The Low Crap Diet Rant

Let’s get real about what we eat … literally!

Think about the last thing you ate. Was it healthy? Organic? Low fat? Locally grown? Vitamin enriched? Zero trans fat? All natural? Sugar free? Whole grain? Gluten free?

Who cares …  really …

What I want to know is was it real? What you last put in your mouth … was it real food?

Was it prepared by human hands? Did it contain more food value than packaging? Did it consist of ingredients that grew out of the ground? Were the ingredients intact in their original form when the food was prepared?

Real food does not have food labels.
Real food will go rotten if it is not properly stored.
Real food comes with its own compostable packaging.
Real food has not been fortified. It naturally contains vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and oils.
Real food comes from a farm, not a factory.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. I’m not the first one to be talking about this subject. Hundreds of books have been written about ‘returning to real food’ since the 60s. Go back another 50 years before the flower children and guess what? … nobody had to talk about eating ‘real’ food because real food was the only food that existed! Not so long ago all food was ‘organically grown’. No worries about toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides because these atrocities did not yet exist on planet earth. Way back food ‘preservatives’ came in the form of drying, fermenting and in cold climates freezing outside during winter months, and more recently home canning, pickling, and household freezers.

Where did we go wrong? When did we start treating food as a commodity rather than a basic human right? Why do we allow marketers to tell us that a concoction of dried corn mush laced with glucose and preservatives is part of a healthy breakfast? Who decided it was ok to feed cow parts to cows? Why are we so afraid of breast milk? Why do our dogs and cats eat better than our children? And why … please tell me why … do we insist on wrapping everything in plastic, foil, tin, cardboard and cellophane?

Your body deserves more than protein in the form of a sweetened white powder! Your children deserve more than cellophane wrapped snacks that don’t rot even after being in a land fill for 40 years. Take a look at your cupboards, fridge and shopping cart. Just because a food label says a product is organic or trans-fat free doesn’t mean that it is health enhancing. Take a look at your garbage can and recycling bin. Just because you recycle pop bottles, tin cans and cardboard doesn’t mean that your body benefited from ingesting their contents.

Its time we realize that satisfying cravings and satiating hunger is not why we eat. Our bodies are biological, organic, and finely tuned. They require a daily source of intact, unadulterated, pure, life enhancing substances to perform the thousands of processes that keep us in good health. Our bodies are energized by real food. Our bodies are repaired by real food. Our bodies resist aging when fed real food.

Let’s use common sense when it comes to feeding ourselves and our families. Science only knows what has been studied, and most studies are done for marketing purposes. In other words we don’t know what we don’t know and everything always changes. Eating real food is a good fall-back position for getting our health and our lives back on track.

We’re all in this together. What I eat affects you as much as it does me. If we all cut at least some of the crap from our diet, it is very likely that we will all feel better, be less cranky, have more energy, cut down on health care costs, and enjoy a less polluted planet.

That’s enough incentive for me! How about you?

So now that I’ve got that rant over with … if you are ready to get real about what you eat; if you are ready to adopt a low crap diet; put down that cola, squeeze an organic orange into a glass of mineral water and read on to learn how to get started.

What is the ‘Crap’ of a Low Crap Diet?

Crap is a slang word referring to garbage, junk, and litter. It can also be used to describe exaggeration and propaganda.

You’ve probably used the word to express how you’re feeling the morning after a big party or to describe all the stuff in your garage. You may have even used the word to refer to a redundant project your boss has asked you to work on. The word can communicate a feeling of overwhelm when life’s details are closing in on you. And it’s a great word to use when you feel you have been treated unfairly.

Our world is full of crap:

  • unusable products (aka garbage);
  • bad ideas (aka good intentions with unforeseen consequences);
  • lack of respect for each other (aka poor manners);
  • lack of respect for our earth (aka ignorance).

At first glance, you may think that Low Crap Diet is all about what we eat. And this is true. A main focus of Low Crap Diet examines the relationship between what we eat and our health. But Low Crap Diet also takes a grander look at how our diet affects so much more than just our personal health.

So, ‘crap’, according to Low Crap Diet refers to anything that creates havoc in our bodies and/or our environment. This includes not only what we eat, but also our thoughts and actions and how we choose live in the world.

Eating a Low Crap Diet will automatically lessen the crap in our world. So if you truly want to make a difference both in your own health and the health of our earth, consider the crap in all areas of your life.

Low Crap Diet’s Mission:

"Low Crap Diet questions everything. Takes nothing for granted. Eats sacred cows. Composts century old habits. Seeds revolutionary ideas. Grows action from within …"

Really?

<ahem>

"Low Crap Diet teaches us to stop eating the packaging-rich, nutrient-challenged crap that is degrading our health and our environment."

<BOOM> 

Low Crap Diet’s Vision:

"Low Crap Diet envisions a world where prosperity created through passion and action replace greed and devastation; responsibility to community serves and protects us all; and the debate over sustainability is ancient history …"

ya that’s great … but what does it mean?

"Low Crap Diet envisions a world with less crap and more health."

... doesn't get much simpler than that!

 

Getting Started with a Low Crap Diet

To get started with a Low Crap Diet simply start eating low crap food!

There are two characteristics that define low crap food:

1. The food is as close as possible to its original form (unprocessed), and
2. The food is purchased with minimal or no packaging.

So less crap in your body usually means less crap for our earth to deal with.

Here’s an example that sums it all up:

Consider the waste produced when you eat a potato. If you purchase a potato, carry it home in a reusable bag, pop it in the oven and then eat it skin and all, the waste produced is nil.

Even if you peeled the potato (maybe you haven’t yet learned about the benefits of eating fiber), the resulting waste would be a small handful of biodegradable peelings that are easily composted. Your body will know what to do with the baked potato and the earth will know what to do with the peelings. A win-win situation!

Now consider potatoes in the form of crispy potato chips.

The ingredient list on the potato chip packaging includes potatoes, salt, sugar, flavourings and preservatives. When you consume this product, your body not only has to figure out what to do with the denatured dried and fried potatoes, but it also has to figure out how to handle all the added salt, sugar, flavourings and preservatives.

And while your body is figuring out how to do all that, the earth gets trapped helplessly under yet another non-compostable plastic/foil package.

Are you starting to get the picture?

The more layers of plastics, cardboard, foil, or tin a food product is packaged in, usually indicates how much processing that food has undergone. Now we all know that processed food is not good for us, but how often do we think about the link between the state of our environment and what’s in our kitchen?

So if you won’t stop eating processed food for your own health’s sake, maybe you will consider doing it for the earth?

Could a Low Crap Diet Heal The Earth?

I don’t know that a Low Crap Diet will actually heal the earth … I believe that only time will heal the earth. But a Low Crap Diet may lessen the destructive impact we are having on the earth, giving Mother Nature a fighting chance.

Here’s my theory on how that might work. A Low Crap Diet will have you purchasing food with a lot less packaging, such as plastics, cardboard, foil, and tin. If fewer people are purchasing these types of products, then we won’t need so many oil wells, open pit mines and clear cut logging operations. We won’t be putting so much crap into the dumpster so our landfills won’t have to be as big, and there will be fewer garbage trucks running around burning fuel to take our crap to a landfill!

What about recycling? Recycling is great, except it also involves big trucks burning fuel to take our products for recycling to far off factories which use fuel and electricity to create a usable product out of the one-time-use food packaging which then has to be shipped back to us by big trucks that burn lots of non-renewable fuel. [For a great visual of this chain of events see The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard http://www.storyofstuff.com/]

Here’s another thing. A Low Crap Diet will have you eating a whole lot of real food, which may wake up your brain cells and allow your genius to shine. Maybe it will be your newly rejuvenated brain cells that will figure out how to produce electricity without damming up rivers, burning coal, or building nuclear reactors.

When you eat a Low Crap Diet, you will influence your friends and family to also cut back on the crap they eat. This in turn will improve the level of health in our communities. Healthy people are generally more happy, creating happier communities, and making us less inclined to fight with each other. This in turn will cut back on the amount of hate in the world. And less hate in the world will inevitably result in less destruction and even an opening for us to learn from each other, share ideas and start living like the loving, compassionate beings that all the spiritual books say we already are.

Phew! Imagine all that just from eating less crap!

Low Crap Diet Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone partake in a low crap diet?

Yes.

Low Crap Diet is especially appropriate for anyone that cares about their health and the health of our earth.

If you are suffering from a chronic or acute health condition, please seek advice from your doctor or health care provider before eliminating crap from your diet. [sheesh … I can’t believe I just said that!]

Do not stop any medications or specially prescribed foods without proper medical supervision.

Is there anything to consider before starting a Low Crap Diet?

Warning:  Be aware that embracing a low crap diet may change your life as well life on earth.

A low crap diet may result in feelings of good health, happiness and self-love. A low crap diet may also affect your environment in unexpected ways, and could result in clean water, fresh air, fertile soil and fewer landfills.

Seriously though, use common sense. If you have severe food allergies, and/or you suffer from any condition that requires specialized attention to what you eat, please check with your health care provider first.

Do not stop taking any medications or specially prescribed foods without proper medical supervision.

Will I poop less when I eat a low crap diet?

(This particular question is dedicated to my dear friend who really thought I was developing a diet that cut down on toilet time.)

No. You won’t poop less on a Low Crap Diet. In fact you may even poop more, because a Low Crap Diet is low in constipation-causing-crap and high in real food based fiber … good news for my bunged up buddies.

And if you are one of those people who have intermittent unexplained excess pooping, your bathroom time may become regulated because you will no longer be eating crap that your body tries to get rid of as fast as possible.

Before we leave this question alone, there is one other thing to think about. The poop that drops in the toilet can be quickly recycled by the earth. If that wasn’t true, whenever we go for a walk in the woods, we would be up to our knees in animal droppings. Now consider what you throw in the trash bin as also being a type of poop. Unfortunately this land fill poop is much more troublesome as the earth is not able to recycle it anytime soon.

So a valid answer to “Will I poop less when I eat a Low Crap Diet?” could be “Yes”. Meaning, you will be responsible for less unrecyclable poop (aka crap) filling up our landfills.

Is a low crap diet just about what we eat?

At first glance, you may think that Low Crap Diet is all about what we eat. And this is true. A main focus of Low Crap Diet examines the relationship between what we eat and our health.

But Low Crap Diet also takes a grander look at how our diet affects so much more than just our personal health.

So, ‘crap’, according to Low Crap Diet refers to anything that creates havoc in our bodies and/or our environment. This includes not only what we eat, but also our thoughts and actions and how we choose live in the world.

Eating a Low Crap Diet will automatically lessen the crap in our world. So if you truly want to make a difference both in your own health and the health of our earth, consider the crap in all areas of your life.

10 Low Crap Habits for Conscious Citizens

If these are not regular habits of yours, don’t worry, you can easily catch up.

1. Reusable Shopping Bags. You should have a supply of reusable cloth shopping bags and keep them handy in the car, the house, and one in your suitcase. Almost all stores now sell reusable shopping bags at minimal cost so there are no excuses. On the rare occasion when you forget your bag, use your purse, or arms, or ask for a paper bag (its easier to grow a tree then to clean the ocean of plastic; besides trees produce oxygen, plastics produce toxins.) Don’t limit reusable bags to groceries – also use them for clothes purchases, drug store purchases and other shopping excursions.

2. Reusable Coffee Mug. This is especially important if you purchase take out coffee daily. You should by now own one or more reusable mug that is kept handy and clean. Purchase mugs with closable, leak proof lids, that won’t drip the last few drops into your backpack or purse. If your reusable mugs are sitting in the back of a cupboard, dig them out and place them on the table by the door so one is always handy to grab as you run out the door. And don’t be shy; proudly hand over your personal mug with your coffee order – you may even get a discount.

3. No More Bottled Water. Bottled water is an example of a good idea gone bad, terribly bad. If you still need some incentive for getting off bottled water, watch Blue Gold World Water Wars. Tap water is safe and inexpensive. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, purchase a filter jug or a filter that attaches to your facet. Another way to deal with the taste of tap water is to squeeze a little lemon or lime into your glass. One lemon or lime costs about 50 cents and will freshen eight or more classes of water and there is no crappy plastic to deal with, only compostable rind.

4. Cut back on purchases in one-time-use packaging. By now it should be habit to purchase products with minimal or no packaging. When that is not possible choose glass, paper or cardboard packaging over plastic, foil or tin. Better yet consider making your own. Soup is a good place to start. Learn to make your own soup at home using fresh ingredients, rather than buying the tinned variety.

5. Recycle everything: cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, tin. It has become socially unacceptable to not recycle, which means you are already recycling as much as possible … right? Ok, maybe some of you are storing recyclables in the garage because you don’t have time to take them to the bins? No worries – make that your first weekend project of the spring. Recycling isn’t the answer to all our problems (reusable is better), but it will buy us time until we can get manufacturers changed over to minimal or reusable packaging.

6. Get off the ‘Sugar-Free’ and ‘Low-Fat’ bandwagon. These ideas didn’t work, and we need to let them go. We gave them a good try for a decade or two, but we are unhealthier and more over weight than ever. So if you haven’t already, give up these food imposters. You don’t need them. They pollute your body and pollute our planet. Remember food close to its original form is better than manufactured food. Granulated sugar and honey are better choices then artificial sweeteners. As far as fat is concerned, your body knows what to do with the real thing (in moderation) such as nuts, avocados, coconuts, butter, eggs, olives and even a little organic meat fat. Your body doesn’t know what to do with hydrogenated or genetically modified vegetable oil and artificial sweeteners. If you are still eating foods sporting ‘sugar-free’ and ‘low-fat’ labels, you may as well be wearing head bands, stirrup pants and big hair.

7. Eliminate soda pop, including diet pop, from your life. Are you still drinking pop? Stop! Just do it! There is no food value in pop. It is damaging to both the body and the environment. Would you put pop in your dog’s water dish? Didn’t think so. Pop is unnecessary. It should never be considered a ‘treat’ for the kids. It is a life depleting slow poison that damages body, mind and earth. And don’t use the excuse ‘its diet pop’, because that it even more damaging than the regular kind (reread #6.) Need a low crap replacement for pop? Try sparkling water with fresh juice or fruit slices.

8. Each month learn one new, prepared from scratch, real food recipe. Most of us have one meal that we can prepare from scratch using real food. Friends and family know that dish as our ‘specialty’. But why have just one specialty? To stay enthusiastic about eating home cooked meals made from real food, commit to trying one new recipe each month. Keep the recipe in sight and the ingredients on hand. Prepare it several times until you have committed the process to memory and it becomes another one of your ‘specialties’.

9. Compost Vegetable Waste. When vegetable trimmings go into the regular garbage, and eventually the landfill, methane gas is produced (bad stuff). A much more efficient way to deal with organic waste is to compost. If you’re not already composting, contact your local garden society to learn how to get started. It’s easier than you think. Properly composted vegetable waste produces a potent fertilizer that can be used to grow more food. Not only that, but our landfills won’t fill up as fast, garbage trucks won’t have to make as many trips to the dump and you’ll purchase fewer plastic trash bags. Maybe your not a gardener. That’s ok. A pile of compost in a corner of the back yard is better than a landfill spewing methane gas. And if you don’t use it, I’ll bet you can find a neighbour who will.

10. Hug a Farmer and High-five a Trucker. You may not think that hugging and high-fiving are part of a Low Crap lifestyle. But think about this. If fresh produce and meat are not available in your community, eating a low crap diet is next to impossible. As romantic as it seems, growing food takes hard work and expertise. There are very few people around who are both able and willing to grow quality produce and meat for a living. And until we get a better system in place, it’s the trucker who moves the fresh food from the fields and barns to the local stores in a timely manner. Not many of us are willing or able to drive to a warmer climate every week to purchase our food. Of course a visit to your local Farmer’s Markets should always be your first choice for fresh from the farm food. And while you're there express your gratitude with hugs and high-fives.

So there you have it, ten Low Crap Habits that you can embrace today. If you currently practice one or two of these habits – good on ya! You are well on your way to a healthier you and a healthier planet … the low crap way!