Food For Thought:
“No matter who we are or where we live, our lives revolve around food. Everything about food – including what we eat, how it tastes, who prepares it, and who’s at the table – is a form of communication rich with meaning, often from different cultures.” Unknown source.
“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” Anna Thomas
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” Julia Child
“it was a brave man that first ate an oyster.” Jonathan Swift in the 17th century.
““Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Food, Facts, and Fads is an eclectic collection of information that relates to almost any aspect about food, nutrition and how it impacts our collective health and well being. Some of the topics are controversial and debated; others are based on the premise of independent research to present the FACTS and avoid the FADS. My goal is to expose nutrition misinformation so that you, the consumer can make educated and healthy decisions about your food choices.
A 2010 report from the National Cancer Institute on the status of the American diet found that three out of four Americans don’t eat a single piece of fruit in a given day, and nearly nine out of ten don’t reach the minimum recommended daily intake of vegetables. On a weekly basis, 96 percent of Americans don’t reach the minimum for greens or beans (three servings a week for adults), 98 percent don’t reach the minimum for orange vegetables (two servings a week), and 99 percent don’t reach the minimum for whole grains (about three to four ounces a day). “In conclusion,” the researchers wrote, “nearly the entire U.S. population consumes a diet that is not on par with recommendations. These findings add another piece to the rather disturbing picture that is emerging of a nation’s diet in crisis.”
Adhering to just four simple healthy lifestyle factors may have a strong impact on chronic disease prevention: not smoking, not being obese, getting a daily half hour of exercise, and eating healthier—defined as consuming more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and less meat. Those four factors alone were found to account for 78 percent of chronic disease risk. If we ticked off all four, we may be able to wipe out more than 90 percent of our risk of developing diabetes, more than 80 percent of our heart attack risk, halve our risk of stroke, and reduce our overall cancer risk by more than one-third.
That is what this blog is about – how the Standard American Diet (SAD) affects our food culture positively and negatively. There is much work to do about our lifestyles that can help change the course of the health of our bodies as well as the health of our environment – and the sooner the better.
The blog is managed by Sally Feltner, MS, PhD. I am a retired university professor and live in Western North Carolina in a small town just east of Asheville called Black Mountain and love the area for its diversity and wonderful mountains. I graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BS degree in nutrition science, obtained a Master’s degree in Biology from Rivier University (Nashua, NH) and a PhD degree in nutrition science with a minor in biology from Texas Womans’ University in Denton, TX.
I have worked as a clinical dietitian in Washington, DC, and Hartford, CT. Later I was a teaching assistant at Marquette University Dental School in the department of Immunology and Microbiology. I taught undergraduate and graduate courses in nutrition science, health sciences, infectious disease, and nutrition and culture at Western Carolina University for 15 years. I am a retired Registered Dietitian/ Nutritionist, RDN.
Also, do not consider anything I write or publish as proven advice for your condition. Nutrition science is in its infancy and just beginning to take its rightful place in the medical field (my opinion). It is a lifestyle that has for so long been ignored. Medical advice mentioned in any post should be made with with the supervision of your personal health care provider or your own personal physician. In addition, I am not affiliated with any food or supplement company. My opinions are my own and are stated when I feel they are necessary to support a particular viewpoint.
Also I am not a vegan, but I tend to be aware of the importance of how and what we eat in terms of sustainability, a respect for animal welfare and the impact of food on our environment.
Sally Feltner, MS, Ph.D