Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Assignment Two

Answering these questions for me was a bit different due to a few personal health issues that I'm currently dealing with. To give a bit of a recap, for the last two years eating hasn't been exactly a "Fun" or enjoyable activity. I tried changing my diet quite drastically 2 years ago when I had several tests done to find out what was wrong with my digestive system. There wasn't anything that was absolutely conclusive, other than I had some problems. GERD was one of them, so after trying several different things, I was finally put on Nexium, to help combat the acid damage that was happening to my insides. IBS was another issue, which of course anyone who knows anything knows that IBS is just a way of saying we don't know what or why you have a problem, so we'll just classify it this way for now.... By trying to get these under control it was thought I could get everything else under control.... Well, nearly two years later after learning to live with the problems I had, my conditioned worsened to the point that I once again, needed the assistance of a doctor.

This time around we found my immune system had basically just quit working, because it was being overworked. Also, I have been found to have Epstein Bar Syndrome, which is not uncommon, but my strain is active right now and probably has been for quite some time. As it is a Virus, my body has to just fight it off, but my immune system is overworked already, so I just stay the same. My other problem is I have extremely high levels of Yeast in my stomach and that is most likely why my stomach knots up when I eat sweets or any form of carbs. Another issue is I have allergies now, but we don't know what allergies yet. I know I'm lactose intolerant and have began to develop a small allergy to apples, but as of yet, we don't know what other foods or environmental allergens I may have developed over the last 34 years of life...

This means, that once again my food choices have had to change even more drastically, while we are trying to basically get my immune system to start working again.

What kind of food do I eat? Mostly natural foods, low in sugars usually and preferably from places I know about if it is meat. I eat fresh vegetables as much as I can, which are usually organic in nature. I spend about 5 or 6 nights a week at a New Seasons that is located at Cedar Hills Crossing. There isn't a coop located anywhere near me. Sometimes I eat at New Seasons as much as 7 nights a week... I'm single and often it is real pain to prepare meals that I have to eat leftovers from for more than one meal and then I'm in school almost every day, so it will sometimes rot if I don't eat it fast enough. I find that eating fresh foods is a bit more money out of my pocket and it also does not last as long at home. So when I shop for fresher food, I need to know I'll be eating it within the next couple of days. If not, it goes bad on me... This means, when I buy food, I am stuck eating exactly whatever I bought or I end up spending more money, to replace it. It is just cheaper to buy meals, since there is a wide variety of choices. Price wise it is not much different than eating at any other fast food or restaurant, depending on how "Fine" a meal I really want.

I eat meat very infrequently... I find myself eating fresh veggies and lots of soup made from fresh veggies that are sold in the store. I eat fresh breads from the bakery quite frequently and also noodle soups from the "Ramen Bar" they have.

From a business perspective it is interesting to me and it makes a lot of sense, that many items that are not organic or 100% natural are available along side the items that are... I believe this is a smart choice, because not everyone is going to be "Core" with how they eat, yet some people are more picky than others mostly due to choice but some, like me, it is because of necessity. There are many gluten free products and everything seems to be clearly marked. I think that by having the choices available to the consumer they attract a much more diverse group of people to the store. If they did not have meats or some of the other products that I know cost a dollar or so more to buy them at New Seasons, I would probably not frequent the store quite as much, when actually doing my shopping. The store is not too big, yet it offers quite a remarkable array of products.

Again, I'm going to give a general response to how I shop for foods or products. Most of them are based on taste, price being a big factor and what is listed on the labels, sometimes, when I'm being very picky. At the end of a day of eating foods from New Seasons or after having only ate fresh vegetables and very few "acidic" items and fresh breads too... I feel very well... when I don't, I feel the food making me feel even worse than normal... It sucks when you can feel food go through the entire digestive process. What is worse is when you know, after having eaten something that it is not going to settle well, immediately that it will not digest correctly. Foods that don't digest well, digest faster in me... when the food is a good choice, it will take a much longer time to get through my entire system and it makes me feel comfortable the whole way through.

5a. What sucks is food politics have created a food pyramid based on who whines the most... What do we need to stay healthy, most educated people would agree that eating veggies, most fruits, very little meat or having items that will give us a lot of protein and keeping many nutrients in our bodies are some of the ways to stay healthy. Plus it isn't always about what we eat, it is even about our lifestyles, how active we are, the sorts of exercise we get, genetics also plays a factor.

It is interesting how the politics have caused wording changes to an otherwise good model. Or even how saying eat less is bad in our society, instead the food giants want to advocate more, more, more. It is about money or better yet, lining someones pockets with money. It is not about health and wellness. Although I know it is not the money that inherently causes things to be bad, it is what is done with the money. Is it helping people or is is hurting them? Is it being made at the expense of good people or for the benefit of people with maybe not so many good values? Is it creating a power vacuum, where the elite keep the less elite under control...?? Is it intentional or is it a byproduct of the mantra "Maximize Profits" and just don't care who it hurts? Another question, is it a mirror of our society of our wants and needs? Who are we to blame for the politics that surround us, particularly the politics that control our most basic functions in life, Food Politics?