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Promote Sustainable Food Choices by Voting with Your Shopping Cart

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by: Allison Biggar
Tags: sustainable food, grocery shopping, health news

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(NewsTarget) What we eat and what we buy affects our health, environment, and economy. When the economy turns bad or we lose a war, we throw out the president, but when an obesity epidemic grows to as high as 30 percent in children we make little noise at the political level. Instead it is left up to our elected officials to implement the changes we desire. Michelle Obama has recently thrown her clout behind the healthy food movement by encouraging Americans to cook at home more. In addition to cutting back on processed food and reading food labels, the First Lady is advising Americans to throw out those "sugary sodas," and has even planted a vegetable garden at the White House.

Voting with your shopping cart can have as much impact as voting for your elected officials. Vote for your right to healthy food choices on grocery shelves by shopping consciously. Every time you check out at the grocery store you are telling the stores what you want more or less of in the store. Grocery stores stock their shelves based on consumer demand so theoretically you can vote every day. Here are five simple ways to "vote" with your shopping cart:

1. Support your local farmers and help put an end to global warming by buying local. At the Copenhagen Climate Summit, small farmers came from "hamlets and villages" from the four corners of the globe to remind us that produce trucked across the country into your grocery store is contributing to global warming due to the large amount of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and other harmful pollutants released into the air. According to these family farmers, "industrial agriculture and the globalized food system are responsible for between 44 and 57 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions."

2. Buy organic produce. In contrast to conventionally grown produce that is full of toxins which are detrimental to your health, organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use of harmful pesticides or toxic fertilizers. Eating organic reduces your exposure to these hazardous chemicals.

3. No dairy products: Cow's milk is full of growth hormones and antibiotics that can lead to conditions ranging from the common cold to cancer. Try substitutes for milk such as hemp milk, almond milk or rice milk. By doing so, your grocery store will realize that it can actually profit by making these products more readily available.

4. Boycott sodas: Sometimes it is what you choose not to buy that counts. A recent study conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) has finally officially made the connection between soda consumption and obesity. Funded by the California Endowment, the study found that adults who consumed one or more sodas per day were 27 percent more likely to become overweight than those who do not consume soda.

5. Don't buy anything with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This popular sugar substitute is linked to diabetes, obesity, liver problems and a whole host of other problems. While fructose is a natural sugar, when we combine it with glucose, we not only create table sugar but we also may be creating a molecular monster. Unlike table sugar, foods high in HFCS have very high levels of reactive carbonyls which can cause tissue damage and diabetes according to Rutgers University researcher Chi-Tang Ho.

Every trip to the grocery store is a vote - Make it count. Show our leaders that we demand policies that promote access to healthy food by voting with your shopping cart. Chances are even Michelle will be showing Barack the White House door if he does not provide Americans with healthier food choices.

www.calendow.org, "New Research Shows Direct Link Between Soda and Obesity" http://tcenews.calendow.org/pr/tce/soda-obes...

www.sciencedaily.com, "Soda Warning? High-Fructose Corn Syrup Linked To Diabetes, New Study Suggests" http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08...

www.lavidalocavore.org, "Why we left our farms to come to Copenhagen" http://www.lavidalocavore.org/diary/2834/why...

About the author

Allison Biggar is a writer and filmmaker who believes in using the media to empower people to make a difference.
Allison is directing a documentary on people who have cured themselves of disease naturally without drugs, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
You can visit her Natural Health web site at www.holisticvoice.org.
Allison also recently released "The Vitality Diet"-
This informative, reader-friendly diet book to changing your diet is jam-packed with knowledge, secrets, stories and answers that will motivate you like no other diet book has. Author Allison Biggar offers a heartrending first-hand account of a personal transformation that will make you think differently about your health and your relationship to food. Whether you are seeking to recover holistically from a serious disease, or just looking to shed a few pounds, The Vitality Diet is an invaluable blueprint for constructing a brand new lifestyle based on eating right and becoming whole again.
To buy "The Vitality Diet," book please visit www.thenaturalchick.com
To donate to Holistic Voice and help fund a documentary on healing naturally from disease please visit www.holisticvoice.org

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