“Never before have we seen a global crisis of chronic disease on the scale we currently face. Lifestyle-caused disease now kills 50 million people a year, more than twice as many as infectious diseases. Today, half as many people go to bed hungry as go to bed overweight. And one in two Americans and one in four teenagers has pre-diabetes or type-2 diabetes. We are raising the first generation of Americans who will live sicker and die younger than their parents. . . “ —Mark Hyman, M.D., in the preface to The Real Food Revolution
We Americans love our food. Food is a part of what has made this nation great—and it’s one of the Seven Timeless Truths of Spa. Our fertile farmlands and the abundance and variety of our agriculture output are the envy of the world. For most of our history, we lived close to the land, food was accessed locally, and we processed it in our own kitchens. But as our population and economy boomed in the last century and we concentrated in the cities, we industrialized our food system—with food coming far from home and processed multiple times. As foods rich in natural taste declined, we relied on high amounts of added sugar, fat, and salt to entice our palates.
And it has taken a toll: our soil is polluted, our practices are unsustainable, and our health problems, including everything from allergy-related disease to obesity, are on the rise. This has all contributed to historic levels of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other causes of preventable death.
The good news is that people are starting to find solutions. They’re voting with their pocketbooks for a new kind of food system—family farm, 21st century style. Suburban and urban moms and dads want to know what’s in their food and where it comes from. The Real Food Revolution by Congressman Tim Ryan (Hay House; October 2014) is a manifesto for this new food movement. In the book, readers will find all kinds of helpful information, including: the history and current state of our food systems; pros and cons of the current farm bill and what changes could help restore our nation; what’s happening both at the national and local levels; and how you can get involved, with actionable steps at the end of each chapter.
This is a non-partisan, good news message that will inform, inspire, and help readers around the country get involved.
Tim Ryan was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, at the age of 29. He is currently serving his fifth term, representing Ohio’s 17th Congressional District. He maintains a strong commitment to the economic and social well-being of his constituents. He serves as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, as well as its Subcommittees on Readiness and on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He also serves as a member of the House Budget Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus.
Congressman Ryan has a daily mindfulness meditation practice, and has been an outspoken advocate for promoting mindfulness practice as an aid to dealing with the variety of complex problems facing the nation. During his tenure in the House, he has helped to get mindfulness and social and emotional learning programs established in several schools in his district. He also spearheaded a conference at a medical school in his district on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Congressman Ryan shared his thoughts on our nation’s wellness at the annual Symposium of the Washington Spa Alliance (chaired by Mary Bemis, founder and editorial director of Insider’s Guide to Spas). Congressman Ryan is a four-time recipient of the Golden Triangle Award, the National Farmers Union’s highest legislative honor. The award is presented to members of Congress who have demonstrated leadership and who support policies that benefit America’s family farmers, ranchers, fisherman, and rural communities.