Garbage In, Garbage Out

by Janice Christensen

Some thoughts on Thanksgiving, our national Food Holiday.

It’s not rocket science. Eat good food, and you’ll be healthy.

Of course, the devil, as they say, is in the definitions.

What is good food?

What does the word “healthy” mean?

Here’s what I think.

Good food has more to do with what does NOT happen than what DOES.

Good food is food that is NOT grown on a factory farm devoted to monoculture, where a single kind of plant is grown over acres and acres of land.

Good food is NOT shipped across the country or around the world.

Good food is NOT highly processed. If you can’t look at it and discern what it is made from, it is NOT good food.

Good food is NOT mass-produced. If it comes in a pre-sealed plastic container surrounded by a bunch of similar containers, it is NOT good food.

Good food is NOT preserved for long periods of time. If it has an ingredient list with items you cannot pronounce, it is NOT good food.

Good food IS grown locally, by people who care about it.

Good food IS harvested respectfully, by people who care about it.

Good food IS prepared carefully, be people who care about it.

Good food IS eaten and enjoyed in a leisurely, relaxed, positive atmosphere by people, you guessed it, who care about it.

And “healthy?” Again, healthy can be defined by what it is NOT.

Healthy people do NOT line up to rape an 11-year-old girl with HIV AIDS.

Healthy people do NOT shoot school children.

Healthy people do NOT abuse, cheat,

injure, sue or kill their neighbors.

Healthy people do NOT create ugliness in their environment.

Healthy people do NOT start wars.

Healthy people DO create beauty.

Healthy people DO love, respect and help each other.

Healthy people live in harmony with their neighbors and the world. You don’t have to be special in any way to change the world. It’s not rocket science.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Want to find out more? Read Food and Behavior by Barbara R. Stitt. Barbara was a parole officer who required her clients to follow her food program, and gained national recognition for the low recidivism rate of her parolees. She is currently President of Natural Ovens of Manitowoc, a company dedicated to creating high quality foods. Visit their website at and click on “Schools” to see a video about a food program that transformed a problem school in Appleton, WI.

Riverwest Currents online edition – November, 2006