Staying connected and updated on all things food and nutrition is my job. One that I love but also one that becomes incredibly taxing at times—there is far more nonsense and noise than anyone can possibly bare.
Consider senseless media about Beyonce’s new investment in Watermelon Water; I guess she realized that Pepsi was passé? Glad she finally caught on! How about the Reducatarian movement—vegetarians who sometimes eat bacon? For goodness sakes! And don’t you just love "super foods"—something new every month meant to remedy your edible woes? Do you go to Chipotle or don’t you? I don’t mean to hit them when they are down but they really forked up with their food poisoning debacle and apparently are still in denial according to the CDC. Speaking of which, their slogan, “food with integrity” leads me to all of this trendy food labeling lingo from “pastured” to “humanely raised” which basically means nothing unless verified by a third party.
To add insult to injury, you have medical doctors with newfound healthy eating halos trying to push some form of dietary regimen your way promising a miracle (sensations sell books!). And my absolute favorite—the food and nutrition non-experts posing as diet gurus. Will it ever STOP? Hand me a drink! Or better yet hook me up to an IV of vodka to numb the pain (just joking).
It seems that I am not alone in my thinking—in terms of the prevalence of food and nutrition bogosity. Two trusted sources hit the nail on the head: The Science That Will Make You Question Everything About Weight Loss by notable food journalist Tom Philpott; and Sensational Studies from Nutrition Action Newsletter compliments of Center for Science in the Public Interest. Both will make you doubt everything you think you know and trust about what you watch on television and read about these hot topic areas. Bottom line, The Biggest Loser is a big farce (imagine that) and Chigaco Tribune’s article, “Junk food and Soda Aren’t to Blame for Obesity Researchers Say” was only one example of how the media took a highly flawed study and blew it out of proportion to appease corporate interests. Go figure!
But rather than continuing to nauseate (and confuse) you, I want to give you the tools to navigate this ever present nonsense. A reader once asked me, “Stefanie, how does anyone know who and what to trust these days?” Great question. So here are my THREE life hacking tips (hopefully many of these are obvious):
1. Don’t pick up a glossy magazine (or embrace sensationalized broadcast media) for any real information on food and nutrition unless it comes from someone with a high level of credibility and integrity (hard to come by).
2. Don’t buy into diet books, especially those from non-experts. They are mostly a bunch of empty promises that set you up for failure.
Instead, seek books written by true experts in the field (with letters after their names) who aim to guide you on how to make realistic changes in your food choice for sustainable health and wellbeing.
3. Don’t disregard health concerns. If you are unwell, seek comprehensive support from highly credentialed health professionals.
Find an integrative medical and/or nutrition expert (one with an RD or advanced degree in nutrition like an MS or PhD) that can collaborate in your care. Never forget, that when you are choosing a practitioner to work with, you are interviewing them for a job! Some great resources to find those practitioners are American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine and Integrative RD.
After pondering this topic for quite sometime, what I realize is that I wrote What The Fork to hopefully cut through this nonsense, set the record straight about food and food choice and give readers the tools to be their own health advocates at the edible interface. Everyone has a different starting point that must be honored. All I ask is that you are open to a real #EdibleEduction as that will be your foundation for sustainable health!
To stay connected (I LOVE hearing from you), follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And tune in to Stirring the Pot™ radio here or catch it on Hamptons local NPR, WPPB 88.3 FM Thursdays at 5:30pm with an encore Saturday at 10:30am.