I was watching an episode of Stanley Tucci’s series, Searching for Italy. It is mostly about the different types of food in all the regions of Italy. It occurred to me that Europeans are much more creative, and inventive, in being able to nourish themselves with healthy, natural food. Not only cheap and easy to cook , but beneficial for everyone. In fact, most of their more tasty dishes were invented through desperation and starvation. Maybe it’s because they have limited plots of lands, but everything that grows on those plots are edible—fruits, plants, flowers, everything! Nothing is wasted. If they slaughter a pig or a goat or a cow, and cows are rare in most of these countries, they use every part of the animal, or bird or fowl; nothing is wasted. Same with the fish! In other words, they waste not, want not! In the end, they have a much healthier way of life, with far less chronic diseases, that are so rampant on this side of the planet!
The sociologists and academics in Grenada have figured out why black people, and people of color in general, suffer from such high rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases! According to them, it all stems from our diets, which were forced upon us by our slave masters, and became indispensable after slavery, and was passed down from generation to generation. They fed us heavy doses of carbohydrates and fats, to give us the energy to produce more for them, at minimal costs. The greasier and saltier the food was, the more we enjoyed it. The slaves didn’t have time to grow fat and lazy; they were too busy toiling all day in the fields to let their bodies become overwhelmed with the results of this unhealthy diet. Today, without those constraints against us, we fill our bellies with garbage, and then take a little siesta, instead of going for a walk, or doing exercises to stay healthy.
Well, slavery is long gone, and we are responsible for our bodies, our diets, our lifestyles. Some of us have no choice but to eat whatever is in front of us; the poor in most cases, don’t have a choice. I don’t care whether it’s in America, Africa, the Caribbean or in Belize, if you are poor, you are malnourished and probably overweight. In most cases, people aren’t aware of the effects of an unhealthy diet; like I said , you eat what you can afford! My dad, and most of his 13 siblings, died of diabetes! Imagine that, a whole family, wiped out by the same disease! I have been blessed, through diet and exercise, to escape that curse , so far!
I don’t want to hear anyone say that well, it’s hereditary. No, it’s not; we can all make choices about what we put in our bodies, our temples. But we need help. Nutrition should not only be taught at every level of our educational system, but should be treated as a national emergency! Our children should be drilled on the subject of healthy eating and exercise! They should learn to respect their bodies, to grow their own food. Have gardens and rooms for physical activities in every school in the nation. That’s where the government should tax the rich and those cheats that aren’t paying their fair share. This should be done in order to generate funds for these programs. In the long run, it would make such a difference for the health of a promising nation!
But what do I know? I’m a dreamer.