Be Sustainable

In today’s modern day, many of the ideologies of what is good for humans and our planet are very different than in the past.  With more knowledge around health, the environment and the need to be sustainable we are all required to reexamine our behavior and think about our future.

In the United States post World  War II, the USDA shifted our food pyramid to represent a diet based on milk, meats, fruits & vegetables, and grains.  At the same time, food companies began to process much of the food we eat to extend shelf life and reduce cost. We now know that many of these recommendations were not the result of science but rather the result of lobbyists for dairy, wheat, and other interest groups looking to make their products part of everyday life.   In addition, most corporations looked to drive profits by reducing the amount of real food in their products with processed substitutes and chemicals; my least favorite being the replacement of cane sugar with high fructose corn syrup.   (Again, the government supporting the corn industry over the cane industry)

Over the last 7 years, I’ve been committed to helping America return to high-quality, unprocessed food.   One of my favorite companies is which sells organic and sustainable meat and seafood sourced from family farms and fisheries and delivered right to your door.    As we were starting Greensbury, I learned some very interesting facts about the food supply chain in the United States.

A staggering 133 Billion pounds of food worth $162 Billion is wasted each year according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The average American household is throwing away roughly $120 each month through uneaten food.   And the waste is even worse from the processing plants to delivery companies to supermarkets and households, where ‘fresh’ food is being dumped at a rate of 222 million tons a year.

That’s why at Greensbury, we realized that processing and flash freezing the product is actually a much more healthy and sustainable way to buy your perishable proteins.  When I went on a fishing trip to Alaska in 2004, the local fisherman told me that all fish are processed and flash frozen to not only lock in freshness but to kill bacteria.

If you go to Whole Foods and buy a steak, that meat has already been transported, thawed, moved around the store and touched by multiple butchers before it’s sold to you as the end consumer.  Furthermore, the blood and moisture has normally been drained as it sat in the food counter waiting for you to buy it.   If you don’t cook the meat within 24 hours, the product will often change color and start to smell within 48 hours.   With Greensbury’s sealed products, the blood and moisture is captured within the product so when thawed it returns to the texture and freshness as if it was just slaughtered.   And from a sustainable perspective, the food will last at least 6 months if properly stored and if you take a steak out to thaw in your refrigerator but don’t cook it right away, it will last 5-7 days in your fridge if you haven’t broken the vacuum seal. Clearly, a more sustainable way of dealing with perishable items.

Be Sustainable

Being Healthy Is Everyone’s Responsibility

The other day I read a shocking Wall Street Journal article about a new class of cholesterol drugs that could potentially add an additional $150 billion to the national health-care bill.

Apparently, there are currently 32 million Americans taking statins, such as Lipitor, and millions more that would get prescribed the new PCSK9 to regulate cholesterol.

My lovely wife, Angie Harrison, works for the American Heart Association. So we are both very conscious of heart disease and the need for people to take care of themselves. We are also both committed to our kids, Scout and Elvis, and therefore we have decided to live cleaner and healthier lives as we get older. Unfortunately, this commitment takes a lot of hard work and requires sacrificing many of the things that people consume on a daily basis.

My concern is that most Americans don’t want to make the change required to be healthy. I know that I’ve struggled year after year, diet after diet, and cleanse after cleanse trying to be healthy. I try to do yoga at least once a week, exercise three-five times a week, and eat clean 90% of the time.

But for people who are currently unhealthy, ignoring exercise, eating and drinking whatever they want, they are actually not only ignoring their own health responsibility, they are jeopardizing the health of everyone in the national health system.

I just finished a focused effort to clean my diet – the result after 1 month:

  • Perfect blood pressure (110/70)
  • Perfect cholesterol (142)
  • Healthy sugar, kidney, and liver functions
  • Normal thyroid, prostate, and other tests
  • Weight 181 lbs (down from 197 lbs)

So what was a Clean diet:

  • whole vegetables and leafy greens
  • whole fruits & berries
  • wild fish, organic chicken & turkey
  • brown rice, quinoa
  • beans, legumes, lentils
  • nuts, seeds & nut butters (no peanut)
  • avocado & coconut oil
  • No gluten
  • No dairy
  • No meat, pork, eggs, shellfish, no raw meat or fish
  • No corn, no soy
  • No nightshades (tomato, eggplant, peppers, potatoes)
  • No bananas, strawberries, oranges, grapes
  • No coffee, soda, alcohol
  • No processed sugar

The key to success – be vigilante for at least 5 out of 7 days and don’t beat yourself up when you enjoy drinking or eating something off diet. For me, I was pretty strict and I found that I didn’t have the cravings to cheat. For many people, after getting clean the body doesn’t always like the old unhealthy food resulting in upset stomachs and/or diarrhea.

We all need to have meals where we don’t watch what we eat or drink. Tomorrow night is a big dinner for Greg Parsons and we plan to have fun, eat a great meal and drink some nice wine.

My experience is that if you are more healthy than not than you’ll feel better, go to the doctor less and as Mr. Spock would say “Live long and prosper.”

Being Healthy Is Everyone’s Responsibility