Kelli and I are back in the US of A. Wow. After being overseas for four months (seven total, but we did come back for a two-week stint in February), it is a strange feeling to be back. Great timing, though. Being here for the 4th of July is always something special. We hope you had a great day as well.
We’ve chosen not to return to Utah, where we’ve spent the last 30 years, but are looking for other opportunities and lifestyles in other places. Right now we are in Southern California, drawn here by a conversation with an attractive employment opportunity in Santa Monica. A few more days here and we’re going to head south to the country of Texas to see what lies in store for us there.
One thing that is amazing to us as we settle back in here is our unlimited ability to choose…especially when it comes to food. In America we have created some of the worst food known to man, and we’ve spread that garbage to other cultures as well. However, in America, when you want it and look for it, you can find the absolute best (meaning healthy) food options in the world.
Granted, it is SoCal, which we realize is an anomaly. But even in Utah we could go to an organic store and find healthy alternatives that we just couldn’t find in any of the countries we visited. Costa Rica has organic produce starting to hit the market, but that’s it. In New Zealand and Australia there are entire stores dedicated to the organic lifestyle, and they’re actually quite impressive, but the product selection pales when compared to a Good Earth store in Salt Lake City.
We’ve enjoyed being here in the capital of the alternative food movement, where we actually have a discussion about which organic wholefoods restaurant to eat at any time we eat out. We have a number of grocery stores to choose from, and there’s even a raw foods buying club offering products we’ve only read about. We’re sipping on organic coconut kefir, eating incredible raw food wraps, buying raw but warmed chia seed oatmeal for breakfast, and finding everything a health-conscious consumer could ever want for his or her pantry.
Ubud (Bali) had an amazing concentration of healthy restaurants, but of course the grocery aisles are a tiny fraction of what is found here.
Here’s another thing we’re loving: educational presentations focused on healthy eating. Our second night in town we were invited to a lecture by Donna Gates, founder of the Body Ecology company and diet. Honestly, and maybe embarrassingly, this was the first time Kelli and I had heard of her. But the people we were going with assured us that we would like what she had to say.
It was in fact one of the most enlightening lectures we have been to. Gates has done an amazing amount of research to come up with her approach, and she presented in a very easy to understand, absorbable way. Almost everything she said rang true to us with everything we’ve read by functional M.D.’s and PhD researchers. We’ve never really been sold on the food combining concept, and a majority of her talk was dedicated to fermented vegetables, which is an area we’re not well versed in yet.
But what we learned was interesting enough that we bought her book to get a better idea of where she’s coming from. I’m only a fifth of the way into it, so I can’t give it our thumbs up or down yet, but so far I’m really enjoying it and could see recommending it to people both familiar with and new to the concept of food for health. If you want to take a look at it yourself, go to bodyecology.com.
My point in all this is that for all the things wrong with the American food system, there really is no better place to be when you’re trying to shop for healthy alternatives for your family. Yes, I wish we had laws on our books like Australia and New Zealand that forbid GMO crops. I wish we would change our farm subsidy programs, the production of nasty chemical food additives, and the revolving door between the FDA and conspiring corporations. It would be nice if our food culture was based on home cooked meals using fresh ingredients like most of the rest of the world.
Despite our challenges there really is a lot of good going on here that deserves some celebration. After a dinner of veggies and kim chi last night, and a breakfast smoothie made with leafy greens and fermented coconut water, I’m giving a tip of my hat to the amazing people in this country fighting to make important changes to the way America eats. We’ll get this ship turned around sooner than later.
P.S. We have some exciting news. We have been working with an organic foods supplier and have found a way to offer healthy food options to all of our subscribers through an online store. We are just about done building it, so watch for our grand opening announcement in the next week or so!