Last month, Congress repealed the country-of-origin-labeling rule (COOL) on beef and pork after the World Trade Organization (WTO) insisted it was done, imposing 1 billion in tariffs against the US if it didn’t comply.
COOL used to mandate labels on packaging to indicate the country (or countries) where the meat animal was born, raised and slaughtered. On the plus side, though beef and pork will no longer have to comply with COOL rules, chicken and lamb must still be labeled.
Unfortunately, the US attempted to fight the change, but failed.
“Effective immediately, USDA is not enforcing the COOL requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement, adding that consumers should still feel safe knowing that “all imported and domestic meat will continue to be subject to rigorous inspections by USDA to ensure food safety.”
How does this affect our food?
Now that we will not know the country of origin of the meats, I decided to check out some local farms where I live in New Jersey to find out exactly what this means for our collective health.
Well, turns out that it means we are not going to know if the meat or chickens we buy in our grocery stores come from China, Europe or India.
But what about health standards? And what does this mean as far as organic food?
Our standards here in the United States can be much different then the standard in China.
This is a very scary thought for me as we don’t know what they are doing and how they are raising their animals.
Personally, I just felt that it would be much safer coming from the US.
But maybe not.
It turns out that I might have been wrong. You see, after I decided to start investigating local farms, some shocking truths were revealed.
Even though I do not eat meat, I really wanted to help my clients make better choices and start some relationships with the local farms. Well, I was in for a really big surprise! You won’t believe what I found.
This Shocking Secret Was Revealed When I Visited the Poultry Farms
Every poultry farm I visited, it turns out, is using GMO grains of corn and soy – and they are charging 3 times the price of even Organic-Certified chickens and turkeys from Whole Foods.
So you want to lose weight, but you don’t want to be miserable in the process. I feel you! And I’ve got good news for you. It can be done, but it’s not necessarily going to be a cakewalk (pun totally intended).
Here’s how you do it: you re-program your brain. You “re-wire” it so that it believes that it PREFERS the food you NEED to eat to lose weight.
This means that you need to teach your body to WANT the foods you need to eat to get the healthy body you really desire.
But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, am I right?
Well, why is that? Let’s take a look at some recent statistics that might give us an idea.
A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough vegetables.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 14% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit.
The CDC also notes that less than than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
So how do you overcome those kinds of statistics?
Now, don’t fall over when I say this, because it’s the truth, and if you are willing to make it happen, you CAN, despite how impossible it seems.
Here it is: If you’re going to beat the odds, you may need to rewire your brain so you crave broccoli more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them.
I’m not going to lie to you. There are so many healthy foods I really love – but it’s not because they’re healthy (though, to be honest, that doesn’t hurt my opinion). The reason I love healthy food at all is the same reason I love unhealthy food – because it tastes good.
In the course of losing 100 pounds and keeping it of for the last nearly 4 years (so far), I learned to sort of “trick” my body into actually preferring healthy good. So how’d I do that? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The Mind-Body Trick to Make Your Body Beg for Healthy Foods
Take a look at these suggestions for changing the way you think and eat and let me know what you think in the comments.
Weight Loss Hack: Change Your Mind
1. Remember your purpose. Focus on why you want to eat nutritious whole foods. Cutting down on empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and you may even save on medical bills.
2. Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on corn chips is worth the consequences. Would your future self be better off if you snacked on baby carrots?
3. Study nutrition. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.
4. Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.
5. Focus on nonedible rewards. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by watching a movie or spending time with friends.
6. Enlist support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.
Weight Loss Hack: Intentional Diet Tweaks to Reprogram Your Cravings
1. Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil. Personally, I cannot say enough good things about coconut oil.
2. Hunt for bargains. Maybe the high price of some superfoods is dampening your enthusiasm. Shop for seasonal produce or grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.
3. Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.
4. Branch out. If kale and iceberg are starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna.
5. Try new recipes. Get busy and Google it – or sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner. A lot of grocery stores offer cooking classes.
6. Carry your own snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.
6. Make it convenient. The foods we crave are often the ones that require minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.
Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you. You feel me?