The beginning of summer presents us with two holidays that reflect on freedom: Juneteenth, the federal holiday on June 19th that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in the US, and of course, the 4th of July.
Although our nation is far from perfect, we are afforded freedoms that billions of people around the world don’t have. Unfortunately, part of living in a free society means that our choices of what we put in our bodies is heavily dictated by the marketplace. And the marketplace is overwhelmingly filled with highly-processed food, or in other words, junk.
When only a handful of mega corporations control 99% of the food supply, it can be challenging for some people to find farm-to-fork food that’s grown without potentially-harmful pesticides, herbicides and other synthetic chemicals.
But you do have the freedom to eat healthy.
You have the freedom to consume organic, green-leafy veggies. If you don’t feel like buying them from the store and chopping them up, you even have the freedom to have organic greens cold-blended and delivered to you in juice form. Out of the 195 countries in the world, you could probably count on one hand the number of countries that offer that kind of freedom and convenience.
The consolidation of food has led to less choice when it comes to buying the most popular staples like bread and dairy. And in order to maximize profits, giant food conglomerates increase the output of crops, often at the expense of our health.
Consider the use of the weed killer, glyphosate, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labelled “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015.
Six years later, however, the Environmental Protection Agency still allows the sale and use of glyphosate for crop production.
The good news is that you have the freedom to eat organic, non-GMO, gluten-free products.
Every single day, you should maintain a practice of gratitude, especially for having the freedom to eat whatever you want to and how much you want to. Nearly 9 percent of the world’s population is food insecure. That’s roughly 690 million people. And it’s not getting better; worldwide, hunger is on the rise.
But having the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want can of course backfire, with serious health consequences.
On this 4th of July, think about having the freedom not to eat whatever you want and whenever you want, but having the freedom to eat for gut health.
A key factor in eating for gut health involves eating sparingly, no more than three times a day. Frequent snacking is a freedom. One that the government shouldn’t try to eliminate. But frequent snacking in my opinion isn’t a freedom, it’s an unnecessary indulgence that can cause a long laundry list of health problems such as SIBO.
Thankfully, as of 2018, with passage of the Hemp Farm Act, you now have the freedom in all 50 states to consume cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating chemical in the hemp plant. Long overdue, the Hemp Farm Act removed CBD from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of schedule 1 controlled substances, the same class as LSD, ecstasy and marijuana.
But did you know you have the freedom to eat foods that activate the body’s internal cannabinoid system? That’s the same system that’s activated by cannabinoids like CBD and THC, the main chemical in marijuana? The internal (or endo-) cannabinoid system helps the body get back to balance.
All over the world, even in the most repressed societies, people enjoy a stiff adult beverage from time to time. Unfortunately, alcoholism is a worldwide concern, with over 3 million deaths worldwide attributed to alcohol abuse. That’s over 5 percent of all deaths caused by alcohol! But you have the freedom to mocktails instead of cocktails. Just as delicious without the potential for abuse.
You also have the freedom to drink low-sugar smoothies and shakes.
As the saying goes, freedom’s never free. While you may have to pay a little more for healthier food, in the long run, having the freedom to eat healthy is far less expensive than paying out of pocket for medical bills caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices.