Smoke Signals for HEALTH!
Ahem (that’s me clearing my throat)…I would like to have your attention. What, hold on a minute…let me hoist myself up onto my soapbox. Okay, great, I now have my proper platform in which to spout my health insights for the day. Today is a a particularly political health aha, but I will not pretend that this Unexpected Health education is my own inspiration. Because, after watching the movie, Food, Inc., I discovered the Unexpected Health in…tobacco.
Let me first start by saying that I in no way think there is anything healthy about tobacco. You don’t need to be a health educator to know the detrimental effects tobacco has on everyone in smoking or sniffing vicinity. Ever read the warning label on a pack of smokes? Not healthy. But the Unexpected Health found stuffed in a canister of chew or rolled into a cigarette is that we as consumers and movers and shakers took back the power these big time tobacco corporations once had, demanding that tobacco be labeled, marketed, and accurately priced for the deadly product they are…and consumer consciousness is abundantly healthy.
Movies like Food, Inc., are so powerful. I had the opportunity to read many of the books from the authors that appeared (and co-produced) that movie during my Master’s program. But my program was very small. And to be honest, there are few Undergraduate or Graduate programs like the one I attended. So to have national (maybe global) exposure about food and where our food comes from is monumental in the holistic health field..and for enlightenment–the health–of all of us on the planet.
But one of the most powerful bits of inspiration I took away from that movie was the correlation between the food industry and the tobacco industry. At one time, companies like Philip Morris produced goods that were (and still are) killing people without the warning of its product’s lethal consequences. But we changed that. We ‘whistle blowers’ made enough waves to elicit positive–healthFUL–changes in the tobacco industry forever. Well, we are faced with another multi-national, deadly industry that is dictating our food supply, driving up costs of health promoting food while driving down costs of junk food. But history has this brilliant little nugget of inspiration that should prompt us to roll up our sleeves and flex our consumer muscles once again. If we could relinquish power from one harmful corporation, we can do it again!
In Food, Inc., one of the big-wig buyers for Wal Mart gave us the most healthFUL information about what they stock their store shelves with: WHATEVER THE CONSUMER DEMANDS! What this translates to is that the more we demand health-promoting, life enhancing, and earth loving foods and products, the more we will get them. As we become conscious consumers, we invite health into our world and onto our dinner plates. So the next time you say to yourself, “What can I do?,” try a little Google search about Philip Morris. They continue to pay for the misleading information–the dis-ease–they were spreading through our world. It is time to stand up for health: the health of humans, the health of animals, and the health of this world. We can each make a monumental difference…one shopping list at a time. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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