Sunday, October 25, 2009

What the World Eats ~ by Melinda

What the World Eats – What We Eat
By Melinda Taylor Schoutens

I recently stumbled across a great article that profiled families from around the world and what they consumed during the course of a week. Each family was asked to display their weeks worth of groceries on their kitchen table for all of the world to see. The pictures were quite humbling. Some of the Western Countries’ tables were filled with processed and fast foods and the third world countries were filled with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Quite the contrast.
The contrast I imagine stemmed from convenience, income levels and deep imbedded traditions. To be honest, some of the families’ choices saddened me. Processed food sprayed out on the table for the world to see. Fast food littered not only the table, but also their bodies.

It made me think – if I were to take one weeks worth of groceries and spread them out on our table, what would the picture look like? Would I be happy with the snap shot of our weekly consumption, or would I cringe in disbelief? So, I took a picture and this is what it looks like.

I do have to add a disclaimer here. Because the European refrigerators are so small (and I currently reside in Switzerland), we shop three to four times per week at our local grocery store. Having that said, it made it rather hard to display one picture that represents a single week.

I have an interest in nutrition because I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. The curriculum was rich with every nutrition guru in the world who opened their minds, their hearts with theories, practices and wisdom. At the end of the program I found myself overloaded with information wondering, what in the world are we supposed to eat? After my dizzying head came to a stop, I realized it is rather quite simple.

Eat more real food – meaning whole foods – foods that come from the earth in their natural form. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, etc. should make up the majority of our diet. This isn’t to say that I do not appreciate some good Swiss dark chocolate (and at times, really wish it were a whole food!) a nice cup of coffee or a pastry, but for the most part, I want to be conscious of what I consume and what fuels not only my body, but also the bodies of those I love.

Good eatin’ everyone!