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Do you really know what’s in your food?

Vari Hari
Image from The New York Times

There are so many messages out there on how to eat healthy that many people get overwhelmed and start to shut it out altogether. However, if you want to live a long and healthy life, nutrition is key. Here are some simple questions that I would like you to ask yourself before every meal, which will help you make smarter choices when it comes to what you feed your body.

What are the ingredients?

Are the ingredients nutritious?

Where do the ingredients come from?

Sound simple enough? We challenge you to ask yourself these three questions before you eat your next meal and each one thereafter. Turn over the packet or jar and read the ingredients lists of the products you're consuming. Look at whether it's organic and investigate what country it was produced in. Most varieties of frozen berries come from the China or Chile, which use pesticides that have been banned in most Westernised countries.

I started enquiring about my food source in 2010 when I first became a raw food advocate. I made it my mission to push boundaries, ask for greater transparency and responsibility even if I embarrassed the people around me. Since 2010 I have used my business as a vehicle to help people make changes to their diet, through both my education during my naturopathic consultations as well as my cooking workshops. I am passionate about food and its impact on our health, and I surround myself with like-minded friends and community.

Whenever I am at a restaurant or cafe, it is often the same questions, where is this product from, is it organic, and is it local? Which farm is it come from, is the soil biodynamic? This even applies to my wine purchases these days. Yes, you heard right, I do enjoy a red wine occasionally. When I do though, I make sure what I’m buying is a quality product.

We should all be asking questions when it comes to our food. According the Vari Hari’s new book Feeding You Lies there are currently over 3,000 food additives in our food supply (many of which have not been tested for safety) and the average American consuming 1-2kg of these chemicals a year. I’m sure the statistics for Australian consumption would not be too dissimilar. Time Magazine recently named her was one of the 'Most Influential People on the Internet’. She is well known for her blog "The Food Babe" which is another great resource for those interested in understanding what's really in our food. Vari teaches people who how to make the smart purchasing decisions, why organic food is worth the extra cost, and how to make wise food choices when eating out (whether that’s at home or overseas). She is a true food advocate and her work has influenced the practices (and recipes) of major food giants like Kraft, Subway and Starbucks.

We all need to start holding companies accountable for the controversial chemicals found in our food chain. Books like this are great, as they help us all sort through information overwhelm and start making smart decisions for our long-term health.

If you’re not into reading books then there are also some great podcasts out there which help uncover the truth about what’s really in our food. Mark Hyman recently did a podcast with Vari, which I highly recommend listening to called: Uncovering The Food Industry’s Lies and Reclaiming Your Health. It’s episode #42 on the Broken Brain podcast series.

In this episode, Vani explores the shady practises of the large food corporations, and discusses just how far they’ll go to silence activists. She discusses the lack of transparency when it comes to food labelling and talks about how her own personal health journey ignited her passion for being the food advocate that she is today.

What’s I love most about this podcast is that it’s not all doom and gloom. Rather, she leaves her listeners with positive and practical tips on how to make positive food choices without becoming overwhelmed.

She also teaches listeners how to find trustworthy information when it comes to understanding what’s really in our food, and what constitutes a healthy diet. She encourages us all to look beyond the headlines and question who is delivering (or funding) the articles we are reading both online and offline.

Some of her favourite and most trustworthy resources include Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC), the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and The Centre for Science and Public Interest, which I highly recommend you have a look at if you’re interested understanding more about our food system. The Environmental Group has some fantastic resources on organic food, farming practises and toxic ingredients found in both our food products and cosmetics. It helps to simplify things and offers simple tips to help you improve the health choices made by you and your family.

I would encourage you to get a copy of Vani Hari’s book and to listen to this fantastic podcast when you get the chance. It will help you make more informed choices about the food you put into your body on a daily basis and learn how to obtain the most accurate information about what constitutes a healthy diet, which is so important.

Wherever you are in your own health journey I encourage you all to keep asking questions. Your health, vitality and stamina will thank you for it, as will the planet.

With Love Rose


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