it is what we let it be

These picture does not have much to do with the text below, just shows one of the last times I went out for drinks a couple months ago. Nice cocktail bar at The Hawthorne in Boston.
The food culture and the way companies make money on making people sick here in the US really is the biggest turn off for me. Makes an informed individual avoid spending money and hence contribute less to the national economy. We all should do that. Stop spending money on unhealthy, unethical and downright dangerous foods, and demand transparency and responsibility from the big food corporations. For your health and for the future of this vulnerable earth.

I am probably the most anti-social person there is right now. Haven't been out in ages, and it feels pretty good because I have so much that I dream of fulfilling work wise and I ought to keep my focus and priorities straight. Another reason to why I have so easy to avoid restaurants these days (I used to love going out for nice, warm, inspiring dinners before arriving to the US) is that I truly have hard eating out here in America, knowing that most of the food you get served in restaurants here are not really real food, but made of ingredients filled with genetically modified organisms, fillers, synthetic binders, unnatural flavors and colours (not even talking about all the hormones cause I do not eat meat, and dairy only on extremely rare occasions). You know all those things that are banned in food production in Europe, but for money reasons are still allowed here in the US. There aren't that many establishments around here that serves purely organic, non-gmo food with lots of vegan options, so honestly, why waste money when I can make all what I want myself from scratch?

I know how pessimistic and awful this sounds, but it is the reality and I have always preferred being a realist rather than closing my eyes and escaping the truth. The more we know, the more complicated life becomes in one sense. But on the other hand, knowledge also gives us a chance to open our hearts to the truly real things in life. Even if they seem so few these days. Knowledge helps us reduce the distance and mental barriers between ourselves and all the wrong we have been taught (or brainwashed with) previously.

There are moments, for example when Alex and I ride the bike on our short weekend trips, that I for a second can feel a sadness for not being able to stop by McDonalds for a burger, or a road side diner and truly enjoy a greasy pizza and an ice-cold coke. You know the way one had always visualized a road trip through big ole America. And while it still happens that I give in and shut my brain off for a moment, and eat a slice or two of a veggie pizza with a crust made by gmo corn flour, additives and toxic fillers, and just a tad of cheese filled with antibiotic and growth hormones in one of the cute old-school pizza restaurants that we drive past, there's no way I can ever enjoy the experience like I probably would have, say, only two-three years ago. I know too much now.

Alex whom always have had a deep love for animals sometimes jokes (with a bit of truth in it) that he wish I had never started investigating in the way farm animals are treated, as the pleasure he always felt by carelessly eating meat now has decreased dramatically to the extent that he chooses to eat meat only approx. twice weekly. It's a weird thing, to suddenly gain a whole new uncomfortable perspective on something you've always taken for granted. How can you learn to despise something you've always loved? Or thought you loved. Glad to say that neither of us have been to a Burger King or McDonalds in over a year now.

This is an informative clip from Oprah's world, when her and her 300 something staff went vegan for a week.

The slaughter house they get to visit in the clip above is obviosuly the most modern facility in the United States (thanks to the work of PETA) and it is a much better place to be for your last day in life as an animal than most other slaughter houses so keep that in mind. The final day reality for animal slaves soon to be burgers, steaks and pizza toppings is most of the times much worse.

GMO as a subject is not brought up in the video, but the corn the cows are being fed there is not natural corn, but genetically modified. As it is in all cases in America unless you buy certified organic grassfed meat. Also I do not think meat substitutes are the greatest thing in the world like the veganista talks about here, as they too often contain tons of additives and gmo soy and corn (unless they are non-gmo certified). There is so much more good, healthy vegan meals you easily can make yourself. I'll show you later on.

Another thing I'd like to recommend, many American readers have probably heard of Foodbabe already, if not, head over there immediately if you have the slightest interest in your future health, especially if you're American. This post of hers shows well what a huge difference of ingredients that is used in some of the most commercial food brands in the US vs. Europe. Foodbabe, or Vani Hari that is her real name, is a food activist who has got companies such as Kraft, Subway, Starbucks and many more to change their ingredients due to her strong voice, knowledge and the massive following she has on her blog. Read this for an overall view of the largest cases she's successfully worked on and the outstanding changes she's accomplished.

Her activist work is obviously not popular with the big food corporations, but her willingness to expose the truth about food in an understandable manner has helped hundreds of thousand people to start eating healthier. In a country with 33% obesity and a rapid increase of cancer, autism and other illnesses that are caused by processed foods and toxins found in the water and food supply, people like her are well needed.

For a whole other reason than food I went in on Target the other day, and I was positively surprised to see what an extensive organic food collection they boasted with. Juices and crackers that I've normally become familiar with at Whole Foods were at Target priced at 20-40% less. And I recently read that Walmart who with an internal research discovered that 91% of their customers would buy organic if the price was lower (I had no clue that Walmart even sold foods?), is now teaming up with Wild Oats to create an in-house line of 100 products of affordable organic foods. A great initiative and intent to drive down organic food prices in the country.

The change is happening, albeit slowly. But the more we choose to spend our dollars on good, organic and non-gmo foods, the faster will we see an increase of better food on the shelves, for a price that suits more people. Organic food should not have to be as expensive as it is right now. Consumer demand drives the market and it is not before we demand a change by living by example that a change will come. And for every time you opt for buying foods that are harmful to the world and your own health, you add on distance to the healthy change in our food supply that we all need now, and especially for our future.

You do look for these two labels when you go grocery shopping, don't you?
I can't say I fully trust the USDA labeling with all its loopholes in regulations but I definitely have faith in the independent non-profit, non-governmental Non-Gmo Project so a combination of these both is what I'm looking for, but always the Non-Gmo one. My local organic fruit and veggies come from farms and markets in the neighborhoods, and tropical and non seasonal imported is always organic. I don't want pesticides and toxins in my smoothie just because someone else decided they make more profit that way.

I know that this particular Non-Gmo labeling only can be found in the US and Canada. But you might have other labels in other countries that helps you avoid the bad stuff? Most European countries as well as Australia and many South American, African and Asian countries demand labeling of all GMO's which has forced American companies to change their ingredients in products sold outside the US to such without genetically engineered organisms. But still, please read the ingredient information on all food you intend eating. And Americans, do not give your precious hard earned money away to people that do not care about you nor your health. Okay?