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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fear Does Not Fit

I've been working on a post related to coffee for a few days and it's not going so well. I will try to get it done this weekend, when I have some time away from the job to get down and sort out all the research articles I've been skimming. In the meantime, I wanted to spew a few thoughts out regarding health, society, business, and psyche.
More to the point, and circling back to the title of the post, I want to tell people (everybody, somebody, anybody) that your health is YOUR responsibility. DO NOT be afraid to demand quality, and do not be afraid to supply it (to yourself and others). A few recent trips to my favorite baristas really spurred me into thinking about this concept of completely taking the reigns and controlling my environment.
Since one of my favorite spots to caffeinate is a small cafe attached to a local natural grocery store, I usually go buy my raw milk and then head to the cafe and grab some espresso or, occasionally, a latte. I have never been a huge milk fan but once I tried raw milk from Clarevale Farms and Organic Pastures, the taste and quality were so superior it hardly seemed related to the stuff I had been exposed to previously. However, I had been reticent to request that the establishment make me a latte with raw milk that I would supply. I didn't want to be "that guy", the social pariah with strange food requests who inconveniences others with his demands. I've never been one to demand things, not wanting to create any disturbance in the social web of interactions. Something inside me, though, had been building, and I could not stand by and be passive about my health any longer. I walked up to the counter and requested that my latte be made with the milk that I placed on the counter.
And you know what? It was not a problem at all. And why should it be? They supply me with espresso and a steamer, and charge me for the services; I supply the milk and receive a superior product. Both parties win in this situation and no one glares at me as I enjoy my morning fog lift.
Raw Milk Latte

As silly as this simple anecdote may appear, it was a step that I consciously took to ensure quality in my nutrition. It was an uncomfortable task in my first attempt, but I realized that I cannot be ashamed or embarrassed by my decisions that positively affect my health. If I know that raw dairy is the only form that I consider to be real food, and the status quo is ultra-pasteurized, nutrient deficient milk then I would be doing myself a disservice if I knowingly consumed the inferior product.
And so, fear does not fit in a healthy life. Do not be afraid of the Neolithic Agents of Disease, just seek to eliminate them. Don't be a pussy: rub some people the wrong way, ruffle some feathers, shake the status quo.
If you line up like a lemming, or march in a circle of death like an ant (look it up), then you will keep propagating the same systems that are destroying the health of our nation. Support the highest quality establishments you can find and vote with your wallet. Businesses will shift to accommodate the desires of the consumer, so long as there is a choice to be made and your desires can be expressed with your purchasing decisions. No inferior products can survive in a truly free market (which our food system is not), and it become more apparent everyday that the superior products are better for every linked system. Grass fed beef, pastured poultry and pork, and locally produced foods are superior not only for health, but are better for the environment, the community, and the economy.
We absolutely know that industrial vegetable and seed oils with their unnatural amounts of n-6 fatty acids will wreak havoc on our metabolism and create an internal environment conducive to disease. We know that vast fields of monocultures (read: wheat, corn, and soy) are destroying the topsoil and scarring the skin of the earth. Further, no one will rationally argue for the existence of CAFO's because we know that beyond animal cruelty, the nutrition produced by this system is not optimal and the environmental impacts of such practices are appalling.
We are all aware of the effects of highly processed "food" that is available because of the use of these extremely (monetarily) cheap ingredients. We see it everyday: in the large abdominal fat deposits of half the people you encounter, in the news headlines about obesity and diabetes rates reaching new highs every day, as well as the gross amount of money to be had in the pharmaceutical industry.
So what is to be done to remedy these ills? I think Jimmy Moore put it in the best perspective during his recent interview with Dr. Jack Kruse. If you are genuinely interested in solving these issues, use whatever skills you have, in whatever capacity you can afford to dedicate, to progress this paleo/primal/real food/low carb/archevorian movement.

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