Life is all about choices. From the moment we wake up until the moment we go to sleep at night we are constantly making decisions. One of the choices we have to make every day is what we are going to eat. In fact, we make that choice multiple times a day. The choices an individual has are when he/she will eat, what will he/she eat, and how much will he/she eat? Cultures have a strong affect on these decisions. For example, Europeans tend to have lunch as their main meal where as Americans tend to eat the most at dinner. Furthermore, Americans are used to three meals a day whereas dietitians suggest eating six small meals a day.
As much as the documentary Food, Inc frightened me, it also exemplified how important our decisions are of what we put in our body. To me, I live by the thought of “if it seems to good to be true, than it is.” I refuse to buy frozen vegetables and meals that are convenient due to the fact they tend to be high in sodium, I don’t buy fat free free for the same reason, and I don’t eat or drink products that are sugar-free due to the questioning of what the company is putting in replace of the sugar. My choices in the supermarkets used to be solely what’s buy one get one this week and now I’ve tried to balance it out with a good amount of vegetables and fruit then buy the snacks that are buy one get one. I’ve also made the choice to work full time twice a week-Saturday and Sunday. This decision helps me eat right and get enough daily exercise by having the luxury of five free days.
If my day becomes jam packed and I need to eat fast, I try to keep in mind healthier and organic fast food compared to the convenient McDonald’s or Burger King stops.To me, water is a must and soda is a never. However, I have my indulgences too. That’s when finding a balance comes into play.
I feel fortunate and happy with my decisions, but I know not everyone is as fortunate. I don’t have a family to feed and I make a good living for being single. In a chaotic world, it is easy to make the wrong choices. People feel obligated and forced into their decisions or they just don’t know any better. Growing up in an active family of five, I can see this. My parents worked late and often and my brothers and I were busy with school and sports. It was easy to pick something up at the end of the day or it was easy to turn to the processed meals that lasted forever in cabinets. Fresh wasn’t common when I think back on it. The family in the documentary solidified this to me. The fact the mother didn’t know that the food that she was feeding her family from Fast food chains was unhealthy is beyond me, but I can sympathize with her.
Fast food means “quick and cheap.” However, their decision to live like that was bound to get back at them in the long run with the introduction of diabetes in both the father and the daughter. The money they “saved” was only going to get them in the end when it came to medical bills in the future. This will negatively affect them later in the future when they are running low on money because of what they have left after medical payments.
I think it’s crazy to think about how much of an affect on our decisions food companies have. Food production is driven on what makes the quickest buck in the least amount of time. It’s sickening to think of how much of an influence food industries have on the White House and popular culture. The fact that Oprah Winfrey was sued by the meat industry and consequently spent a million dollars for saying that she would never eat a burger again after Mad Cow Disease, is crazy. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? On a smaller less popularized level, its sad to think that the mother of a boy who died of E. Coli is scared to talk about how her eating choices have changed post death due to legal ramifications. I think the Kevin’s Law is a necessity and I think the public has a right to know what’s in their food. I also think there is false security in the FDA when their regulations on food production is dwindling. It’s almost as the FDA is looking the other way when there were 50,000 inspections in 1972 and in 2006 they conducted 9,164. The food industry should not be a “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” industry.