As always I was joined by my great panel, the writing and research team of Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks. Over the past several months the subject of the economics of moving to an Organic diet has been mentioned. Mannie and Ashley live in the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles and have ready access to many specialty markets. My wife and I on the other hand live in a small town in Mississippi, and our shopping choices are limited, as is our budget.

Yesterday on Surviving The 21st Century we decided to to concentrate on all things financial. To join us in the quest we were delighted to welcome well known national radio host Rodney  Ballance and his wife Heather Matthews. Rodney Ballance runs a one hour radio program five days a week which is heard from coast to coast. I have to admit that I did get a chuckle when he explained that he and his wife live in North Carolina, and this is the one market where he is currently not broadcast! However that is about to change, as he put it, the newspaper headline will read:

National Host Goes Local!

His wife Heather Matthews is a personal fitness trainer and very much involved in the Organic food movement.

It was a lively 90 minute program. One thing that becomes crystal clear is that the economics of going Organic are a lot more complex that comparing the price of a gallon of chemical milk with a gallon of organic milk. People tend to think only in terms of the hard dollars spent buying groceries, and not consider the ‘soft’ dollars that are spent as a consequence. On average health care costs are more than $2000 per year greater for an obese person.

Detractors might argue, what has obesity to do with eating organic? Actually it has a great deal to do with it. Many of the substances added to packaged foods, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and a myriad of others create what can only be viewed as an addictive situation.

Rodney Ballance is an interesting man, there is little about the world of finance that he is not a recognized expert in. I found it most educational for him to bring that aspect into the world of health and nutrition. He certainly opened my eyes to aspects that I had not previously considered. Amongst other things he and his wife Heather Matthews broached the always thorny issue of education in our modern world. A subject that I have very strong feelings about! Budget cuts and government mandates have seen schools drop some of the curriculum, Phys Ed and Health have become less important than herding students ready or not into the next grade. It is my opinion that while the three ‘R’s are unquestionably important, so also are the soft skills that have fallen by the wayside.  I am speaking for myself here, but I think ‘No Child Left Behind’ should be renamed ‘No Child Allowed To Advance’.

If you missed the original program you can listen to the recording here.

Rodney Ballance can be found by checking your local radio listings or through his web site. Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks can be found through their web site.

Simon Barrett

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