I have a few different ideas I want to share with you under the topic of teaching our children well. I may not get through all of them today, but there is one that must be mentioned, first and foremost.
There is a large majority of parents in United States who contribute daily to their children’s shorter life span. Through poor diet, excessive mechanical and technological stimulation, and sedentary lifestyle, the next generation of Americans will actually live fewer years than the current generation. On top of that, those fewer years will be plagued with health issues ranging from diabetes to heart disease to hypertension to asthma, greatly reducing the quality of life the next generation will experience. I think this topic is frightening and disturbing, and I see it as a prime opportunity to address a social phenomenon that absolutely must be changed.
I recently watchedthis videofrom Jamie Oliver, a chef who is trying to do his part to change the way this culture exists. The clip is about 25 minutes long, and I strongly encourage you to watch it in it’s entirety. I believe the information presented by Mr. Oliver is important and relevant to the everyday life of the average American, and I believe addressing the topic of children’s health is a conversation that any responsible parent should be involved in.
One of the most basic human needs is the requirement of sustenance. We must put fuel into our bodies so we can have energy to function. The more efficient and the more effective our fuel sources are, the higher our levels of general health, and the higher our levels of energy will be. The opposite scenario also holds true. If the fuel we put in our bodies is of poor quality, our bodies will not function optimally. In modern times, the most simple example of this principle is the contrast between natural and processed foods.
By natural, I mean any product which exists in nature and can be consumed in it’s natural state. Fruits and veggies are obvious, but you can also include seed, nuts, and natural meats like seafood and venison.
By processed, I mean anything that exists as an amalgamation of other products created or invented by modern humans. Most breakfast cereals, microwave dinners, candy products and snack foods, fit into this category. One may go so far as to say the same for most meat products found in grocery stores, as they are “created” by combining genetically modified corn products, hormones, and pharmaceutical products.
Because these processed products dominate the food market of the United States, they make up a large portion of the food “average” American parents feed their “average” American children. We are slowly killing ourselves with every bite we swallow.
Our opportunity for revolution should be obvious. Reducing the lifespan of our species goes against evolution, and it goes against the spirit of humanity. Allowing this travesty to befall our children goes against logic and reason. What baffles me most, (and strangely, what encourages me most), is the fact that this problem is preventable.
As parents and responsible adults, it is our duty to educate ourselves about where our food comes from and how our food is created or produced. It is our duty to be the filter between corporate food advertisements and our children, ensuring we minimize their exposure to sideways marketing schemes designed to entice them into the evils of consumerism. It is our duty to put in the effort of preparing meals from scratch, involve our children in the cooking process, and teach them about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. It is our duty to encourage our children to develop a relationship with their natural environment; first, so they will have some idea of how important it is to maintain a healthy land base that will provide food in a sustainable way; and second, so they develop a love of engaging their environment, living physically, and actively pursuing holistic health and fitness.
The solution to this problem is simple, and requires a relatively small effort on our part. It is possible to create effective changes and see results in our lifetime. The consequences of our inaction will be a horrible inheritance for our children, and if your kids are anything like mine, they deserve better than that.
Until next time…Peace.Tobias.