I was in 4H when I was a kid, and now my children are in it. It’s always fun to go to the fair soon after the judges place the infamous ribbons on the projects to see what award they received; the suspense and excitement is sort of like Christmas in July. For rural kids especially, the county fair is one of the highlights of summer.
When I was a kid, I didn’t really notice the food vendors at the fair. Cotton candy, salt water taffy, hotdogs, and snow-cones were just a part of the package. No big deal.
Now, as a bonafide nutritarian, a person who has eaten nutrient-dense foods for a year, lost close to a hundred pounds, and got my health and life back in the process, the children’s projects didn’t catch my attention as much as the many obese bellies that literally saturated the landscape. It was shocking.
As I entered the food pavilion area, one of the main attractions of the fair, the shock factor increased. I sat down on one of the picnic tables, strategically placed in the middle of over twenty, food vendor booths: cheesy-spiral-fried spuds, double cheese sirloin burgers, elephant ears, funnel cakes, cotton candy, snow-cones, lemon shake-ups, cream filled pumpkin rolls, ice-cream cones, gooey pastries, fountain drinks, foot long corn dogs, and salt water taffy, just to name a few.
It was at that moment, the 4H pledge, the one recited at every club meeting by the youth of America, came to mind:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Junk food is literally killing us. As a nation, we are in crisis. We must all band together to fight this creeping destruction of America. Unwise food choices are not only destroying our health and economy, but also our values, our dignity, and our environment.
Fast forward to five years from now…hard working farmers and 4H clubs band together to help save the lives of the American heartland. There are fresh produce stands sprinkled all throughout the nation’s county fairs that say, “Let’s save America. Get fit and healthy. Reject junk food. Support local farmers.” These stands would sell cherries, melons, ice cones made with local fruits, nourishing bean soups, little sacks of nuts and seeds, and locally grown greens made into fresh salads with a delicious, cinnamon-cashew-apple dressing drizzled on top.
Maybe we can enlist the 4H leaders and youth of this nation to help with the rescue efforts. After all, it’s their pledge.
May we all pledge clear minds and healthy bodies to better living for our community, our country, and our world!
UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman wrote a follow up to this: Not Only At The 4H Fair But Everywhere
Image credit: jcroach