Note to Rush Limbaugh: I’m An “Organic Conservative”

Based on his comments from a recent program, here and here, Rush Limbaugh evidently believes liberals are the only ones eating organic food. Or, minimally, he believes eating organic food turns people into snobs or is the result of a desire to feel superior. I will have much more to say on this topic in the coming days. But for now I’m just posting this photo of myself taken today when I drove my HYBRID CAR to buy ORGANIC EGGS from pastured chickens from my neighbor. Note the Limbaugh Letter in my hand since I am a subscriber and long-time listener! I drive a hybrid because I like the car and I like saving money on gas and enjoy the efficiency of the technology. I eat organic, pastured eggs because they are good for my health. These are choices I make in a free society and I want to continue to be able to make these choices.

Rush needs to understand there are plenty of us who eat and live this way for reasons OTHER than we are liberals and/or trying to tell others how to live. organic conservative

Women of Color Going Back to Basics for Health

The recent Ladies’ Day Event, where I gave a presentation Happy, Healthy and Free, was attended by a majority of African-American women and other women of color. The information presented really seemed to resonate with many of the attendees for several reasons. After the presentation I had the opportunity to have lunch with some of these interesting ladies and find out a bit more about them. In the course of our conversations, a few things stood out as very significant and relevant to my topic of health.

One of the women at my table was Wendy. Wendy, who is 68 years old, explained how she is not currently on any medications. That’s pretty impressive given our medicated society. So I asked Wendy a few more questions to find out if there are any clues to her seeming good health. It turns out she is from Barbados. Could this make a difference? Hmmm…..

Before I tell you more about Wendy and her background, let’s first take a look at the broader problem as it relates specifically to women of color. Alice Randall, writer in residence at Vanderbilt University, and an African-American woman herself, wrote an interesting opinion piece for The New York Times this past weekend. In her article, Black Women and Fat, Ms. Randall points out four out of five black women are seriously overweight and one in four middle-aged black women has diabetes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks have 51 percent higher obesity rates than whites. In addition to pointing out some facts and figures on disease states and obesity rates, Alice Randall delves into some of the cultural reasons that may be contributing to this situation. She points out that it is part of the cultural heritage to be bigger and that husbands sometimes revolt when faced with the prospect of their wives losing weight. But Ms. Randall advises that in spite of any cultural push against it, things need to change:

The billions that we are spending to treat diabetes is money that we don’t have for education reform or retirement benefits, and what’s worse, it’s estimated that the total cost of America’s obesity epidemic could reach almost $1 trillion by 2030 if we keep on doing what we have been doing.

During a public lecture at Harvard University recently, biologist Daniel Lieberman suggested that exercise for everyone should be mandated by law. Alice Randall was appalled and noted the applause came from a bunch of “thin affluent people” applauding the idea of “forcing fatties, many of whom are dark, poor and exhausted, to exercise.” She goes on to express her view that government mandated exercise is a “vicious concept” but acknowledges the “cost of too many people getting too fat is too high.” Continue reading

“Food Activist” or Freedom Fighter?

This is not a political blog. Paleo Spirit is primarily a food blog that emphasizes the paleo way of eating and a healthy lifestyle that explores ways to improve “fitness” in all areas of our life – mind, body and soul. I want to be welcoming to people of all different persuasions and I know there are some readers who will be turned off at the mere mention of something that falls into the political realm. However, I had an interesting experience that I would like to share. And in my opinion this discussion could be categorized under “mind” because we should all make ourselves as educated as possible in order to navigate effectively in our world.

There is so much that goes on in politics that affects our lives and that includes how much control the government exercises over us. I am a strong believer in freedom and individual responsibility. And one of the ways we can lose freedom is when the government has enough power to tell us how and what to eat. For those of us who have seen and experienced the negative results of following the “Conventional Wisdom” of healthy eating, as espoused by the U.S. government (low-fat, high carb, etc…), we can attest to the fact government does not always know best. And this is not a liberal or conservative issue, it is a life or death issue.

I was motivated to call The Rush Limbaugh Program on March 9th because I heard him quoting, at length, from an article written by heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell. “Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease”  In the course of quoting Dr. Lundell, Rush Limbaugh also expressed his view that it is liberal “food activists” who are imploring the government to “step in and save us” by implementing regulations that seek to alter our freedoms by positioning themselves as our “guardians”. Later in his remarks, Mr. Limbaugh pointed out the importance of individual freedom in the realm of dietary choices. I knew I wanted to call the program to let Rush know there are those of us who might consider ourselves “food activists” in a sense and yet do not seek to force our views and dietary decisions on others. We seek to educate and, in some cases, advocate for change in government activities.

Think about whether or not you are in favor of laws banning the sale of raw milk. And note how government subsidies of the corn industry change the marketplace and consider those ramifications. Then there was the recent story of the pre-school girl whose homemade lunch (turkey and cheese sandwich, chips, banana and apple juice) was inspected and deemed unsatisfactory by school officials. This child was forced to purchase the “more nutritious” school lunch which consisted of chicken nuggets! Regardless of your personal views of her homemade lunch, do you really want the government mandating what a child must be fed? Adherents of the paleo diet choose not to eat grains. Do you really like the prospect of the government forcing you to feed your child “whole grains” because it is supposedly “healthier”? I certainly do not!

It is a freedom issue, pure and simple. Continue reading

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