First of all, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am an American citizen of Nigerian descent. Before I came to this country, I didn’t understand too much about nutrition. Food was food. Since we generally lived off of the farm my family owned and ate very little prepackaged foods, I never worried that the food I was eating was ‘unnatural’ in any way. When fruits or vegetables were planted in the ground, they grew, and that was all there was to it to me. We used no unnatural pesticides and the seeds were all natural, not reeingineered in any way. This was simply not an issue to me back then.
After I came to this country, and was forced to eat prepackaged foods, I began to notice a change in my health for the worse. I never suspected that it might be the kinds of foods I was eating that was leading to these problems. As a matter of fact, it took me years to finally begin questioning just how and where the food I was eating was obtained. That’s when I began reading labels.
I’m sure you can guess that I began to notice unnatural ingredients and additives in my food that did not belong there at all. What were dyglicerides doing in my ice cream,anyway. What were they? One question gave rise to another until I realized that most of the food I was eating wasn’t ‘real’ at all. Those potatoes I was eating out of a bag were not just plain old potatoes. It seemed like it took a college degree in chemistry and nutrition just to make sense of it all. I began to do some serious thinking.
Over the course of time, I began to change the way I ate. I would actually buy potatoes and cut them up and fry them, instead of buying ready made, frozen potatoes. I began using honey in my tea, instead of granulated sugar. I also increased my intake of fruits and vegetables. But, as I grew, my knowledge about these things grew as well. I discovered that not only were the potatoes I was buying (just an example) genetically modified, but that harmful chemicals and pesticides were used while growing them. And then there was the meat…
I had to make a change. I discovered Whole Foods Market, where I now work years after that happened. Yes, it was more expensive, but what was I willing to risk when it came to my health? It’s not like I ate like I was a rich man, or anything, anyway. I ate a basic diet of meat and vegetables, legumes, and of course desert to top it off. The beans and the rice I got at Whole foods weren’t that much more expensive than the kind I found in conventional stores. The more I became used to shopping at all natural and organic stores, the more I found that I could afford to shop there, afterall. True, the red meat was expensive for my tastes, but how often did I eat red meat anyway? Mabe twice a week, and we weren’t talking Beef Wellington here, just enough to put in my red beens and rice! Besides, my complextion was clearing so nicely, I simply had to keep this up. Keep in mind that I was working a lowere level construction job at the time. I just practised a little frugality, that’s all. I began to think: What if I owned a house in this country, and land to plant and raise my own food and maybe even meat? That would be so much cheaper! I could do it if I was serious enough about it, but that would have to come later…
What I am saying here is that it is possible to eat a well balanced, all natural and/or organic diet even on a low budget. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but doesn’t it seem as if the additives in those prepackaged foods seem to be included in the price of the product. You pay for the additives! There are many organic canned products, for instance, that are actually cheaper than the conventional canned products. Sometimes much cheaper! What does that tell you?
In summary, I think that it’s all about the fram of mind that you have. If you are thinking that you can’t afford to shop in all natural stores like Whole Foods, think again. Sure, some items seem to be well overpriced, but how many of those items do you need all the time? It seems to me that with a little planning and clear thinking, and a change in lifestyle, just about anybody can afford to shop all natural. Those who care seriously about their health will do so. Like I said, imagine if you had your own land to produce food on. In time, one could practically eat for free, with only their own labors to pay for it! With this troubled, worldwide, economy, it’s very important to think about.