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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

July 2013 Letter From Publisher

Jun 30, 2013 12:32PM

I love summertime and our family’s traditional Fourth of July celebrations at our Michigan lake cottage. Growing up, the grill was often stacked with hot dogs and hamburgers served on fluffy white buns—enough to feed our family of 10 and all the friends and relatives that showed up to feast. This summer, when we again gather around the wooden picnic table that has served us faithfully for half a century, we’ll still pass the fresh corn on the cob and lots of veggies fresh from the garden. But many of us will choose veggie burgers or hormone-free natural meats on wheat-free buns.

I miss those carefree days when the health of our food wasn’t such a concern. Today, when I bite into an ear of corn I wonder if it’s from a genetically modified crop (GMO) and what the long-term ramifications will be. Without even the safeguard of legislation requiring the labeling of GMO products, we are stripped of our right to choose. In this month’s feature article, “Six Ways to Eat Safe,” Melinda Hemmelgarn highlights what we need to watch out for. I do all I can to choose organic, pesticide-free, GMO-free food and feel the extra upfront expense far offsets the greater cost of unnatural food, both to my health and our environment.

I’ve been experimenting and fine-tuning my diet since I was in my early 20s. Along the way, hundreds of healthy eating books and diets have come and gone. Like others on a similar journey, I’ve tried a raw food diet, tailored meals for my ayurvedic Vata constitution, and eaten right for my blood type… among others.

Eventually I realized I’ve been overexposed to too many competing viewpoints. I now take the time to get quiet, tune into my body and listen to my inner physician. Plus, I’ve lightened up! That’s why I especially appreciate our stories that feature wellness activist Kris Carr and supermodel Carol Alt’s balanced perspectives in this special Food Watch issue. I enjoyed joining the Green Scene Vegans meet-up group recently at the new restaurant, The Local, for a special menu prepared just for us.

We still have many rights to fight for this Independence Day, ranging from a healthy natural food supply to the health of ecosystems that sustain life on Earth. It’s important that we lobby our legislators to pass a bill requiring the labeling of GMO foods before we lose total control to the dictates of big money that don’t have our best interests at heart.

Another big fight locally is combating oil drillers polluting our paradise, explored in our story, “Golden Gate Estates’ Controversial Oil Drilling Issue.” Attending meetings has helped me stay more informed and feel good about taking collective action.

This month’s editorial reminds us to make the most of summer’s longer days and beautiful sunsets, letting our inner kid out to play often. Kick your shoes off and be happy. It’s the best diet there is!

Happy summering,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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