Who are Generation X? Who are Generation Y?

I have to wonder if technology is really improving our health? Lets take a quick look at the upcoming generations of the Xers and the Yers. I think you will find that we have reasons to be concerned.

The Xers are the post baby-boom generation, co Xers are culturally progressive, technically savvy, and have their own way of doing things. Generation Y, also known as the Millenials, were born between 1981 and 2003. This group is large and has almost twice as many members as Generation X. A generation born with computers at their fingertips, they are known for their tech savvy perspective. Generations X and Y make up over 120 million people!

The concern here is that though Generation X and Y may be tech savvy, unfortunately they don’t seem to be food savvy. At all. Let me explain.

The majority of the young people in America today (Generation X and Y and their children) do not know what real food is. If I was to tell them to only eat what their great-grandmother would consider as a proper food, they would be utterly lost. “Common sense”, well, it is no longer so “common”. Now days: Microwaving is considered cooking; TV Dinners and Pre-Packaged meals are considered the equivalent to that of a home-made meal; Convenience Food is consumed 90% of the time, instead of 10 %; Children are more likely to recognize Ronald McDonald than George Washington; and some, by no fault of their own, may even believe that fruit flavored drinks are actually good for them, or that by consuming a cheap fast-food chicken product they are actually getting a good value for their money.

The whole issue of educating Generation X and Y, ages 6 to 46, has become a real sad situation. Here is why? Money, greed…and did I already say money? When was the last time you saw an advertisement on prime time television trying to sell you free-range beef, pasture raised chickens and eggs or even organic vegetables or fruit? Get my point? You could easily make an argument for the Poor Quality of Food Industry in America being the biggest challenge to this country since the Big Tobacco Industry was held “somewhat” accountable for its past actions. It seems that this Poor Quality of Food Industry has taken a page out of Big Tobacco’s book as they are misinforming, and misleading, the general public all over again. This is now leading to the demise of our health all over again and we are left with the Drug and Procedure Industry to pick up the pieces. This isn’t good…just in case you were wondering! Generation X and Y are going to have to speak up and demand better quality foods or their generations are going to be the sickest and most diseased ever!

So why the huge drop in the quality of food in the United States over the past century? It comes down to pure and simple “supply and demand”. We have a HUGE demand in this county for food, so the quality of the supply is going to suffer. We live in the most populated industrialized country in the world. The total U.S. population crossed the 100 million mark around 1915, the 200 million mark in 1967, and the 300 million mark in 2006. The U.S. population more than tripled during the 20th century- a growth rate of about 1.3 percent a year - from about 76 million in 1900 to 281 million in 2000. This is unlike most European countries, especially Germany, Russia, Italy and Greece, whose populations are slowly declining, and whose fertility rates are below replacement. Interestingly enough, compared to the United States, the majority of these countries seem to be making a much greater effort in improving the quality of their food sources. If Generation X and Y really makes a statement about the atrocities concerning our toxic food supply... things would get done.

Less than a century ago, it was very easy to consume Free-Range Beef (including raw milk), Pasture Raised Poultry and Eggs, Wild Fish and Organic Vegetables and Fruit daily. Because of the amount of space, time and energy, let alone the loss in profits of this type of farming, these small farms have largely been replaced with gigantic farms and ranches that mass produce beef, pork, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit and even fish. Unfortunately, there is a huge cost, and that cost is that these foods are not healthy. At this point, I am not saying they are not healthy for you (which they are not); I am saying…THEY (the animals, fish, dairy cows, vegetables and fruit) are not HEALTHY, period! If Generation X and Y are consuming conventionally farmed foods, they are ingesting antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, as well as genetically modified foods (the new mass produced food on the block). Know also that these animals are now being fed to get as big as fast as possible, with no regard to their overall health (there are drugs for that), and so they are consuming foods that are not natural to them. Sorry people, healthy cows eat predominately grass and do not eat grain and corn (let alone supposed food pellets made up of other diseased animals), and chickens and salmon are not vegetarians, they should be eating bugs and other fish respectively. Commercially farmed vegetables and fruits cannot fight off pests so they need outside help; this help makes, and keeps them weak, whereas vegetables and fruits that are organic and biodynamic are more nutritious and vibrant because they have to be strong enough to fight off the pests without outside help. Conventionally farmed animals do not exercise appropriately and if you compared a free-range animal to a conventionally farmed animal you would see the difference the exercise, and even the sunlight makes in their health, let alone the taste and texture of the meat. If you do a comparison study on the eggs of an unhealthy conventionally farmed, caged and probably de-beaked (let alone unhappy) chicken to a pasture-raised (happy) egg laying chicken you might be very surprised to experience the difference in the strength of the shells, the color and brightness of the yokes, let alone the taste. Unfortunately, most people from the Generation X and Y group have no idea what real quality food is supposed to look and taste like.

At this point, I am only talking about foods that the “Future of America” (Generation X and Y, plus their children) will be predominately purchasing in our super markets; the staples of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruits. All countries should make a real effort to support the small farmers or any farmer or rancher who is concerned with the health and quality of your life and their animals’ lives, because consuming healthy animals will help Generations X and Y with not only their health but the quality of their lives as well. There are numerous farms, and farmer’s markets, that are proud to offer healthy and nutritious vegetables and fruits that will improve the vitality of the X and Y generations in Texas. We should support them as the foods they raise and grow help support us, and maybe more importantly, the future generations of our country as well.

The problem of poor quality food in the United States, as well as the world for that matter is not going to go away. In matter of fact, it will only get worse and that is why it is so important to know that no one needs to eat the “food for the masses”. Each individual has the opportunity right here and now to consume predominately healthy foods, and though the human body is resilient, no one and I mean no one is going to escape the dire consequences of consuming unhealthy foods.

As many of the baby-boomers are moving on, it is now the responsibility of Generation X and Y to rectify this horrible situation.

I hope that Generation X, Y and their children realize that being tech savvy will have zero impact on their health. It is time to re-prioritize what is important before it is too late.