“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” – Socrates

Crock pot meals may, to the culinary artist, boarder on the unimaginative, but they sure are easy as all hell to throw together — and they’re not too bad in the taste department, either.  And hey, for those of us who’d rather play outside than spend much time in the kitchen, they’re a Godsend.

What we have here is a simple pork sausage (stuffed in stomach lining), a grass-fed chuck roast, carrots, celery, onions and beef broth.  Season the roast with a little brisket rub, set the crock on low and let it roll for approximately 10 hours.  How easy is that?

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Marc Ambinder Makes Fighting Obesity Personal

Well, this is certainly not a statistic to be proud of — as of 2010, the U.S. became the most overweight and obese developed country in the world.  Unfortunately, this comes as a shock to no one. Against this backdrop, we have journalist Marc Ambinder’s making the rounds as of late, following the recent publication of his article in The Atlantic (Beating Obesity), which documents his personal and on-going fight against obesity. It’s interesting stuff, to be sure, and touches on a few issues (Bariatric surgery, for one) that are bound to incite much indignation among the Paleo tribe.

NPR interviewed Marc Ambinder recently about the article, which appeared in the May issue of The Atlantic.  Also on hand was Dr. Arthur Frank, founder and co-director of The George Washington University Weight Management Program.  Both guests talk about the plight of America’s ever expanding waistline, Ambinder’s recent article, and the two field some interesting call-in questions as well.  It’s well worth the listen.

In Beating Obesity, Ambinder writes:

“…In short, even as the nation is convulsed by a political struggle to “reform” health care, no effort to contain its costs is likely to succeed if we can’t beat obesity…”

Hmmm.  Now I’m not prone to beating my own drum, but I’ve said before, in reference to the nation’s healthcare reform debate, that:

“…No system can be created that will not ultimately implode under the weight of a diseased citizenry…”

This, in my opinion, is a self-evident truth.  And this is the reason why, that, although we Paleo adherents may continue on merrily in our own happy and healthy, insular bubbles, we cannot fully escape the train wreck that is the pending American healthcare crisis.  One way or another, Paleo brethren, we’re all going to pay (taxation, loss of choice, etc.).  It’s in our best interest to remain fully engaged, even though we find ourselves more fully, each passing Paleo day, removed from the mainstream nutritional-supply and healthcare-provision system.

Also from the article was this little data tidbit that I found quite interesting:

“…[I]talian economists recently divided the number of calories consumed per day by the amount of time spent preparing food, they found that Americans consumed 42 percent more calories per minute of food-prep time than Europeans…”

Can you say “reliance upon processed foods”?  Yeow-zaa.  Holy insulin rush, Batman.

Oh yeah, and the “Soft American” article that Ambinder speaks to can be found here.   My, my; I wonder what ol’ Jack would think about the state of American youth (not to mention, adults), today.

But hey, it’s not all bad news out there.  Here’s a story on an innovative new initiative in Baltimore, which allows inner-city folks the opportunity to order groceries from the library, and have those groceries delivered to the library the following day.  Very cool.  Couple this with some good nutritional educational resources, and a little “want to” on the part of the participants, and this program may just become one positive piece of the complex, American, “nutritional turnaround” puzzle.  Small steps do add-up, whether in health, fitness or in education.

In health,

Keith

7 COMMENTS

  1. The solutions appear easier and more plentiful each day. I recently posted about community gardens. The last piece of the puzzle is getting people off those processed foods and back in the kitchen, as that article points out. I guess the question is how? (I’ll be pointing here today, thanks 🙂

    • Two things are a must: available options, and the desire of the served public to utilize those options. One in the absence of the other won’t cut it.

      • So how do you create the desire when there are so many easy, cheap options and people just don’t really seem to care (“seem” being the operative word)? $64,000 question.

        • I wish I knew. I’ve always (quite naively, apparently) operated under the assumption that everyone would absolutely jump at the opportunity to better their health and fitness stock in this world, especially if that option would cost them very little in the way of time, effort or money. Sadly, this is hardly the case. It seems as though these “lost people” feel that they have no reason to get healthier; kind of a “what’s to point” attitude. When you drill down, you always find there’s a much deeper set of problems than what manifest (or present) at the surface. I hate to wax all New Age here, but these people fist have to find meaning in life before they can ever hope to find health.

          • The best we can do is keep contributing to the Ancestral Health movement as we are all doing collectively. The cultural tide may just change course for the better on a large scale: as I like to say, alternative Universe realities do come true. Cheers, Brent

  2. Groceries delivered to the library? Sounds good, if they limit the kinds of groceries to non-processed stuff.

    I like crock pot cooking, too! It is one of the rare labor-saving devices. Delicious food cheap and easy. Per serving, it’s quicker and cheaper than waiting in line at McDonald’s.

    I’m surprised that we became the fattest. I thought we already were the fattest! Seriously, who did we surpass?

  3. One thing that bothered me about the Atlantic article is when Ambinder finally seeks to answer, ‘What will work to solve obesity?’ and he launches into his spiel regarding the success of the surgery.

    He later acknowledges that surgery is too expensive for everybody, but to say that there is no true solution to obesity is patently wrong. Generally speaking, the sort of return to whole foods-based cooking (even if it is not 100% paleo) that Jamie Oliver promotes is a huge step in the right direction.

    I am happy he focuses on the impending healthcare issue though. And, I’m with Eric N, who did we surpass for fattest nation?

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