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The Ten Steps In Understanding Your Food

At the end of the movie, Food, Inc., a list begins to appear.  It essentially sums up the entire movie into ten simple “steps” to follow if you are looking to better understand the food you eat.

The reason I put the word “steps” in quotes is that, to me, they are not like the steps you follow in a program where there is a definite end (a change like this should change your life forever).  I feel these steps are more like “theories” to follow when making food decisions!

A link to the page with the list is located on the website for Food, Inc. 

However, below is the list from the website.  Here is what I will be trying to keep in the back of my mind:

1. Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.

Personal Note on this Step — I am a Diet Dr. Pepper fanatic.  I would drink it every meal of the day if I didn’t feel completely awful for doing so.  So, just like this entire process, I am going to make this change slowly.  At first I will try to limit myself to just one per day and move from there 🙂

2. Eat at home instead of eating out.

Once again, this is one of my favorie things to do.  However, now that I realize I have no idea what is in the back of that kitchen, I do appreciate being able to make a meal knowing exactly what went into it!

3. Support the passage of laws requiring chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.

Even before I started this journey I wanted this.  I frequently check out the websites for my favorite restaurants to see if they have any calorie or nutrition information so that the next time I stop in, I could at least make a some-what “healthy” decision.  I am not sure (yet) on how I will, or can, support laws such as this……

4. Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.

5. Meatless Mondays—Go without meat one day a week.
Did you know that an estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals (statistic from takepart.com).  I am discovering there are some very healthy (and tasty) alternatives to meat.  Substituting in one of these alternatives just once a week saves me calories and fat consumption and I do not feel I am depriving myself of anything! 

6. Buy organic or sustainable food with little or no pesticides.
According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the U.S. (statistic from takepart.com).  Just think of how many pesticides we could save from going into the earth and into our mouths, if everyone substituted just one of their regular yogurts, fruit, or vegatable with an organic alternative.  

7. Protect family farms; visit your local farmer’s market.
Farmer’s markets allow farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer (statistic from takepart.com).  If that farmer then turns around and spends his 90 cents in a local business, you have helped stimulate the US economy! 

8. Make a point to know where your food comes from—READ LABELS.
The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate (statistic from takepart.com).  I am realizing how scary it is that I do not know what 80% of what I eat actually is, or where it comes from. 

9. Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.
Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the U.S. — when was the last recall you heard about (spinach, hamburger, eggs, tomatoes…..)? 

10. Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.
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