My Food Awakening

In June of 2017, I was moved to a Supply Chain Modeling role, where I focused on saving money in the ExxonMobil Lubricants global supply chain. I was amazed at how far some of the raw materials and final products travelled to fulfill customer needs.

During this time, my co-worker, who happened to be an MIT alum, told me about the documentary “What the Health.” She was so moved by the information in the documentary and strongly recommended that I view it.

What the Health helped me to realize the shortcuts being taken in the food industry. I learned how companies spend money to make us think we are eating healthy, but in reality the picture is very different.

Watching “What the Health” opened my eyes to practices in the meat industry that were completely unknown to me. I had no idea that the meat and dairy industries funded the research around dietary guidelines in the US. I didn’t know that major meat and processed food companies funded research for non-profits like the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association, all while their products were linked to the causes of these diseases. I had no idea that American eating habits were the leading cause of (painful) death, and that these habits were spreading around the globe.

Very shortly after watching this documentary, I had dinner with family friends. My friend’s dad, an Olympic track coach, showed me a book called Healing with Whole Foods. The book was basically a textbook – it’s over 700 pages long and is mostly words. When I asked him if I could borrow it, he told me I could, but that I should be careful because “once you read it, you won’t be able to go back.” I laughed him off and started to read. I wasn’t finished with the book when I returned a month later around Christmas, but by then I knew exactly what he meant.

My friend Kayla’s dad introduced me to the book that changed my life! It’s safe to say that family knows a lot of athletes 😀

By reading Healing with Whole Foods, I learned about how our body is attacked by refined foods that are so common in the “Standard American Diet” (SAD). Refined flour, sugar, salt, oils and fats, grains, legumes, and more were created to make cooking more convenient, but their incomplete form attacks the body in ways that sounded so familiar once I read about them. I started to eat a plant-based diet, and my life changed almost immediately. My awareness practices became deeper and easier, I lost excess weight on my body, and I was able to recover from exercise and injuries much faster.

Healing with Whole Foods combines Eastern and Western traditions to explain food in a holistic way. I am glad I had some experience with Eastern thinking through Zen practice, because that allowed me to receive the information in this book much more openly.

After that, I read books like Fast Food Nation, Salt Sugar Fat, and How Not to Die. These continued to open my eyes to the manipulative practices of the meat, dairy, and processed food industries. I began to see food very differently. I realized that it was extremely hard to find a meal that didn’t have something refined or processed in it.

Comment: Have any of you read these books or seen these films? If so, what impression did they make on you? What books and films changed the way you view your food?

Tune back in next week to hear about the start and growth of Bloom!

Published by Chester Chambers

MIT grad with a mission to make the best veggie burger in the world

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