Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Making the Less-Convenient Choice

I just skimmed an article at the Huffington Post about the rising cost of obesity-related health care. The article itself, what I read of it, wasn't that bad, but I'm pissed. In all of these articles and news reports castigating overweight people, no one ever talks about two issues that are very much behind the problem: poverty and the culture of convenience we have here in the U.S. I've blogged a ton about poverty, but this whole convenience thing has been bothering me a lot lately.
Fast food and junk food are a huge part of people's diets here in the U.S. I should know; they've always been a part of mine. While much of the reason is it just tastes good, the bigger part is that it's easy. It's a hell of a lot easier to go through a drive-thru or pop a pizza in the microwave than to actually cook something healthy. Again, I should know. It actually takes thought to go to the store and choose organic, vegetarian, and otherwise healthy food. And most people here don't do that.

If it was made easier and more affordable to eat healthy, people would be healhier. Yes, exercise is important. Hell, we'd rather watch the biggest loser or dance your ass off than actually do the stuff they're doing on the shows. However, you can exercise all day, but if what you're eating is unhealthy, you're gonna be unhealthy.

(By the way, a fabulous side effect of eating organic and/or vegetarian and vegan is that you reduce your carbon footprint like crazy...)

What people need to start doing is making the harder choices. If you have the money, eat organic. Buy the organic free range chicken and cook your own chicken nuggets. Or even better, if you can, go vegetarian. The problem for the people who can afford it is learning to do what might be less convenient, but for a lot of people, it's making it affordable and available. I couldn't have gone organic in Thomasville, except for whatever veggies I got from my father-in-law, even if I'd had the money. Make vegetarian and organic as accessible as mcdonald's to the general population, you save health in the U.S. and the planet in the process...

A little scattered, but I'm just sayin...

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