Letter from the Publisher
Hints of spring are in the air (in between the snow and slush) and with the pokes of green emerging through the barren ground, there is proof that warmth and color will, once again, be restored. We celebrate this month with food! I have already started hanging out in the garden shop, mentally preparing the plan of attack for my summer garden and longing to get the hoe in my hands.
What I love about food is that it is universal—we all need and crave it. What I find challenging is that food choices have become a contentious issue for many people. For just over a year now, I have been following the advice of food advocate Michael Pollan. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This shift in my own consumption has made a tremendous difference in the way I feel and the way I live. Preparing and cooking takes a bit more time although with good planning, I find that I spend a lot less money than when I was eating meat. I have also developed a fierce love of beets, barley and blueberry-banana smoothies.
The decision to become vegetarians was initially met with skepticism—assuming that this was just something that my husband, John, and I would try out for a while and eventually go back to our pork-eating ways. Or that we would stick to our new eating regime when it was convenient—not including holidays when confronted with the beautifully prepared leg of lamb. I am happy to say that the lure of bacon no longer pulls me. There are enough wonderful, meatless options out there to keep me sated.
But this choice is one that we made personally and we realize that our friends and family, not to mention readers of Natural Awakenings, enjoy a diverse diet and make choices based on their personal needs. As part of the magazine’s ongoing effort to serve the community, this month we offer a range of educational articles to provide information about various dietary choices. For the meat-eaters, our feature presents the issues concerning sustainable models of meat and poultry production. For the non-meat eaters, we spend some time with nationally recognized local author and leader in the vegan world, Tracye McQuirter, who also graces our cover.
Other food and eating related articles are offered, such as insightful pieces on emotional eating and dealing with digestive issues, as well as a glimpse at an important new nutritional test, known as the Organic Acids Test (OAT) that assesses metabolites in order to evaluate four critical areas of metabolism, through a simple urine test.
Finally, we take a first look at the issue of water—and specifically the issue of lead in the water for our neighbors of Michigan and Ohio. For those who have been in the District for a while, this is a familiar story from 2004. Charles Gant, M.D., Ph.D. has been working with the citizens of Flint, helping to provide remedies for the lead-poisoning that the community is now facing and offers helpful information for us all.
Forrest Gump said that life is like a box of chocolates but I believe it is more like a smorgasbord, with options as well as a big table around which share the bounty. Enjoy the diversity within the pages of the magazine this month.