Organic, Inc

21 10 2008

A diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish and wine (red) is essentially the thesis of the “South Beach “diet. My own personal food-lifestyle is rather identical to this commonly advertised version. I enjoy it because our bodies digest these foods slowly over time, slowing gastric emptying into the pancreas, keeping insulin release stable and maintaining fairly stable blood glucose levels.

I found Organic, Inc immediately interesting because this is all discussed in its first chapter! I enjoy this diet from a nutritionist perspective, but it is often thought of as just another new diet-trend.  Miami cardiologist Arthur Agatston came up with these principles to comabt heart disease. When he combined these food principles with overall reduced calories, his subjects lost weight. The South Beach diet did not offer up anything that nutritionists were not already saying at the time of its outburst. However,  its association with fit models and the Miami area founder led to it’s take off with consumers. Becoming a spin on the nutritional approach going back to Hunza peasants of Britain, who have historically incredible survival rates,  the South Beach was just another take on the abundance of high complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruit, and well taken care of livestock marketed to a modern population.

When you add in organic and local foods to this model, it no longer becomes a “prescriptive diet” for losing weight as South Beach founder initiated. It somehow becomes your “way of life”. You increase sustainability by choosing local foods, you increase your health and eliminate pesticides in your body by choosing organic. It does not mean you have to shop at Whole Foods, rather it means that you are a consumer that CARES!

A marketing executive from Whole Foods tells Samuel Fromartz (author of Organic, Inc): “We knew consumers for quite some time heard about Organic, but no one really knew what Organic meant. For that matter, we also knew consumers did not care- they just wanted to feel good about the choices they made.” The proof to this is the increase in Whole Foods across the nation. Their marekting tactics worked regardless of the actual products they offered. Whole Foods did begin developing a way to ensure their meats are not only free of antibiotics and hormones, but also raised to animal-compassionate standards, another means of increased sustainability.  Did consumers care about that? Some might have but mostly Americans love food, they love shopping, and most HATE shopping for food. Whole Foods makes it easy, they make the choices for you- telling you its good.

Sustaining the economy and sustaining human growth through education can allow the average consumer to become co-producers, giving the average consumer a bigger role in what they put into their bodies instead of the commercialized industry. Thinking back to those principles of the South Beach diet: whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, lean (well-taken care of) meats, fish and don’t forget that glass of merlot or cab, these are the same foods that have always been present.  Choosing these foods from local markets, buying them from organic grocery stores, or finding locally-grown organic are all options that would improve your health, economy and sustainability of life!

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One response

21 10 2008
VeggieGirl

Very thought-provoking!!

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