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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Friendly Neighborhood Produce Man

Some time ago I was invited to be a panelist for a men’s health forum. Heart health and nutrition were the main topics and as such weight loss was discussed. Weight loss and a low fat diet have long been regarded as key nutrition interventions for a healthy heart. One man in the audience shared his experience with weight loss while working in an Africa country.

There, he explained, it was easy to eat healthy because readily available fresh fruits and vegetables were and part of every meal. As a result of having worked in that environment for a number of months he pointed out that weight loss was easy. He noted that he lost a considerable amount of weight and felt great as a result. What he said next however was quite curious.

Upon his reassignment to the states and consequently resuming the “American” diet the same fellow noted that all the weight he had lost came back and then some. The reason he gave was that fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods are just not as accessible here as they were to him there. After unfurrowing my brow I asked “Have you been to your local supermarket lately”?

Far too often the sentiments just described are espoused without question. Many in the health establishment like to pontificate on the difficulties of eating a healthy diet in our modern society. When I hear these things I have to wonder if they ever even go out of the house.

Within a few miles of my house there are five or six grocery stores with a produce sections containing hundreds of different varieties of fruits and vegetables. All I have to do is be willing to go there, pay what they are asking then bring those fresh healthy foods home to eat which I do with relative frequency. This is why I have such difficulty going along with what is routinely said regarding the availability of healthy foods in our country.

Furthermore the fruits and vegetables found in these stores is much less expensive per portion that so called “junk foods” or other choices that could be made. For example bananas the last I saw were 69 cents per pound putting one banana at between 25 and 30 cents.

It is always easy to complain about certain circumstances and glamorize how they would be better somewhere else. That is the essence of the saying how green the grass is beyond the fence. In terms of food availability and inexpensive nutrition we have it great right here at home in the good old United States. If you have a doubt about that pay a visit to your friendly neighborhood produce man.

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