Nutrition Nirvana: In 1962, I arrived in Los Angeles from India. America was quite a surprise. Everything was BIG — buildings, cars, trucks, and the supermarkets. In India, one would have to visit seven or more stores in different parts of town to shop for milk, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, eggs, and other household needs. We often had to shop two or three times a day because there were no refrigerators in homes or stores. We only had one type of packaged cereal – corn flakes. But in America, the choices were infinite with varieties of everything. I remember taking pictures to send home of the never ending aisles of packaged foods arranged in neat, colorful, enticing rows. The abundance was overwhelming.
I would receive a common response from India – “With all of the food choices in America, people must be very fat and unhealthy.” In 1962, most of the population seemed to still have a handle on how to manage what and how much they ate. In fact, the rate of obesity related chronic diseases – diabetes, heart attacks, cancer – was quite low.
The Nation has Gone Stupid on Nutrition.
Fast-forward 50 years and all has changed – nearly 66 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. This figure is expected to grow to 83 percent for men and 72 percent for women by 2020. Most American’s no longer have a grip on their health as serving portions have doubled or tripled, sugar has sneaked into practically all packaged foods, salt is no longer used to enhance flavor, rather it is the flavor. Home cooking using fresh ingredients is almost a lost skill. The end result is an epidemic of chronic diseases.
We are blessed in this country with an unending supply of real food, but people are showing deep disrespect for our bounty. A perfect example is the food eating contests, most popular during our prime holiday, the 4th of July. We not only glamorize and nationally televise overeating, but we reward it. While one in six of our children face hunger, people gather and gorge food for trophies and their fans cheer them on.
Starting FamilyGreenSurvival: While I began my working life as a civil engineer and then morphed into a management consultant, my hobby related to nutritious and tasty food with all of its variations began to grow. At the start of 2007, I began writing a food column for three regional newspapers. How could I combine my professional experiences to advance the cause of living a healthy, green, and empathetic life? One of the triggers for change occurred while I was on a consulting assignment in Segovia, Spain. The hotel elevator had a sign that read, “Occupancy 5.” Someone had crossed that out and added, “Or 3 Americans.” This was enough motivation to ignite an already growing passion in me to help make a transformation in the way America eats. The result is the introduction of FamilyGreenSurvival.
- Deliver a program of personal practices designed to develop a deep commitment to green living, saving energy, decreasing packaging waste, and reducing our carbon footprint.
- To help develop knowledge and empathy for the world’s low income and poor populations, and give thanks for our abundance.
- Deliver a program of nutrition education, smart food shopping, and healthy cooking skills to help combat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Partner with local and national organizations, communities, and government agencies to fulfill our mission.
I invite you to join us on this important journey to NutritionNirvana™. Please take some time to view the FamilyGreenSurvival website and learn about Our Family of Programs and our blog. Your comments and suggestions to help us meet our mission are most welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org