Big Love to the Food Revolution!

“French fries count as a vegetable.” Aiy yai yai, are you kidding me??? While I’m keenly and painfully aware that we’re in a crisis of epidemic proportions, hearing this one was just too much for me. Sadly, this was the mindset of a school in Huntington, West Verginia, a town that not surprisingly has been given the terrifying title of the unhealthiest city in America.

If you are not yet watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, it is 2 weeks into airing on Friday nights on ABC, and is a MUST WATCH for the entire family. With 8 out of 10 Americans over the age of 25 overweight, and 1 in 5 children considered obese, there should be no question that we are spiraling out of control as a nation. If we don’t take massive and immediate action, I know I’m not alone in fearing that we will pass the point of no return. In fact, it is speculated that at this rate, our children are the first generation expected to NOT live as long as us! Now that’s scary stuff!

In the most recent episode, I watched as Jamie’s beautiful, nutritious and wholesome stir-fry, which had at least 7-8 servings of vegetables, got pulled off the lunch line by the supervisor because it didn’t meet her state-mandated requirement of 1 ½ cups of veggies. So what got put back on the line to fill that volume? You guessed it….the incredibly healthy, all mighty French fry!

Wow, wow, wow. Do you have the same mixture of heart-wrenching sadness and rage that I have? If not, tune in to the show and take a look at the crew of high school students that have volunteered to be Jamie’s personal ambassadors in this mission. Get ready for a serious tug on your heart-strings. One girl has lost her father and her uncle to obesity. Another is fighting her own battle, having exhausted her perceived options, and seeing this as her last chance to turn around her doctors recent report to her that she is not likely to live past they young age of 30 (which is how old I am, and the thought of this being the end of my life sends chills straight down my spine). And as each teenager shared their story, it was quite evident that they were sharing the stories of children across America.

There is no question in my mind that it is time for a national revolution. It will not be easy, but at the same time, like anything, the longer we put it off the harder it will be to effect change.

So what needs to happen? Well here’s what Jamie Oliver has to say:

“This Food Revolution is about changing the way we eat. We need to start cooking again, to make sure our children don’t grow up on a diet of processed food, at school or at home, and so they won’t have to battle obesity and diet-related illnesses when they grow up. Cooking is one of the most important skills a person can have and it has been proven that families who cook together eat better. A small change in your kitchen could save the life of someone you love. America needs to do something now, before it’s too late.”

By starting in one town, Jamie is hoping to create a domino effect across the country. Is it possible? Obviously there are monumental challenges staring us in the face, from government bureaucracy to the deeply ingrained beliefs and patterns of those most in need. On that note, the one thing that seemed to almost hinder the success of Jamie’s operation was an approach that was too jarring to kids who are used to eating fried chicken nuggets and pizza every day. There’s a part of me that thinks a softer introduction and a more creative approach, a la Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious, might be more effective. However, he did get approved to continue with his mission in Huntington, so a glimmer of hope remains. And a look at the success Jamie had in the UK with similar grassroots efforts is further inspiration to me that this truly is possible, and hopefully to you as well.

It may be only one small step, but we all know what “one small step for man” means! Jamie was able to completely overhaul the entire school dining system in the UK, so the kids are now enjoying fresh ingredients and balanced meals. And I would venture to say the shift in energy, attention and focus has greatly improved the kids capacity to learn and retain new information….not to mention the life-changing health benefits that will dramatically improve these kids quality of life today and into the future!

The bottom line is, it’s time to GET INVOLVED. While Jamie is getting into the schools and working with the kids directly, it is important to keep in mind that it is NOT the kids at fault here. Kids are open-minded and impressionable, so it’s up to their teachers, mentors and parents to not only educate but to make food and cooking FUN! If you have kids, visit their schools, see what’s being served in the cafeteria and start the conversation. Take your kids to the grocery store and let them pick out a new fruit and vegetable of the week, and then go home and involve them in the preparation/ cooking. I love what Jamie has to say about this one ~ read labels, and if it’s not something you’d find in grandma’s pantry, don’t buy it! And if you’re completely new to this concept, commit to just one meal a week that you cook from scratch. As with anything, starting small is so much better than not starting at all!

And if you need some addition incentive to get involved in the revolution, be sure to also watch the movie Food, Inc. Your eyes will be opened (although at times you might wish they hadn’t been!), and hopefully your mind and your heart will also be opened to the magnitude of change that is needed. Here’s the great news though ~ we live in an amazing country filled with passionate and inspiring change makers! It’s up to us to turn around this massive health crisis. I am whole-heartedly supporting Jamie’s revolution, and invite you to do the same. For starters, you can sign the petition that Jamie plans to take to the White House:   Sign Petition Here

And in Jamie’s words, “Fingers crossed, Up the Revolution! Let’s see what kind of trouble can cause in this beautiful country. Big Love!”

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56 Responses to “Big Love to the Food Revolution!”

  1. Beth,
    I’ve had several friends mention this TV show and it seems as though it is getting some much needed publicity. It’s not an easy road to travel but as with any journey it begins with the first step. Making an effort to involve your children in grocery shopping and meal planning is an awesome start as you suggest. Preparing a meal at home and from scratch…what a novel idea. I bet it would also do wonders for bringing the family together at least one night a week. Another topic that deserves to be tackled.

    Now if we can just get them off the couch and away from the video games….
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..Master This Skill and You’ll Discover a Goldmine! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Oh Don my friend, don’t get me started on video games! 😉 What happened to the days where we could just run with the neighborhood kids at the nearby creek until the sun set?!

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  2. Oh, I love it! As you know I just posted Jamie’s TED talk on our blog a few weeks ago.
    Thank you for giving out even more information. The Food Inc. movie is incredible and yes, I just signed the petition!

    Together, we will get good nutrition into the world’s bodies, especially our children!
    Aloha Beth for this wonderful post!

    Kellie 🙂
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..Are You Happy & Fulfilled In Your Life? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Kellie ~ I actually missed that you posted Jamie’s TED talk on your blog ~ but I will definitely go check it out now. Yes, yes, yes ~ we must do this for our children sake more than anything!

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    Kellie Hosaka Reply:

    It’s the one that was about my private addiction. Thank you for being on the same mission! It is so important. 🙂
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..Are You Happy & Fulfilled In Your Life? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Right! Thanks for the reminder….I’m sure you’ve had moments like this….when I read that post, I saw the video was 21 minutes, knew I didn’t have time atm, and meant to get back to it. I just watched it and am SO glad I did. Jamie is doing amazing things ~ I hope America is watching.

  3. Hi Beth,

    I do agree with Jamie’s revolution.. It is indeed true that cooking is still the best for each one of us most especially to children. Nice post beth.. More power.
    .-= Jon Alfredsson´s last blog ..5 Reasons Why You Need An Accountability Partner =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Glad to hear you’re supporting the revolution ~ thanks so much for stopping by Jon!

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  4. Hi Beth

    How happy I am to get the chance to vent my spleen on this topic… I find it DISGUSTING the way poor Jamie was actually reduced to tears for trying to help people who obviously don’t want to move out of their fat zone!!

    It even made the news here in Australia but the thing that surprised me the most was that despite Michelle Obama supposedly advocating healthy eating all those people turned on Jamie…bit like people continuing to smoke even though they know it will give them cancer…As we say in English…’you pays your money and you makes your choice’….

    OK Enough ranting!! Great post!!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Vent away my friend. I agree with everything you added, thanks Sandhan!

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  5. This is tough post for me to reply. So many things at the root causes for OIA. (Obesity in America) Let me put it in “Tongue in Cheek” fashion. Blame it on the Women. You heard me, it’s the fault of Women. Before any Death or Fatahs threats are issued, what I mean is after WWII a culture shift occurred. It started with the need for extra income led advancing food technology and the Electronic revolution. Without writing a book. Women went to work to help the family reap to fruits of a very new age. Not their fault but mankind. Beth you only scratched the surface. Please keep scratching we need you.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Nelson. While I don’t blame much of anything on the women, I do hear your point. 😉 I will indeed continue to scratch away…

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  6. Beth,
    Wow, lots of interesting viewpoints in the comments along with your great points about eating. Bet half the people out there watching this show are busy eating unhealthy foods during it!

    People have to take responsibility for their actions and take charge of their own eating habits. As Nelson said, there are many causes…now is the time to stop using excuses & start being accountable for ourselves.

    Oops, I’m venting too. 🙂 Great subject Beth. Thanks,
    Val
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Everyone Has A Dream =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Unfortunately, you are likely right about that Val. Accountability is so imporatnt ~ find a community, a tribe, and anyone can accomplish anything they put their heart and mind to. Thanks!

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  7. It’s really important that kids be taught how and what to eat. I’m with you all the way, Beth.

    But as to involving Big Brother Government, the President and starting a Revolution… I’m so sick of the State telling me everything I can and can’t do… I think I can handle how to eat and how to teach my kids to eat.

    Before Congress hands down a 37,000 page report on how and what we MUST do to start eating right, let me simplify a bit.

    Avoid packaged foods, prepared foods, establishments that prepare food for you. Eat primarily foods that don’t come out of box, bag or can and you will have taken a major step toward restoring your family’s health.

    If you want a Revolution, make it an educational one to teach kids how to eat and cook (what ever happened to Home Economics classes?). It’s not rocket science. We don’t need a law, an edict, a King’s decree or a revolution. We need to educate people. And I think that education begins with RESPONSIBILITY, not Government dictates.

    Quite a thought-provoking and emo-rant providing post, Beth. Did you foresee all the commotion?
    .-= David Merrill´s last blog ..Social Media Is The Key To Internet Marketing Success. Part III =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Look, I’m not really for the government telling me what to do either, but can you tell what other way we realistically have to resolve this? Considering we’re fighitng against, what 80-90% of the population, I think we need some help. I’m glad to know you’re on the right side here David, but I guess I don’t know what else we can do besides start a Revolution.

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    David Merrill Reply:

    Revolution is good. But Revolution’s are for restoring power to the populace, not the government. Otherwise it’s not a revolution, it’s a tyranny of the few imposing their will on the many. When that happens, real change doesn’t occur, only oppression. Real change comes only from the education of the masses in the streets to rise in responsibility, not from palace edicts that further subject them to the oligarchy (I reference Crane Brinton’s classic “Anatomy of A Revolution).
    .-= David Merrill´s last blog ..Blogging Essentials For Tribal Syndication =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I agree with that David. That’s why I’m trying my best to help with that education of the masses. 🙂 AND I also think having the gov’t on the side of whole foods health cannot be a bad thing.

  8. Beth,

    Are you serious! French Fries are not a Vegetable. Who would have thonk it. LOL Having worked 6 years serving Coney Dogs and Chili, I thought I was getting my Vegetables with the Tomato Sauce that was in the Chili. Just Kidding! I believe this should be taught at home and Government stay out of my business.

    I do believe we should eat healthy. But I do love my Fries once in a while.
    .-= Bill Hartman´s last blog ..Day 8 Reflections =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Another one saying gov’t should stay out of our business ~ hmmmm, I’d love to just inspire others to action, but that doesn’t seem to be happening? And yes, everything in moderation….:)

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  9. Oh Beth, Im feelin ya! It kills me too. And action is exactly what is required! We can’t just talk about it anymore. I know Australia is going through the same challenges.

    Thanks again Beth, I will have to see if it is airing over here too.

    Blessings
    Yamuna Keller
    .-= Yamuna Keller´s last blog ..Can you grab your visitor within 5 seconds if they have the attention span of a goldfish? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes indeed, action is the only thing that will create change. I”m sick of so many people ranting and raving and doing nothing about it! Let me know if you catch it in Oz!

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  10. Hi Beth!

    It was great tribing with you tonight. I did sign the petition. My children all bring their own lunches to school because they refuse to eat what is served in the cafeteria. YAY!

    In our home, I serve loads of fruits, vegetables and complex carbs. It gets harder to control the eating as kids get older, though. A gorgeous salad is often traded away for a Twinkie, especially when treats like that are not available in their own homes.

    I also don’t think that food should become a battle as that can create another whole host of disorders.

    While healthful eating is critical, the issues surrounding obesity are extremely complex. As an obese person myself, I can assure you that food is not the only problem.

    I don’t pretend to know the answers since I don’t have any great answers for myself, however, we must begin somewhere.

    I appreciate that you are addressing this issue and encouraging people to get involved and take action.

    Mentor Mama

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, Nancy. Great tribin with you as well. And thanks ~ both for signing the petition and being a rockin’ mentor mama! 🙂 Yes, the issue is complex, but needs attention, thanks for your support!

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    Nancy Burke Barr Reply:

    Hello! A big CONGRATULATIONS to you for being the post of the day! Beth, you always work so hard at everything you do and you really deserve this!

    Fondly,

    Mentor Mama

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  11. While I can’t deny that it is exceedingly grim that there is even a NEED for a show such as this… I am glad to seeing it get some publicity. While I have always understood to a degree that our food system is incredibly messed up, it was “Fast Food Nation” and “Guns, Germs & Steel” that really opened my eyes a couple years ago to all of the nutritional atrocities. Things such as the ability to list fully chemically derived substances as “natural flavors” is one of only many things that breaks my heart. I’m glad to see you speaking out so powerfully about such an important topic! Rock on sister!
    Kimberly
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..Just-Ask-Kim.com Coming Soon! A 90 Day Re-Evaluation =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Kimberly ~ yes, this is a grim (but much needed) topic of discussion. Fast Food Nation for sure opened a lot of eyes…thanks for that reference as well!

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  12. Beth…sometimes all it takes is a small step to get momentum going. Awareness of our children’s poor eating habits and how the government not only supports those poor eating habits but contributes to them is a huge step in the right direction.

    I think people are waking up in a lot of areas of life and this is one where perhaps people will just stand up and say…”I am not taking mediocrity any longer, I am going to stand up, figure out what is right for my own children and go change the world.”
    .-= Bruce Backman´s last blog ..Communicating a Partial Truth Using Mis-Direction =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Bruce ~ you are definitely a shining example of how to raise conscious, authentic and passionate children! I hope more people are waking up and saying that…..it is due time. Thanks.

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  13. Beth!

    Thank you for spreading the word about this AWESOME show that is going to change the world. I truly believe in the show and the message. This is a HUGE wake up call!

    Keep on spreadin’ the good word girl!

    Eleni
    .-= Eleni Liapakis´s last undefined ..Response cached until Fri 9 @ 5:42 GMT (Refreshes in 23.93 Hours) =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Sure thing, Eleni. Thank YOU for introducing me to this revolutionary show!

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  14. Beth- Great to connect on Facebook and here at your blog. I killed my TV 3 years ago and haven’t had a cable/satellite connection since, but this is one show I asked my mom to TIVO for me so I can watch when I visit.

    Glad to find yet another like-minded soul and friend in you… best luck on your journey!

    Nicholas Klein
    “The Master of Rapid Residual Recruiting”
    http://www.ShakeAndACleanse.com
    .-= Nicholas Klein´s last blog ..The Law Of Attraction Marketing… How YOU Can Magnetically Attract New Business On Demand! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, great to connect with you as well, Nicholas! I didn’t have a TV for a long time ~ but with Tivo now, there are definitely shows that I love to watch when the mood is right. 🙂 Glad you’re mom is going to hook you up with the Food Revolution ~ it is one to watch for sure!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  15. Thanks so much for writing this blog. Food IS the most important thing we must think of these days. With so many GMO’S and contaminated products, one must do their homework. I’ve been an advocate of school lunches for years since I found out they use “downer” cows for American children to eat. What are Downers? They are the cows that are so sick that they fall down and die. And that is what the children are eating.
    I’m fortunate to live in a Green little city and have my live-in niece go to a charter school where they get involved with organic farmers and process their own food.
    I can’t begin to tell you how many of my clients have changed their diets a little at a time and have gotten into a healthier life style. Again, Thanks for this post.
    Regards, Donna
    Donna Merrill’s most recent blog: http://digg.com/u3T7Hq

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Donna ~ I know about the “downer” cows ~ ugh. That is awesome that you live in a Green city ~ I’m in San Fran./ Berkeley so the same. My son is only 2, but I know I will be highly involved in his schools and doing my best to educate and inspire optimal health for him. Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  16. Hey Beth,

    I am so happy the US have welcomed Jamie Oliver. He is a great guy with a great passion for educating kids and their parents on the importance of a good diet and has made some great steps in the UK.

    Unfortunately when the publicity dies things start to slip again so its really important that the message is repeated at home as well as at school.

    There were a few stories of parents pushing cheese burgers through the school gates so that their kids didnt have to eat fruit and veg!!! (Makes me so cross)

    Thanks for the post and lets hope there will be a much needed food revolution.

    Much Love,
    Beth
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Like-Mindedness in Business =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes Beth, I’m clearly thrilled about it too! I can’t believe those stories….actually I can, it just breaks my heart though. Up the Revolution!

    [Reply]

  17. Wow and how about when he made Chicken nuggets that were made up of chicken leftovers and worthless pieces etc right in front of the kids and they still ate them?? That floored Jamie – he thought if he showed them what they were made of they wouldn’t eat them. – BUT just shape anything in the shape of good ‘ole chicken nuggets and they are “gold”. Anyway – love the show and looking forward to it tonight:)
    .-= Glyna Humm´s last blog ..Celebrate the Small Stuff! The Secret to Your Home Business Goals! =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Ick, I know, right? Glad to hear you’re a fan Glyna! 🙂

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  18. Beth,
    This is such a sad issue. In the grocery store the other day I saw a woman in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank attached, loading up on Peeps. Go figure!

    Thanks for addressing this topic. We need to collectively give it a LOT more attention!
    .-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..Lessons From A Half Pint: Wag More, Bark Less =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Darlene ~ Seeing things like that is heart-wrenching! I’m glad there is attention on the issues, but the road ahead is a long one for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

    [Reply]

  19. Beth, I was so shocked when I heard her tell Jamie that French Fries were considered a vegetable without even flinching!!!!! I was appalled to say the least. I really support what he is doing. Shaq tried it but I am thinking it didn`t get very far. I really hope Jamie can pull this off… It is going to take such a massive mindset change on so many levels for it to reach the masses but I think there are a lot of Americans ready for it.

    Great article as usual!

    Susan
    .-= Susan Davis´s last blog ..What the #$%^@* is Wal Mart thinking? =-.

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    bethallen Reply:

    I hope so too, thanks for showing your support Susan!

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  20. Beth,

    This is one of the biggest crisis facing our world today and I commend you for educating people about it. The Farming industry is so commercialized that our food is bankrupt of the nutrients our bodies depend on to perform. It is so ironic to me that people get so angry about athletes taking steroids and growth hormone and then unknowingly feed their kids the same thing every day. Thank you for raising awareness on this, the world desperately needs it.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more, Gabriel. It breaks my heart ~ especially considering that a whole lot of them are not doing it unknowingly, just “turning a blind eye”. Thanks for your comments!

    [Reply]

  21. Great Post Beth,

    I know exactly why this is such a valid effort. I teach Nutrition to High School students and it absolutely boggles my mind that some of these young adults can function on a pizza pop and soda a day!

    I do a 5 day food analysis and they record everything they eat and drink for 5 days. It shocks me each and every year.

    I agree that Teachers need to educate students but as you mention, Parents need to take the lead role on this one. If you can make an impression with kids at a young age, then you are winning the battle.

    I live in the province that has the highest obesity rate amongst teens in all of Canada, so I know the seriousness of this issue.

    Politicians have to get on board too because it all comes down to resources and money in the end.

    Well, Beth, I could go on and on because as you can tell with both share the same passion!

    Look forward to further posts….

    Cheers
    Steve
    .-= Steve Hachey´s last blog ..Ready, Fire, Aim? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I didn’t know that you taught Nutrition to High School students ~ that’s awesome, Steve! I really appreciate you! As a personal trainer, I did food journal/ analysis, and it always shocked me ~ I’m sure kids are really heart-breaking to see. Thanks for your support!

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  22. Hi Beth,

    First, get rid of the FDA and USDA — they allow “food chemist” to create food enhancers that are neurotoxins. These chemicals — the best known is MSG — cause addiction to the chemical and destroy the cells in the brain that tell the body it is full.

    No wonder we have such a problem with obesity!

    Ask people to watch the following documentaries — when they understand what is being allowed by our government and what big business is up to, they will be up in arms:

    Food Inc.
    King Korn
    Supersize Me

    and many more like it that are available on NetFlix and other video rental companies.

    One great documentary — that has so much help and possibility to share — is “The Beautiful Truth.” Anyone who cares about their health NEEDS to watch it. . . it will save lives.

    Thanks for the great info, by the way. Love your writing and passion for health.

    Joe Emmet

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  23. Hi Beth:

    Your post is phenomenal…both in content and timing!

    I know that when I work with patients and their food plan; it so often saddens me to see what they have been programed to eat.

    I will say that there is a beginning awareness arriving on to center stage that says, “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.” People are now searching for their own answers to become and stay healthy…thank heavens!

    Jamie Oliver has been on a crusade to add light, in the form of nutrition to the world!

    Thanks for sharing this info and also, congratulations on your “Post of the day!”

    Linda.

    [Reply]

  24. great post Beth,
    I love Jamie and what he is trying to do.
    obesity is ramped and we do need to change the way we consider food.and get back to basics!! yes start cooking again and not eating all this processed food.
    congrats on your post of the day…
    .-= jean´s last blog ..‘Building Links with Facebook’ =-.

    [Reply]

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