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  • Writer's pictureTania Cucciniello

March is Nutrition Month- This Year's Theme is 'Beyond the Table'

This March, go ‘Beyond the Table!’ Know where your food comes from, adopt the farm-to-fork strategy, and support a sustainable food system. By doing so, you help reverse the effects of climate change, ensure food security for all, and of course, you consume foods that help you live a long and vibrant life.



The world’s current entire food supply chain system is not a sustainable one right now. Grocery stores are packed with ultra-processed foods that have been engineered with artificial ingredients that keep the consumer addicted. For example, anything containing the ingredient ‘natural flavors’ is dangerous because it can contain up to 100 unlabeled preservatives, emulsifiers, and solvents that make food taste irresistible so that you can’t eat just one. ‘Natural flavor’ is found in many packaged goods made by Pepsi, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, Quaker, Campbell’s, General Mills, and more.


This is just one example of one artificial ingredient that keeps you addicted, inflammatory, and sick. According to the WHO, there are several thousands of food type additives. However, they also claim, and I quote:

“WHO, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is responsible for assessing the risks to human health from food additives.”


Simply admitting there’s a risk to human health should be enough to ban these ingredients, like they have in Europe... but why do they still get to be in production here in North America? Money. Increasing the amount of fake food items and the time these foods can be stored, leads to quantity, not quality. It also keeps consumers dependant on these items, making them come back for more. But what happens when one is addicted to ultra-processed foods? Chronic illness and auto-immune diseases happen, which places a heavy burden on the medical system.


How can we get out of this vicious cycle? Let’s go ‘Beyond the Table’.


Beyond the Table

  1. The first step in going ‘Beyond the Table’ is to avoid foods made from the companies mentioned above and buy only whole foods! Foods that will get you back in touch with Mother Nature. They include foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, meat, dairy, and more. These are all considered unprocessed or minimally processed foods, truly natural.

  2. My second recommendation would be to take it a step further and buy your whole foods from organic or regenerative farms only. They use methods that have a neutral or positive environmental impact. Organic and regenerative also guarantee their foods are not sprayed with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and they are not pumped with steroids or antibiotics. This is so important for disease prevention because it means these toxins don’t enter your body if you’re not eating them. To learn more about regenerative farm practices, please read Part 1 & Part 2 on my blog: Regenerative Farming: Good for You & The Planet: Part 1 Regenerative Farming: Good for You & The Planet: Part 2

  3. Having said all that, it’s no surprise the next step would be to buy local when possible. Obviously, buying locally grown and seasonal foods decreases your carbon footprint, but did you know? It also helps keep food costs down! Which brings us to our next step:

  4. Nourish and save! Everyone deserves access to nutritious foods that meet their budget. This is important to ensure food security for all. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re someone that may need to switch to buying organic foods and goods, it’s not as expensive as you think. Years ago, when I made the switch, I started by one category at a time. I began by buying my fruits and vegetables organic first. To my surprise, the organic produce was cheaper than the conventional produce. Next, I switched my coffee and teas to organic/fairtrade. Then came my dairy products, like organic milk for my now organic coffee, then butter, Greek yogurt, and some cheeses. Finally, I switched all my protein to organic or regenerative, which is the costliest food items to buy organic, but the taste is well worth it. (So is knowing I didn’t ingest hormones, steroids, or antibiotics!)

  5. Another step to take if you want to nourish and save even more would be to plant something. I love gardening, and having my own herbs and vegetables freshly grown at home allows me to buy the plant or seed only once and enjoy the food all season long. I then prolong my produce by fermenting, jarring, drying, or freezing what I harvest at the end of the garden season.  

  6. Lastly, if you must buy something packaged, read the ingredients before buying. Once again, a certified organic item should have a short list of all natural ingredients.


Still not sure where to start?

See a registered nutritionist or naturopath to help you learn what choices work best for you. When talking to a professional like myself or my colleague Joey, we can also help you build a healthy eating routine. Eating organic, from farm-to-table, is not just a diet, it becomes a way of life. The same life our ancestors lived.


Good nutrition, mindfulness about where our food comes from, and supporting local can positively influence our health. We all know health comes first.


For more information about my services please visit my homepage: www.thebodyblog.ca 

For more information about my colleague Joey, please visit his website: www.apexcoaching.ca 

 

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