that you’re challenged by your husband’s negative thoughts. I hope you don’t think I’m self-promoting too much, but your closing is pretty much the mission of my whole blog: baby steps to better health, while being frugal and caring for the earth. I have the top 10 baby steps to start with and other tips/recipes that might help you show hubs what’s up! (top 10: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/11/28/overwhelmed-start-here/)
I’d love to see more of you and hear how you’re doing on your challenge!
Thank you so much for that link! I can’t wait to read it. I am definitely looking for a way just to get started. Also, I think your motto is great! I will definitely write about how we are doing with the challenge.
Just a heads up, that link doesn’t bring you to that post, and when I click on it on your sidebar it says the page doesn’t exist…
I am sure that that would make Oprah very happy to hear! The whole point of what she does is to influence people and make a difference by making others aware, so that then they go and make their difference. I think she is great too, and has a great deal of good for the world!
Have you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma yet? If not, I highly recommend it.
If I had the money, I’d buy locally grown food as much as possible. Even if food’s organic, it’s still shipped from from South America (or wherever..) and that burns so much oil that ultimately, any happy environment benefits are canceled out.
Check out the book and lemme know what you think!
Wow, you really got a lot of responses on this topic! I realized recently just how much processed food we were eating and decided to do a trial run in February to see if we could afford to eat healthier, my excuse was always that it is too expensive since we are on a very tight grocery budget ($570 CAD and this includes all food, cleaners, personal care items and diapers). Well February is almost over and we so far have eaten very fresh. Unfortunately we only have $20 left for the last week which is just enough for milk and bread but I think we have enough food to last already in the house. I am going to tweak a few things about the plan next month but it looks like we will be able to do this 🙂 I am also going to start blogging about our changes now that it is for sure going to be permanent.
I also recommend the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Eating Healthier foods are very expensive like green vegetables, fruits and free range chickens. But what is the cheaper one if your health is at risk! It’s good to see this video “Egg Laying Hens” so that many people aware that eating non-free range chickens and eggs are not good to eat..