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It is impossible to be much of an activist or even participate fully in your own life without good health and a good diet. The US, particularly the Knoxville area, is suffering from obesity, diabetes, and many other illnesses directly related to our diet.

We are also suffering from the destruction of land and the poisoning of our water by Big Agriculture. Their practices are too destructive to be maintained over time. The land is becoming totally exhausted and polluted. Organic farming is sustainable. There is no toxic cleanup ever required.

We have entered an era predicted by Ralph Nader: A two-tier food system. There are "common" poor quality and even toxic foods for the masses, and organic foods for those who can afford them. This system is fully supported by Big Agriculture and the US government.

BigAg has even begun making addictive foods using caffiene and sugar like never before. Sodas, energy drinks, every type of snack food - none of it is what it was just a couple of decades ago. These have gone from being treats to daily consumption.

BigAg is also in the business of defaming low-cost vegetarian, low-calorie, and macrobiotic diets. The benefits of these diets have been well observed and documented by modern science for decades. As much good as these diets do, they do not fatten BigAg's bottom line. They encourage responsible land use and organic procedures that just make Mon$anto go into a panic.

The first two diets promoted here are based on over 50 years of modern scientific scrutiny and hundreds of years of successful practice over a broad range of cultures. The third, Dr Fuhrman's "nutritarian" diet, is a construct based on the best dietary practice of the past and known to modern science. All are light on meat and big on non-starchy vegetables.

A couple of general notes:

There are some outrageous claims for every diet. No diet is going to make you super human. No one is going to live forever. A little common sense goes a long way when selecting a diet. Beware of weight loss claims. You can overeat on any diet.

BigAg has ruined foods that were once quite healthy. Fruit, especially, has been hit hard. Check out the "dirty dozen" and use organic alternatives.

Do not write off organic foods as too expensive. Supermarkets are responding to the demand for organic foods. The big name supermarkets are making the effort to price organic foods very close to their polluted counterparts. Kudos to Kroger's who often has organic produce in Knoxville at the same price as non-organic and for having an organic option for almost all produce and canned vegetables/fruits. This will continue as long as there is enough demand.

Visit the well established organic food dealers like Three Rivers Market on Central (Knoxville, TN). They sell not only organic, but local organic when available. They are price competitive and have the only lunch/dinner organic buffet in Knoxville. It is pay-by-the-pound and worth every cent.

- Vegan/Vegetarian Diet -

Most are familiar with the well-proven benefits of a vegetarian diet. It is full of micro-nutrients and energy. There are various forms. Veganism is entirely plant-based and does not include dairy products, eggs, honey, or any other food derived from animals. Other forms of vegetarianism may include animal derived foods except for animal flesh.

Not only will a vegetarian diet improve your health, it helps the earth. Vegetarianism is a more efficient use of arable land and makes great sense in our time of rising population and need. There are those out there in BigAg that would rather feed a pig than a person.

Vegan Starter Kit

Getting Started - Live Vegan

The Most Laid-Back Guide To Going Vegetarian You'll Ever Read - No Meat Athlete

Transitioning To A Vegan Lifestyle -

10 Tips To Start Eating Vegan Today - Southern Vegan (great resource for native Knoxvillians).

Vitamin B-12: Your Key Facts - The Vegan Society

Macrobiotics is the philosophy and science of balancing energy and includes a diet based on the ancient principles of yin and yang. The keyword is "balance". This means a balanced diet as well as balanced lifestyle. Foods are categorized and ranked according to yin and yang properties. The idea is to create the least disturbance in the body by eating foods that are balanced as well as living a life that is in balance overall.

What Is Macrobiotics - Kushi Institute

What Is Macrobiotics - George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation

Balance For Wholesome Living -

Macrobiotics For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Getting The Most From Our Food - Greg Samples [great site]

The Macrobiotic Diet 101 - Gourmandelle

5 Tips For Macrobiotic Diet Beginners -

How To Marry Yin & Yang In Your Diet -

What To Expect When Healing [starting the Macrobiotic Diet] - PDF download

- Dr Furhman/Nutritarian Diet -

This diet is based around several principles put together by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD. Dr. Fuhrman is a cardiologist who clearly sees both dietary fat and body fat as contributing to heart disease and many other health problems. His diet, which he calls the Nutritarian Diet, emphasizes nutrient rich leafy and non-starchy vegetables, raw nuts, legumes, and some occasional meat.

This is the diet if you are plagued with food allergies. It is also beneficial if you have digestion problems. It goes to work quickly, too.

The Nutritarian Diet - Dr Fuhrman

Now Get Started - Dr Fuhrman

6 Basic Guidelines For The Nutritarian Diet -

What Foods Are Not Allowed on Dr Fuhrman's Eat to Live Diet -

Eat To Live Food List - Dr Fuhrman (Eat To Live was the immediate predecessor to the Nutritarian Diet)