In light of not having pictures and also being pressed for time, I just wanted to share a little story with you guys that you might find inspiring. When I was home last weekend, I went to the Taste of Buffalo with my boyfriend, Steve. The Taste of Buffalo is America’s second largest food festival in the nation! Pretty impressive huh? So obviously I was psyched to be home that weekend so I could go and stuff my face This food festival has vendors from over 50 different restaurants with more than 13 types of ethnic food and they compete for awards of different categories. It’s always fun to walk around and see what the restaurant stands are offering, what people are eating, and picking out what you’re going to eat!
This year was a little different from what I remember in years past. This year, every restaurant vendor had to offer one designated healthy choice item out of its 3 items offered. The healthy choice had to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. I was so excited to see this happening in Buffalo, a city which unfortunately makes the list for cities in America with high obesity rates. This inspired me that here is just a little example of change happening but really is a BIG example of the trends happening all over this country! More and more restaurants are displaying nutrition information, farmer’s markets are increasing in numbers, and people are demanding organic food. This experience served as a reminder for myself, that you know what, we ARE moving in the RIGHT direction people! I believe that as time goes on, more and more people will become aware of the importance of nutrition and wellness.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee 2010 recently released a report on recommendations for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published every five years. These guidelines provide information to the public on dietary habits and physical activity in order to promote good health and reduce risk of chronic disease. This year, the report recognized and addressed the barriers that our society faces to achieving good health. They therefore recommended that changes need to be made to the food environment to facilitate Americans achieving proper nutrition. One specific suggestion was to encourage restaurants and food companies to offer healthy choices, which I experienced first hand at the Taste of Buffalo!
It’s so inspiring to see small, positive changes happening around you. I want to leave on this note. Sometimes, I find myself blaming the food industry for America’s obesity epidemic. But then I remind myself that WE, as a people, ARE EMPOWERED to change the society we live in. If we demand healthier options, we’re gonna see them. If we want more local and organic options, we got it. Extra farmer’s markets? Sure! It’s all about demand in the business world, and if businesses see a demand for these things, they are going to sell them (ultimately to make money). But as an added bonus, we improve upon our health as a society and the food industry can then sleep more soundly at night knowing they helped us out.
What do you think? Do YOU think WE can make a difference in our food environment?!
Peace, love, and food,