eating, food, Healthy, nourishment, shopping

An Edible Caste System: Change is Upon Us (Part 1)

When my son was just born and my daughter was around 4 years old, I had WIC.  I am a second generation New York City WIC recipient.  In the interview, I happily declined the offer of baby formula, because I was breastfeeding successfully.  What I did get was the opportunity to exchange checks for a variety of groceries.  What I didn’t get was a choice in exactly what groceries those were.

I learned a lot about benefit programs during that time.  It was abundantly clear that there are other entities, powerful and wealthy ones, that also benefit from my benefit.  To name a few, Post, General Mills and Kellogg’s, because I was allowed to get their cereals and theirs alone, as well as the Dairy Farmers of America, who no doubt were able to sell millions of gallons of milk and pounds of cheese through WIC.  The problem? While I was able to get copious amounts of these items, I was only given $6 a week towards fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.  That was my only opportunity to buy anything that wasn’t a product or byproduct of GMO corn and soy, and the only time I could buy anything organic.  A pound of organic strawberries was $5.99.

Then there was the time that I figured out that I could get organic peanut butter.  See, they hadn’t gotten around to striking deals with guys like Jif yet, I guess, so they only specified what size of peanut butter you could get.  Because there were no other restrictions, I strode happily into PathMark with my WIC checks in my purse and grabbed the organic peanut butter in the correct size off the shelf.  The cashier looked puzzled, asked a manager, and in the end I got it because there was no notation on the check forbidding it.  Clearly, big brother was watching, because the next set of checks I got had (no organic) printed next to peanut butter on every one.  Wow.  So because I was poor, I had to eat the poisons and feed them to my child as well.  Is it possible that the chemical companies also have a stake in the WIC program?

Thankfully there are no such restrictions on what is now known as SNAP.  You can buy anything edible with that benefit, but for me, it wasn’t about backing cupboards with calories, it was about getting the best possible quality of food I could afford.  The problem was not about the benefit in this case, it was about access.  Until my son was 2, the only supermarket in walking distance from my home was Western Beef.  Here are there stats:

Organic Produce: 0

Organic Baby Cereal: 0

Organic Anything: 0

So at first I would take a 40 minute bus ride to a nicer neighborhood (read less people of color, more white people, no housing projects or even apartment buildings, most fellow shoppers drove there in their own vehicle)  to shop at ShopRite.  I would spend $5.00 round trip getting there, then another $5.00 organizing to have the groceries delivered to my home later that day.  Still, the organic produce selection at the time was minimal, but I was able to get the organic baby cereal and a lot of other organic foods in the aisles.  No organic or grass-fed meats were available there (I wasn’t vegan yet).

Soon, KeyFood opened, but to my chagrin, I discovered that their organic selection was only slightly better than at “The Beef”.  Then I figured out that I could get to WholeFoods in TriBeCa without spending money on transportation.  I mapped it once, it’s a 14 mile trip.  It involved a 10 minute walk from my home to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, hopefully arriving in time to walk right on a ferry that is boarding, then on  arrival in Manhattan, boarding a free Downtown Manhattan loop bus that would drop me right outside the supermarket.  It could take anywhere from 1- 1 1/2 hours one way, depending on the ferry schedule, bus stop waiting and traffic.   (“Wrote a poem about it, like to hear it?  Here it go!”)

The downside: they could not deliver my groceries, so I had to make frequent trips and carry heavy loads, sometimes with both children in tow.  I continued to do it, even after I got off of the benefit programs, because it was worth it to me to really nourish myself and my family, which soon grew again by one when my dad came to live with me for a time.

One day it dawned on me: if I lived closer to this supermarket, that would be so nice.  If only I could afford a swank apartment in shiny Battery Park City… but indeed I could not.  The edible caste system at work, ladies and gentlemen: those who have plenty get more nutrients closer to home, and those who don’t either have to make long journeys to the wealthier neighborhoods and look for in season organics and sales in at a high quality, high priced grocer, or just stay malnourished.

The good news is that prayers have been answered and change is upon us.  The edible caste system is about to be shattered, and food deserts are about to be flooded with better food.  How, you ask?  Be sure to read part two when I post it…

In the meantime, please share your food desert confessions in the comments section.  I would love to know how fellow parents are handling this problem and getting cleaner, more nourishing food for the families in spite of financial and geographic obstacles.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

3 John 1:2 NIV

 

 

Devotional, eating, food, God's word, Healthy, scripture

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy

Hello my Friend! You are three days in to your new food life!

You have arrived 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy! On day one, you took a page from Daniel to purpose in your heart to no longer defile yourself with delicacies. Next, you took steps to renew your mind as God instructs us to do in Romans 12.

Today it’s time to start to take a good look at food. Proverbs 23:3 in the NKJV says “Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food.” A delicacy in terms of edibles, as defined in Websters 1828 Dictionary, is that which delights the senses. Please notice that since we have renewed our minds we are much less liberal with the use of the word food, and this version of Websters appears to also indicate that there are edibles which possibly are not to be called food since they don’t nourish the body.

That’s a good start to defining and identifying these delicacies that we are warned not to desire (or crave). In today’s world, we are even encouraged to crave them! You know what they are, the most recognizable enemies include cakes, candies, cookies, fast food and soft drinks.

These have actually become easy and even trendy to avoid, altogether eliminate. 🍪🍩🍰🚫 If that’s all it took, then you wouldn’t need 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy, now would you?

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy
Ad on the back of an NYC MTA city bus.

The Not-So-Recognizable Enemy

The truth is that it isn’t in these where the most insidious deception lies. When I think about deceptive foods I think about %100 fruit juice, where the free sugar (that is unencumbered by fiber) is just as abundant and damaging to the body as the sugar in soft drinks. I think about granola bars, which contain whole grains but also contain half a day’s worth of free sugar in the one small snack. Fruit snacks for children. My daughter was noticing in a corner store the other day that a particular brand is now saying that fruit is their first ingredient, but we turned the package around to the back and notice that the fruit is juice concentrate, followed immediately by sugar AND corn syrup. Talk about deception!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy More Deception Brought to Light

🍥 Yogurt, framed in our consciousness as a health food, is a dairy product. Cow’s milk has been linked to numerous cancers and diseases in children and adults.  Although goat milk is a biblical super food, again, it is NOT for daily consumption.

🍨 Items labeled Low Fat still sell so well because we still haven’t awakened to the fact that that fat alone doesn’t make you fat. What you’re really buying is something in which the processors have replaced the fat with sugar and so the boom in Low Fat processed foods on the market has been consistent with dramatic increases in obesity rates and related diseases.

🍞 Refined starch sounds like something that should be good (as in “fine”) but the refining process is designed to strip the wheat of its nutrient-rich germ because it is the germ that shortens its shelf life. Enriched flour and bread is so called because after the germ is taken out of the grain and processing is underway, the producer adds synthetic vitamins to it to try to replace what God already built in and, as you can imagine, the result pales in comparison to the original composition. I could go on and on!

Purpose, Renew, Recognize

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he3 would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NKJV‬

If you notice, Daniel used this same word to identify that which he would refuse to defile his body with: delicacies. In the King James, both Daniel and Proverbs 23 call them dainties. Even in those descriptions they are deceptive. The damage they cause over years of consumption is neither delicate nor dainty. Rather, it is usually devastating.

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy
Living Your New Food Life!

So my dear loved one, you’ve purposed in your heart.  You’ve renewed your mind.  Now it’s time to recognize and eschew the stuff that isn’t God’s will for your body. If it isn’t straight from the earth and it comes in a package, read every label!  If you can’t pronounce it, denounce it. Through your purposeful heart and renewed mind’s eye, you will indeed start to recognize the enemy easily.  You will see him all up and down the middle aisles of the supermarket and in many other places. This is your victory.

You are now done with 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 3: Recognize the Enemy! Nice Job!

Meditate on your scripture for the day:

Proverbs 23:3

Watch A Prophecy of Delicacies 

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.

Click Here to go to Day 4.

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Tweet: The six most common mistakes health nuts make with their diet #MirrorMuch?? 


Here’s the nugget:

We go on a journey to better health, that means we go through stages. Because of the state of our food culture in today’s world, we just don’t know how to eat so we have to slowly re-learn, and there are pitfalls along the way.

This read like a little trip down memory lane in some respects. I remember myself in some of it. How about you? 

Here’s a bullet point list:

  • Relying on supplements – they should do just that, supplement, not replace food for healing.
  • Too much organic junk food – organic  doesn’t mean healthy, perhaps healthier, but not necessarily healthy.
  • Too much eating out – “restaurants cannot prepare healthy, nutritious meals as well as you can at home”
  • Too much sugar – sugar cane juice, agave nectar, honey, brown rice syrup, it’s all sugar baby!  It all causes the same problems refined sugar does. Stevia is your only option at the moment.
  • Too much juicing – juicing is like refining your own product. You’re removing the juice from the fiber, thereby simplifying the sugar.

This is a must read! We won’t reveal the last thing, just Click here immediately I tell you!  Just kidding, but really, this article is a BLESSING!

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭10:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Just one thing: excuse me Mr. Edwards, but we are not nuts! 😆  Actually, at Really Nourish, we think people who mindlessly put stuff in their mouths and then wonder why they can’t function and get sick are the real nuts! #justsaying

#dontjusteat