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Are You Sustainable?

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What does it mean to be sustainable? What happens to containers once people throw them away? How can the average person truly impact the environment because of food waste? 

 These are all valid questions that everyone could be asking themselves when they eat out or even see one of those social media videos on pollution. But how often do we ask ourselves these environmental questions? The human race is on its way to irreversibly changing the planet because of the lack of understanding of the impact one person can have. Every one of our choices, from the food we eat to how much of that food we end up throwing out, counts as a personal impact to the wellbeing of the landscape around us.

It’s reported that in just 2013 alone, Americans produced more than 254 million tons of trash, but only about 3o% of it was recyclable. This puts an impending pressure on the environment, which simply cannot keep up with rate that people produce garbage. The earth is the home to more life forms than just humans, yet the majority of other species do not contribute to the Earth’s pollution. 

But where does our trash even go? Let’s face it, a large factor contributing to our  high volumes of waste, is the fact that most people have little knowledge as to what happens to their trash. If the general population had more information about how little of their trash is actually biodegradable and recyclable they would consider having more eco-friendly practices. 
 
Less than 85% of household trash is recyclable and can not be dissolved into the Earth. A lot of that is composed of trash related to food waste and everyday household products. The simple act of reducing our food waste would make a great dent on our contribution to the amount of garbage in our landfills. By using a food service like mademeals, the individual can not only bring down their food costs, but ensure that no additional food is wasted since each meal is a single serving. All mademeals containers are also biodegradable and produced from recycled materials, which is one less reason to feel guilty about not cooking.

What's The Point Of Eating Healthy?

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There is a major epidemic currently in most large cities, specifically among the middle class’s eating habits. Recent surveys have shown that due to the hustle and bustle of people’s lives they are more likely to eat out. However, the fact remains that most fast food options are not healthy which in response is also causing a decline in people’s health. 

Meal services, like mademeals, give the consumer an overall experience that one can only obtain from premium restaurants. Most New Yorkers on average spend about 30% of their income on food. While millennials spend about 44% of the money they get on food. But does this increase in spending actually point to an increase in the quality of food or just the amount? 

By eating clean not only is one taking care of their pockets, but they are also taking care of their bodies. Eating healthier eliminates numerous health risks such as obesity, high cholesterol, and even certain types of cancer, which obviously leads to less health issues and money spent on healthcare. A balanced and nutritious diet is also known to help the body fight off its own illnesses. By going with a prepared meal service, like mademeals, our customers save themselves the issue of figuring out what to eat, while eating wholesome foods that benefit their health and bottom lines. 

Most individuals that do eat out complain about the extra calories and additives that restaurants put into their foods that leave them feeling sluggish. Eating food with higher nutrients leaves the body feeling cleaner and lighter, which then turns into more energy. In addition, having a varied diet ensures that the body receives various essential vitamins and minerals while also reducing your overexposure to harmful amounts of minerals. 

Surprisingly, eating healthy can also lead to enhanced moods and reduce stress. Certain foods rich in vitamins and minerals like fruits, whole grains, nuts, fatty fish, and vegetables, have been associated with an overall lower risk of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium have also been known to help reduce cortisol levels, which is the hormone for stress. 

With so many benefits to a wholesome diet, one would question what else is needed to convince people to eat better. At the end of the day, time and money are still huge factors in determining what ends up on your plate. So if time is short and money needs to be well-spent, why not go with a prepared meal service like mademeals that can deliver on both criteria?

Eating Organic: The True Health Benefits

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For the last decade or so, people have become more interested in what they have been  putting in their bodies. From hair care to actual food, the thought of exposing oneself to unnecessary harmful chemicals has made people think differently about the products they consume. With that, the move towards eating solely or primarily organic food has grown immensely. 

Organic food is regulated in a way that normal food is not. Throughout the growing process, farmers are not allowed to use synthetic fertilizers or use most pesticides that are used to grow other foods. This makes a huge difference in what one puts into their body by simply eliminating those two harmful elements that the body would have to process. Most importantly, it can give the consumer the peace of mind by knowing how their food was grown.

Livestock that is humanely-raised also provides individuals more health benefits since the meat is produced as naturally as possible. The meat contains lower levels of bacteria and usually has higher levels in omega-3 fatty acids. This could result in higher metabolism since the body is getting more of the nutrients from the meat. 

Eating locally and organically actually has proven to have an effect on one’s immune system as well as one’s overall health. Since local produce and livestock live in similar pollen environments and water systems as the consumer, it tends to affect the consumer’s body less obstructively. Meaning the same materials one is surrounded by at home is also being used in the production of their food. 

There are still studies going on, looking into the long term effects of eating organic. For more information, check the USDA's information about organic foods. It is also recommended to purchase produce from local food markets and looking more diligently into where one’s food could be coming from. The founders of mademeals are committed to sourcing only the freshest seasonal produce and humanely-raised livestock from small local farms to ensure the utmost health of all its consumers. 

How My Chronic Disease Changed My Perspective On Food

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When I was in college, my leisurely strolls in between classes were spent scrolling through body building websites, calculating the optimal amount of calories to eat that would allow me to put on a few extra pounds of muscle. I baked tons of chicken breast, and went through endless trays of brown rice and broccoli. I would chug an extra glass of milk before I left the house, because, well, protein.

    And it worked - to an extent. I gained muscle. I felt ‘swole’. But how healthy was I? I mean, the doctors told me I was A-okay. A healthy young man with strong bones. But how closely were they looking? How could they know what direction I was heading with my health? And most importantly, how could they know any of this without knowing what I was eating? 

    Fast forward 10 years; I’m a recruiter, working with some of the fastest growing startups in NYC and SF. Between hunting down talent on tight deadlines, scheduling endless calls, running to meetings, and organizing events... I barely had time for myself. I did okay with finding a few times a week to work out, but my meal plan consisted of grabbing sub sandwiches and cruising crowded buffet lines. 

In June 2016, I began noticing something strange with my digestion. Reluctantly, I scheduled an appointment with a gastroenterologist. After some testing and 2 weeks of waiting, the results were in. I had a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, Colitis, as well as a less serious case of Gastritis. My heart sank as I thought about my future, and what might happen. “How could I have a chronic disease? I’m not even 30 yet…”. It was a tough period. But it was also a blessing.

I began swimming through literature and research, learning everything I could about my condition. After reading a bit, the seemingly obvious solution began to crystalize— nutrition.

Every day, tens of millions of Americans suffer from some form of digestive issue. Yet many of us turn to medications to solve our problems, rather than looking at the food we’re eating. But why are there so many digestive problems?

Currently, close to 1.6 million Americans also suffer from some type of inflammatory bowel disease and studies show that Americans are more likely to suffer from these diseases simply because of improper diet and exposure to pollution and industrial chemicals.

Our bodies are designed to utilize nutrients for power. The human body is an incredibly complex organism with the capacity to heal itself, given that it has the proper resources. But over the past 30-40 years, as factory farming has become one of the most profitable industries in the world, we have seen a steady and dramatic decrease in health as a nation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw the conclusion that our increased consumption of chemical laden and processed foods has a direct relationship with our declining health as a nation.

By eating mostly whole, organically-grown foods, we can avoid ingesting chemicals that harm our bodies and cause sickness and disease. We can promote internal healing and prevent illness without medications or chemical compounds.

I have seen a dramatic change in my health after switching to a mostly organic food diet, and although I still eat meat, I have decreased the amount in my diet, and make sure to only eat humanely-raised, organic-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish.

Food is medicine, and at this time in our nations history and level of health, it is critical that we spread this message and help heal each other.