You may be thinking, there is no way what I eat can radically change the world. However, I vehemently disagree. I have explained before in great detail that we live in an interdependent world therefore every action we take has a multitude of untold consequences we are not even aware of. In addition, as a society as a whole we focus too much on changing external circumstances instead of changing ourselves first to try and make this world a better place.
Okay, so you may be intrigued and now may be open to the idea that possibly what you eat could change the world. However, you want a concrete example. So I am going to give it to you. I have previously stressed that including leafy green vegetables in your diet is essential. But I always get the question is it worth it to get Organic vegetables? Unequivocally YES!
Why is it that organic is far superior? Well lets look at it from a purely selfish perspective first. A very good overarching principle to base your dietary choices on is to include nutrient dense food and exclude foods with excessive amounts of toxins. Do you think foods sprayed with all kinds of pesticides (chemicals meant to kill other sentient beings) is something you want to be eating? These exogenous chemicals we introduce into our diets have had a glaring deleterious effect on the general health of the population. In Vancouver, I am kinda of shielded from the drastic decline of general health, but when I was visiting some family in Texas my eye’s were open to how bad it really is. So if you want to be the best you can be choosing organic is a must.
However, I am aware that in the real world it is not always feasible or pragmatic to buy everything organic. But that is okay because all organic is NOT equal. Your first priority to be to ensure that you are able to purchase as high quality meat as possible, before even thinking about buying any organic veggies. Why is that? Animals higher up on the food chain have a much great bio-concentration of both nutrients AND toxins. That is why high quality meat of ruminant animals is the most nutrient dense food one can consume.
However, there is so much minutiae on the labels meant to distract the consumer that it is not always clear what one should look for. The priority of what you should look for is:
- Grass-Fed is the most important thing you should be on the look out for. If your cow or sheep that you are eating was eating corn, then it will be sick and inflamed. Do not think that you will be able to be magically healthy if your eating sick and inflamed animals?
- Organic – This is NOT as important as grass-fed but is definitely better than just conventional raised animals. It is great that no extra chemicals are used in the process. But feeding cows or sheep organic grains will still result in them being sick. Cows and sheep were not meant to eat corn and wheat BUT grass.
Okay, but what happens if you have some resources left over after buying the best quality meat you can but you have to make choices for the veggies? Well this comes down to a simple physics problem. Typically you want to prioritize vegetables that have the most surface area and most susceptible to being the prey for insects to munch away at. Why? Because these are most likely the vegetables which will be sprayed with the largest amounts of pesticides if conventionally grown.
Okay so now you understand the importance of organic and the relative importance of different organic foods. But you may be wondering why I haven’t answered the question how the decision to eat organic and sustainably grown meat and veggies will change the world. Well now I am.
The incessant fear about global warming has considerably died down but it is still a serious problem that we all have to be worried about. However, we have approached the problem slightly wrong by obsessively worriing about our excessive driving habits (although that is still something we definitely need to curtail as it has a whole host of other negative effects). But we have ignored one of the major causes of excessive carbon dioxide emission: unsustainable and conventional farming practices.
People sometimes always lament today’s society as a consumer driven market. It is always seen as a negative thing (and I agree that it definitely has its flaws) but people rarely remember to see the bright side of it. Every time you buy something you are casting a vote. That is how you can change the world. Every time you choose NOT to buy meat from sick animals by the four major meatpackers (who insidiously disguise their packaging to make it seem like there is a much greater variety of producers) and buy your meat from animals raised on an actual farm by actual farmers you are shaping the world.
Just from my own experience, once I figured out the myriad of benefits of grass-fed meat (about 3 years ago) it was such a chore to find a quality source of grass fed meat. Now you can go into your local Whole Foods and you will definitely find some sort of sustainably raised grass fed meat.
I hope this post helped elucidate the importance of making a deliberate choice about what you put on your plate as it not only shapes your life but it shapes the world. I also hope it empowers you in all aspects of you life, as it is the seemingly inconsequential acts (in which there will be no fanfare for completing) completed on a consistent basis that result in unbelievable results.