Archive for April, 2010
This week, Enfamil announced their newest line of baby formula: Enfagrow PREMIUM Chocolate:
At the same time, TIME Magazine reveals studies that 1/3 of American children born in the year 2005 are expected to develop some form of diabetes in their lifetime.
This week, KFC announced its new Double Down sandwich:
Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, and they consume more packaged food per person than their counterparts in nearly all other countries. A sizable part of the American diet is ready-to-eat meals, like frozen pizzas and microwave dinners, and sweet or salty snack foods.
When I read this, I knew it to be true, because it is how I fed my kids.
And with four children, limited time and a limited budget, I really didn’t want to hear about food or the impact that they chemicals in it were having on our health. Life was complicated enough. But when one of my children required immediate care in a leading pediatric hospital, I could no longer afford not to listen.
And so began my lifelong pursuit into the role that diet and nutrition has on the health of children. And what I learned was shocking.
“Food is never just food. Food is love. Food is solace. It is politics. It is religion. And if that’s not enough to heap on your dinner plate each night, we are not only what we eat, we are what we feed our children,” said the New York Times.
The landscape of food has changed, and so has the landscape of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 33% of boys and 39% of girls born in the year 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes. According to the American Cancer Society, the US has the highest rates of cancer of any country in the world. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, there has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions.
And as the landscape of childhood has changed, so has the business model for the non-profit world.
Today, non-profits are increasingly funded by corporations working to advance a for-profit agenda like Susan G. Komen’s partnership with KFC (to advance sales of “Buckets of Hope”) or FAAN’s partnership with Dey Pharmaceutical (to advance sales of “EpiPens”). The US spends more money per capita on health care than any other country in the world. Prevention is rarely mentioned.
But thankfully, new solutions are being created to help restore the health of our families and our food system as evidenced by Jamie Oliver’s heroic efforts with ABC .
Profits can be used to market prevention, not just prescriptions…
…proving the incredible value that corporations can provide when it comes to preventing chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes and allergies. And as we work together, leveraging our collective abilities to affect remarkable change, it is incredibly inspiring to realize what we can accomplish as we put profits towards prevention.
Now that’s something worth Doubling Down on.
To learn more about your ability to prevent cancer and other conditions in our children, please visit the following sites:
Skin is our largest organ. And just as we wouldn’t slather our livers with chemicals or smooth petroleum based lotions on our lungs, it is in our best interest to try to avoid doing the same thing with our skin.
Thankfully, in an effort to inspire change and protect the health of our loved ones, we can now take a moment to learn from the knock-out picture below.
And while we obviously can’t change everything, we can change one thing. So take a Baby Step, choose one of your everyday products or your child’s eczema cream and learn more about it. Then the next time you are in the pharmacy or at the makeup counter, ask about alternatives. You matter. Your skin matters. Chemicals matter.
And if you can keep some of these chemicals off of your largest organ, your skin, then that’s smart living. Which, thankfully, is what we are all about.
Given that I’m a mom on a budget, I’m always looking for savvy ways for our family to save money and eat healthy. Which is why I am so grateful to my friend, Molly Chester, for suggesting that I cheat on making this dish and use frozen Limas!
Summer Lima Beans with Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion (approx 1 1/4 cup)
1 tsp garlic (or 3 large cloves sliced and diced)
3 cups lima beans (approx 2 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups water (filtered is best)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
optional: 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add onions and gently saute for 5 minutes; onions will be slightly softened and barely beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute; garlic will be fragrant. Add lima beans and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow to gently boil for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir in tomatoes, olives, sea salt & pepper. Recover and continue to gently boil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley if you have it. Serve warm.
According to Molly, who is a professional chef and the Organic Spark who created this delicious recipe (which I’ve modified slightly to take into account the soy and dairy allergies in our house), when fresh produce isn’t an option, frozen is the next best thing. Manufacturers freeze produce when it is in-season because it is the most bountiful (and luckily the most nutritious!) time of the crop’s cycle. Here’s to that! And here’s to Molly!