The evidence that obesity is an issue in our country can be shocking. According to the Surgeon General, “the economic cost of obesity in the United States was about $117 billion in 2000.” Within that, “300,000 deaths each year in the United States are associated with obesity which can include, heart disease, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, arthritis, breathing problems and psychological disorders such as depression.”
Nick Szunowski, 33, from the Tucson Farmer’s Market, said that he changed his diet literally overnight after getting sick from the food he ate. He loves to tell the locals who shop at the farmer’s market how much better they will feel by simply changing their diet. He explained that he found renewed energy, and from there simply lost the weight. “My story isn’t from a textbook or a website, I did what I thought was best, and it has worked for several people including my brother,” Szunowski added. He said that after seeing them go on a vegan diet, they were not only healthier but they looked younger. Szunowski said that the benefits are incredible.
One statement from the World Health Organization on obesity is, “Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices and preventing obesity. Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle, and are supported to make healthy choices.”
Amy Billings, a mother of four, agrees. She said that it is important to teach her children to be healthy and to make healthy choices. Billings says to start young, but that the issue can be that vegetables are expensive in the grocery store. With that in mind, Billings looked for an alternative. Through research, she found out that Nogales just south of Sahuarita is one of the largest ports of fruits and vegetables in the United States.
With that in mind, Billings said she then thought about the fruits and vegetables that may not pass inspection at grocery stores but were still perfectly fine to eat. She came across a group called, “Market on the Move” which distributes fresh produce to people all over Metro Phoenix and Tucson areas.
It’s simple. According to the Market on the Move site, “for a $10 donation, you can receive up to 60 lbs. of fresh produce. Or, for a $100 yearly membership, you can become a member of the 3000 Club and go to a Market on the Move location to get your produce once every week for a nominal donation of $5 from November through May and twice a month at events through the summer.” “For that price, any family should be able to afford fresh produce, with enough to share.” said Billings.
Lately, Mad Cow Disease has hit the headlines again, with pink slime joining it. The surprising part is that the USDA has had little response yet. Their website states that they are frequently called with questions about beef, and they include the issues on their FAQ page. They also have another page titled, “From farm to table” with basic answers on what happens to beef. However, Szunowski said, “The less foods that I ate from animals the better I felt.”
Where to buy produce at a great price for Tucson/Sahuarita area:
- Market on the Move: Friends In Deed 301 W Camino Casa Verde, Green Valley
- Tucson Farmer’s Market: Maynard’s Market and Kitchen 100 N Toole Ave, Tucson
- Food Conspiracy Co-op: 412 N 4th Ave, Tucson
- Green Valley Farmer’s Market: Green Valley Village Mall 101 S La Canada Drive, Green Valley
- Annie’s Cupboard: Green Valley Village Mall 101 S La Canada Drive Suite 16, Green Valley
- Arivaca Farmer’s Market : 16800 Arivaca Road, Arivaca
- Walking J Farm (they have the option of working on the farm instead of paying): 10461 Arivaca Road, Amado