Awwww... it feels really great to be back into the blogging swing of things. After taking a good long sabbatical (got married this summer, yeah!), I am back with more fire and enthusiasm than ever. I have so many juicy ideas to post about, but today, I have decided to confront a recent infuriating experience that involved (and still does) me, my choice in lifestyle and the mainstream media.
To give you some context, a few months ago, I was asked by a co-worker to participate in a raw food support group that she hosts once a month. This is a safe and supportive place for our clients and others that are either raw foodist, in the health industry, or interested in any of the above to come and share/ask/tell and educate one another about the raw food lifestyle. This particular meeting was unique because the ABC show 20/20 was coming to film our group for an upcoming episode on raw foods. Being a health writer for FOX News myself, I thought how wonderful that the mainstream media wants to do a report on raw foods and its healing effects on people like ourselves. How naive of me!
The experience of being taped was pleasant enough and quite comfortable. They let us say what we wanted to say and even bought us a bunch of raw food from a local raw restaurant. The man (I forget his name) who was representing 20/20 even tried some and was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Our support group had a wide variety of our clients represented, all of whom have directly benefited from eating raw foods and have even cured themselves of various illnesses such as candida, cancer, cysts, sever digestive issues. They spoke about their recoveries and how raw foods is more than just what they eat, but truly a lifestyle of natural health and personal responsibility.
We also discuss the effort in being a raw foodist, considering that most of the world lives in a fast-food prepared mentality of quarterpounders and fries and considers an "energy bar" or popping vitamins a meal.
I personally talked about how preparing my food each day as a raw foodist can take hours, but in the same breath how it took me about the same amount of time if not more to make my meals when I was eating cooked foods. I mentioned that when one takes control of their health you can feel a bit isolated and at times make you feel aware of your lifestyle choices non-stop.
When I watched the 20/20 episode I was APPALLED by the way in which they construed, manipulated and sensationalized the raw foods lifestyle. Rather than focusing on how raw foods has a healing effect on people, they choose to focus on two individuals that were not our clients, and were extreme cases of what one can experience if they are not educated on how to properly transition to a raw foods diet. These people were very emaciated physically and clearly very sick. Flash back to our group and you see 12 very glowing, strong, athletic happy individuals that look quite "normal." ( I would rather say well above average :)
John Stossel, 20/20's right wing host, compared our healing, well informed and healthy support group to two emaciated individuals that have been coined as "Orthorexics" or people that are so obsessed with health they are unhealthy. He made it seem as though anyone who eats raw food has Orthorexia and is slowly killing themselves due to this kind of modern eating disorders. His comments where misguided and misinformed, his cunning attitude not only made raw foods seem like a "crazy" and dangerous idea.
I felt like I was watching a bad Reality TV show or one of those Entertainment Tonight deals. The quick camera cuts from one person to another, with only half of their thoughts included so that everything is taken out of context and sound outlandish was very effective on Stossel's part. He captured exactly what he wanted: Extremes - consciously creating the response he wanted: Fear.
It has just been a day and a half and already my in-laws in Nebraska have called and said many of their friends saw me on TV and hope I am not ever going to get as ill and skinny as the main guest are. I have had people in NYC that don't even know me see me on the street and ask me about it and what kind of "group" I am apart of as though we are terrorists or something!
Although only about 3 lines of my entire interview made the cut, they were spliced and edited in such a way that made me and my group seem like were were just as mentally and physically as sick as the main featured guest.
This experience is not just my own it is yours too and happening every day, every minute. As soon as we turn on our TVs, radios and open the newspaper, we are getting a very manipulated and consciously construed version of someone with some power's idea of reality to keep the dumb (i.e., you and me) dumber/dazed/confused, and more importantly scared, and the fat rich guy, fatter, richer and more secure at the top.
I find this utterly disgusting, sad and damaging.
But ultimately it is an invitation. It is a invitation for us to get fired up, outraged and to leave our comfort zones and find our voices individually and collectively. One of the beauties of raw foods, when consumed smartly, which of course they did not mention once in the show, is the fact that eating this way gives you mental clarity, does not numb you from seeing and feeling the truth like many cooked processed foods do, and gives you more energy to use than hours in the day.
I invite all raw foodist and non-raw foodist that have a healthy and educated lifestyle they adhere to to get up and take a stand for your rights and lifestyle choices!
The way our civil liberties have been taken away during these past few years, I would not put it passed the current administration to start dictating what one can and can not eat and what is government accepted "food." Trust me it won't be green leafy veggies, ripe fruits, avocados, nuts/seeds, healthy oils and green juices!