Some simple rules to save our bodies and our planet

If you buy your food from a local farmer or grow your own, stop reading now. This column is not for you. If however, servers at every fast-food joint between your house and work know you by name or if you have nothing green in your fridge except that month-old, half-eaten package of bologna, then keep reading.

Eating local and eating organic are important for not only us as eaters, but as humans and Americans. The food crisis has pushed this to the fore – and we need to pay attention. Getting strawberries in December from Chili – thousands of miles away – or pumpkins in April from China ain’t gonna work anymore. It’s unsustainable on so many levels, from oil consumption to C02 emissions to the pesticides that have been building up in our bodies over years of eating industrial waste. The way and what we eat are literally killing us.

Like someone who has a “found the Lord!” I am touting the benefits and goodliness of organic local food. You will feel so much better when you eat like the author/food activist Michael Pollan says to in his books “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

He offers three basic rules: 1. Eat food. 2. Not too much. 3. Mostly plants.

Food is whole, organic and locally grown. If the thing you are buying has more than five ingredients and any ingredient is unpronounceable or you are clueless as to what it is or that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it – it probably isn’t food. Don’t eat it. (sorry – Twinkies, processed cheese and Diet Pepsi ain’t food.) If it has any corn derivative (corn syrup, corn gluten, corn starch), don’t eat it. It’s been subsidized by our tax dollars, and it’s one of the things that has been making us obese over the last 30 years (as well our love of shopping as a sport, instead of, you know, actual outdoors sports like tennis, baseball, biking or even the quaint tradition of walking).

“Eat food. Not too much.” We Americans eat four times the amount of food we used to 50 years ago. Do we expend four times the energy we did 50 years ago? Ha! Check out that indentation on your (and my) couch and tell me.

A “small” drink used to be 8 ounces. One can’t even find an 8-ounce drink today. They start at 12 ounces and go up to sometimes 24 ounces of liquid sugar or solid fat! The “large” now is the “I-can’t-possibly-eat-or-drink-that-but-I-want-it-anyway-’cause-I-saw-it-on-TV” size that could easily feed most of the children in Myanmar.

So eat small. Our bodies don’t need massive amounts of food unless we are hunting mammoth.

Eat mostly plants. They have all the good stuff we need in them.

Americans need a reality check on how and how much we eat. We throw away 27 percent of all consumable food in the US.

Consider this that check.