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Daily Connect: How to Save a Trillion Dollars
Submitted by Lani on Thu, 4/14/2011, 3:40pm
Wanna save a trillion dollars? Start with the most elementary consumer choice of all...what you put in your mouth.
Yay Mark Bittman for his MUST-READ "How to Save a Trillion Dollars" on the NYTimes.com Opinionator blog. What's been preached in my family's kitchen for years by my mother, and recently adopted by myself, Abby (the fiancee), and now Abby's mom, is finally getting beyond the health blog niche and into a more mainstream news source. Please, don't run away because this is about diet and health/wellness. I'm not the type to preach about a specific diet or lifestyle (in fact, I'm not purely plant-based vegan like the rest of my crew), but this article explores, in my opinion, a lifestyle that wouldn't just be beneficial for some people...This...well, this IT, people.
"For the first time in history, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and others kill more people than communicable ones. Treating these diseases — and futile attempts to “cure” them — costs a fortune, more than one-seventh of our GDP.
But they’re preventable, and you prevent them the same way you cause them: lifestyle. A sane diet, along with exercise, meditation and intangibles like love prevent and even reverse disease. A sane diet alone would save us hundreds of billions of dollars and maybe more."
And a sane diet for Mark Bittman = plant-based (think a la Dr. Fuhrman, although not mentioned in the article). Eating a plant-based diet doesn't just reverse disease, healing an obese, suffering society, but shifts the way we grow and develop food to more sustainable and local practices. Something that can save your life, the environment and the economy? No joke. This isn't unicorns in the sky people. If the fact that "Lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and others kill more people than communicable ones" doesn't shock you into submission, perhaps the fact that a scientifically-proven plant-based diet that will reverse these "lifestyle" diseases AND save you and your fellow citizens some serious green will. I mean saving your body is one thing, but how about saving the financial stability of our precious lil' old political union?:
"Treating these diseases - and futile attempts to "cure" them - costs a fortune, more than one seventh of our GDP....The best way to combat diet-related diseases is to change what we eat. And if our thinking is along the lines of diet improved = deficit reduced, so much the better. If a better diet were to result only in a 10 percent decrease in heart disease (way lower than Ludwig believes possible), that’s $100 billion project savings per year by 2030."
I gotta say, it's scary to start shifting the way one looks at food (as a source of nutrition, rather than as a luxury or a comfort). Almost anyone I've mentioned my dietary lifestyle to has almost immediately said, "Oh, that sounds nice, but I could never not eat ___" (insert hamburgers, chicken, cheese, sugar, etc). Don't get me wrong, as I write this, I could eat some mac & cheese. But after many hours of research and a lot of soul searching, I believe that taking most meat and dairy out of my diet, and having 75% of my foods each day be vegetables and fruits actually saves my life, my future children's, my planet and my country. Too ambitious? Too good to be true? This is actually one time I really don't think so.
Happy Thursday loves. Happy Thursday.
And don't forget the meditation! (Ha!)
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by Alison G