Food on the mind, in our bodies, and in production

As food is generally on our minds each day and a regular pastime, I’m sharing some interesting pieces I’ve come across:  an infographic on our food consumption and production patterns and what needs fixing; a video on how much fast food is consumed every second; and an overview of 19 “foods” that aren’t food but processed concoctions.

1.  Check out this infographic produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists and circulated recently by the Upworthy online site which includes info the difference between what Americans usually eat vs. what is actually recommended.  Plus how much local food investment support is needed to grow more fruits and veggies vs. current allocations and support for corn and soybean subsidies.

2.   Also, here’s a video (with a rather energetic beat) showcasing how much fast food is sold each second (in the U.S.):

3.   And to top it all off, here’s a slideshow recently shared by Huffington Post presenting various foods or products that aren’t really food but processed and artificial substances: 19 Foods That Aren’t Food.

Food for thought?  Bon appetit?

plate-knife_fork edited

Focus and mindfulness (amid the hustle and bustle)

As we start a new week, I thought it would be fitting to share some interesting pieces to do with focusing and also mindfulness.

Amid the hustle and bustle around us and so many activities and things that seemingly call for our attention, one really has to proactively focus on focusing!  Even with tools that make things more convenient and speedy, it’s not easy maintaining focus. I came across a great mind map diagram (by Learning Fundamentals) that could be used as a guide:
How To Focus In The Age of Distraction.

There’s also some helpful info about mindfulness provided online by The Greater Good Science Center.  Check out why practicing mindfulness is important and how to cultivate mindfulness.

Lastly, for an amusing look at what happens when we aren’t all that focused and give in to distraction, here’s a video by Lev Yilmaz on procrastination:

Poignant Video…”Five Extra Years”

Check out this interesting/innovative video by Designed To Move:

Physical activity in daily life has dropped quite a lot in past years.  Technology, electronics, and machines have become huge parts of our daily living–every hour of our days.  What are the consequences and ramifications of this?

The focus and setting for children’s play have changed over the years.  How children commute to and from school or activities have changed.  The amount of time spent sitting and hovering over our computers or other such devices has increased dramatically.

As the Designed to Move website reports:  physical inactivity is a cycle and has compounding costs over a lifetime.

What are two actions to change these concerning trends?

  1. Create early positive experiences for children (where they are playing actively and having fun). 
  2. Integrate physical activity into everyday life.  So move instead of falling for easy sedentary convenience.

Get more info and data on this topic at:  http://www.designedtomove.org/

More food for thought…

Here’s an article from Mother Earth News to help us continue to think about the destructive aspects of the industrial system as a source of our food and produce and to act on supporting better food security at home and globally.

The piece encourages folks to disconnect from mass agricultural and food production practices and grow food in our own plots.

If we can’t grow our own food for some reason, alternatively we can support local farmers’ markets, food security groups and networks.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/grow-your-own-food-zm0z12aszmat.aspx

Also…there’s something about looking at colourful fruit, vegetables and local harvest that does encourage one to focus on healthiness, nutrition, and sustainable growers.

Scientific Reason to Stop and Smell the Roses

Here’s a study indicating that people are happier when they take time to appreciate the good things in life.  I’m guessing we already know this but need a gentle nudge and reminder.

The study shows that appreciation plays a significant role in one’s quality of life.  With the hustle and bustle of everyday life and our tendency often to focus on what we don’t yet have (or can’t seem to have), this is a good reminder to pause and take stock of the good things close to us already–to periodically reflect on positive aspects of our lives, to enjoy the moments, to value what’s around us.

Check out the article:  Scientific Reason to Stop and Smell the Roses

 

 

(Fast) Food for Thought

Interested in recommendations from fast food industry workers (of Reddit) on what menu items to avoid…or to consume with caution?  Are we too quick to grab our fast food without thinking about how it’s stored, prepared, processed, handled, and served?

Check out the info via this link:

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/?limit=500

Here’s another article about fast food; ironically, fast food chains provide not-so-healthy dining in hospital cafeterias:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/04/05/150091951/fast-food-chains-in-cafeterias-put-hospitals-in-a-bind?sc=fb&cc=fp

I remember reading how Statistics Canada indicated that obesity rates are up for all ages (and particularly for teens aged 12 to 17) and yet during a visit to my local medical clinic, I would notice how abundant junk food snacks and fat, sugary, salt-laden processed food were via the vending machines.  This was several years ago; I should check if anything has changed lately.

Instead of supporting and promoting our culture of convenience, we need to stop and think about what we are doing.  In the long run, wouldn’t it be better if our choices and funds went toward building healthier bodies and lives rather than for saving time and boosting profit-driven enterprise?

Walking The Walk

Here’s another piece/article about walking:

Americans Do Not Walk The Walk, And That’s A Growing Problem

And if you’re inclined to read more about walking…there’s a book called Wanderlust:  A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit.  I haven’t read it yet but know of it. The book explores the aesthetic, social, and political histories of walking.