food Program

Health and Nutrition Basics

On our site you will find information to help you understand the problems with the current industrial food system and about the sustainable food choices you can make. Those sustainable food choices are not only better for the environment and animals, but are also more nutritious, keeping you and your family in optimal health. If you are eating within the confines of our current food system, it can be complicated to stay healthy. Choosing a more sustainable diet will help you avoid many of the toxins in industrial food. A few of the toxins you might find are pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics and hormones, while in industrially produced processed foods you might also find high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, BPA, additives and transfats. Deciding to eat a sustainable diet can also help you avoid food and diet related diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A good understanding of the basics of nutrition is an important part of maintaining optimal health. And it need not be complicated! Michael Pollan has many good ideas in his book, Food Rules.

The gist of the book is  "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants," with rules to help you make this happen:

  • Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.
  • Don't eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
  • Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  • Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.

Try to keep it simple. But with that said, there are sure to be many questions, and still a lot to learn about nutrition basics. For a more detailed understanding of health and nutrition (and some of the nitty gritty details) -  check out these resources: