Janice Stanger, PhD
100 W. 10th Av
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Compassion is the foundation of everything positive, everything good. If you carry the power of compassion to the marketplace and the dinner table, you can make your life really count. - Rue McClanahan (1934-2010)
Turkeys are genetically engineered to grow very big, very fast, and generally are slaughtered at 12 weeks. If allowed to live, their breasts grow huge, literally forcing their legs out of their sockets.
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My most difficult challenge is the world of human indifference. It is standing in line at the supermarket and realizing that for the majority of people in the world, the misery and slaughter of animals is not an issue. - Karen Davis, PhD, United Poultry Concerns
Vegetarians always ask about getting enough protein. But I don't know any nutrition expert who can plan a diet of natural foods resulting in a protein deficiency, so long as you're not deficient in calories. You need only 5 or 6% of total calories in protein... and it is practically impossible to get below 9% in ordinary diets. - Nathan Pritikin (1915 - 1985)
Where to Shop
Short of growing your own food, which would be ideal, check your local Food Co-ops, Grower's Markets, Farmer's Markets and road-side stands.
Illustration by Carolina Villamayor
Health Food Stores and Natural Grocers also offer organic, plus variety at affordable prices.
The idea is to get your produce preferably organic and local, where it hasn't had a prematurely early harvest and an extended warehouse layover, both of which deplete a large percentage of its nutrients, not to mention its flavor.
Also, even mainstream supermarkets are getting on board with offering the public a better selection and higher quality of produce and natural foods. Shop carefully, once again with an eye to both organic and local. And if you have questions, by all means, ask them of the produce manager. If you wonder if something has been genetically engineered, ask. If you think the produce is looking paltry, ask to see if they have fresher choices in the back. Produce Managers are usually extremely knowledgeable and very anxious to please.
Food for Thought: If only 3% of a grocer's aisles are stocked with whole and natural foods, then what is the other 97%? Unnatural? Some items could barely be classified as even a food substance. Sugary cereals, chemical sodas, lab-manufactured "treats" and desserts filled with artifical dyes and flavors because original flavors and colors have been stripped out and can't co-exist with the rest of the unnatural ingredients. Either way, make a determination for yourself if you want highly-processed, preservative-laden, chemical-drenched foods in your shopping cart and in your body.
"He who doesn't make time for his health, will eventually have to make time for his illness."
Reality Check: Can you not recognize the majority of the ingredients listed on the package? Is the food you've selected a compilation of highly-processed, artificial ingredients, filled with toxic chemicals and preservatives designed to extend shelf life? Is it a substance only masquerading as food? Is it mixed with MSG to try to make it taste more palatable? Hopefully not.
Or have you selected organic, live, delicious, whole, fresh, natural, nutrient-rich food?
Raise the bar! Because right now in this country with obesity and degenerative diseases at epidemic levels, let me tell you, the bar is on the floor. We can choose to raise it for ourselves and our families.
You reserve the right to be discriminating when it comes to what you feed your awesome body, and you can choose. Choose to be particular. Always.
And while you're choosing to be particular for your own health, why not extend that care and quality to what you feed your canine 'companimal'. We assure you that the pet over which you are guardian is a staunch animal rights advocate, too.
Make a commitment to eliminate animal testing by pledging to only purchase products approved by the Leaping Bunny Program, which provides the best assurance that no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers. The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics' (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program administers a cruelty-free standard and the internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo for companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products.
Check out The Marketplace for more ideas!