FOOD

Is Your Phone More Important Than Your Food?

I thought something is wrong with me. I don’t know if you ever got that feeling, but maybe you did. Here’s what happened.

I was standing in the vegetable section of the supermarket. I needed to buy tomatoes. Actually, I don’t like going to the supermarket. Everyone is stressed out and I feel like only a few people actually care what they buy. Additionally, I feel like a weirdo when I literally read every label on every product just out of curiosity.

Also, there are too many choices. The Paradox of Choice is a thing, remember? In this particular situation, there was only one decision I had to make: organic or not organic. Now in case you’ve never been to Germany, food prices are extremely low. I think they are among the lowest in Western Europe, which actually tells you a lot about the value of food in the society.

I don’t know the exact values, but it was something like non-organic tomatoes were 2.00€ per Kilo, while organic tomatoes were 3.50 or 4.00€ per kilo.

“Well”, I thought to myself, “this is a no-brainer, just take the cheap ones and get out of here.” Gladly the health conscious part of my brain kicked in. “Wait a second, are you sure? Non-organic? Why is that even an option?”

While it felt like I was standing in front of the shelf for 15 minutes, the “two parts” of my brain started to argue.

“Get the cheap ones! You’re a student!”,

“No, you want to live healthy, don’t support this crappy mass food production industry!”

Back and forth, back and forth until the health conscious part of my brain pulled out the killer argument:

“You’re standing here with a phone in your pocket that’s worth hundreds of euros, but you don’t want to spend two additional euros on organic tomatoes? Screw you!”

Nothing left to say.

The health part of my brain was right and I took the organic tomatoes. But why did I even need to think about that?

I don’t understand it. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way, but actually, I don’t hope so.

The phone in my pocket is worth hundreds of euros, but at the same time, I didn’t want to spend 2.00 additional euros on organic tomatoes? It just made no sense.

Now, this issue didn’t leave me alone. I just didn’t get it, so I did some long thinking, some really long thinking.

Let’s recap: Most of us carry phones and other gadgets for hundreds of dollars, we wear shoes and clothes that are cheaply made and still cost a small fortune, but when it comes to food we want to spend as little as possible. Why is that? In my opinion, it comes down to three main things.

1) We don’t see immediate results of quality food. 

The main problem with “investments in your health” or basically anything in the so-called “self-improvement” area is that there are no immediate results.

You can’t eat a couple of organic vegetables, and instantly feel healthy.
You can’t do breathing exercises, and instantly feel more relaxed.
You can’t go to bed earlier one time and expect perfect sleep.

It simply doesn’t work this way.

On the other hand, when you buy a new phone or a pair of shoes, you see the impact almost instantly. Your phone is faster and has more functions and your shoes are newer and more stylish.

You might get compliments on both of them. Did you ever get a compliment because you bought organic food? Unlikely.

Sadly, those impacts don’t last for a long time. After a week or two, we got used to the speed of the new phone and probably we don’t like the look of the shoes anymore.

Things that come fast won’t last.

You don’t have to stop buying new things, but maybe the next you want to buy something on the one hand or try something new with your health, on the other hand, two thoughts might pop up.

No.1: “Do I really NEED this new gadget or do I just DESIRE it for now? Can I wait for a couple of more days? Or do I have to buy it at all?

No.2: I know the impacts of better sleep/food/etc. won’t come immediately, but maybe I’ll try to stick with it for a few days/weeks and see what happens.

If one of these two thoughts pop into your head you’ve made a big step towards more awareness in your life.

2) We don’t know if expensive food is better than the cheap food. 

Unless you’re working in a specific industry, you don’t know the exact value of what you’re buying. Whether it’s food, clothes or furniture.

I like to buy quality that lasts, but I don’t know enough about every industry I buy in, so I have to trust external sources. One example of these external sources are labels.

The organic label basically suggests that this vegetable is better than the non-organic vegetable. But how do I know? I don’t know about the country you’re living in, but in Europe, it is said that the organic label is not very strict. Producers can still use pesticides, herbicides and all the “other-cides”.

The same is true for clothing. We trust labels. But how do we know if a label stands for good quality? Is a Ralph Lauren polo shirt really worth $70 bucks, when they are sold for one-third of the price in the outlet store? I don’t know. (I don’t want to pick on any specific brand, please don’t get me wrong).

I know it’s difficult to compare clothing with food, but let’s just assume it’s possible.

Of course, it’s very subjective whether you think something is worth the cost or not. In the end, you have to decide for yourself.

The best thing you can do is to educate yourself in the areas that are important for you.

Is food important? Find out what “organic” means in your country. Maybe find a local farmer and ask him how he takes care of his animals. Are there other organic labels that are more strict?

Are clothes important? Find out where your favourite brand produces. Maybe find another brand that is transparent about its pricing. Brathwait is a good example I think.

Once you find good quality food, you will see that it not only tastes better but makes you feel better as well. And in the end, it is often not that expensive.

3) We never learned why food is so important. 

The last thing I want to mention basically starts where the second one ended: education.

In order to find things that are good for us, we need to educate ourselves. I’m not the first one to write about this and I will certainly not be the last one.

Please think back. Did anyone ever educate you on the food you eat?

What is grass-fed meat and is it really better?
Why are we eating bread all the time? Is it healthy or is it just convenient?
What are herbicides and what are they doing to your food?

If you’re lucky someone did, but I guess for most of us it was something like this:

“Because that’s they way we used to eat. No eat your cereals and don’t ask any questions!”

I’m really shocked when children’s answer to the question “Where does meat come from?” is “From the supermarket.” What happened? Are we really not that interested in our food or is this a general direction we’re moving towards to?

I’m not sure, but both options are scary. We need to take more responsibility for our life. Not only for our health but for everything else as well.

We’ve been told that we’re taken care of. There’s plenty of food in the supermarket so we don’t need to worry. Well, we do and gladly a lot of people are getting more conscious about this. Hopefully, you’re already among them.

People start to ask questions. Inconvenient questions. Questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

You should ask those questions more often. Take responsibility. You don’t need to question everything, but once in awhile ask a question that might be difficult to answer.

Food is important, don’t let anybody tell you something different. Your health is one of the most valuable things, if not the most valuable thing you possess. Don’t let somebody else take responsibility for it.

Stop looking for quick-fixes. Ask the inconvenient questions and take responsibility, at least for your own health and those of your loved ones. All the other things will follow.

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