Introduction to LOHAS / Food We Eat

As I mentioned in my post LOHAS stands for Lifestyle OHealth And Sustainability. Companies and followers of the LOHAS way are passionate about sustainable living and 'green' ecological initiatives. The Slow Food Movement which has taken off in Australia would be considered something under the LOHAS umbrella.

LOHAS is huge in the USA and Western Europe that they are recognised as a market segment in their own right. "Worldwatch Institute reported that the LOHAS market segment in the year 2006 was estimated at $300 billion, approximately 30% of the U.S. consumer market; and, a study by the Natural Marketing Institute showed that in 2007, 40 million Americans were included within the LOHAS demographic." (Wikipedia). They have a following in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and are just starting out in South East Asia.  I wonder if they are in Australia?

We do not need to be LOHASian (followers of the LOHAS way) to live a sustainable and eco-friendly lives. I believe, in Australia, we have a pretty thriving community of people supporting sustainability and green initiatives. There are passionate people in Malaysia and Singapore too who try their best to live healthily and sustainably.

The LOHAS Asia Forum has certainly been insightful. The forum looks to increase the awareness of LOHAS movement in Asia as well as to help connect LOHAS businesses with consumers as well as LOHAS business to business. The conference also focuses on how LOHAS businesses can promote / market their business through social media. A key point of the forum is that businesses need to look for products and / or services that will sell on their own right and not just use LOHAS / organic / green tag as a marketing tool to succeed. Many speakers have shared their experiences and ideas and some have come up with truly inspiring ideas that not only generate profits for the company but is also a service to the community and improve the environment.

I am not trying to sell you the LOHASian way of life. I for one would not be turning vegetarian anytime soon (though there has been research showing that livestock farming leads to global warming). I do believe though in sharing what I've learnt and sustainable living is something that has been on my mind for awhile now and the LOHAS forum has brought this right to the forefront of my thoughts. It's like what Ted Ning (founder of LOHAS) said in one of our mini-forum discussion (I paraphrased) "It's like in the movie Matrix, red pill or blue pill, one lets you live your life comfortably in ignorance and the other once taken there's no turning back." This is true indeed as this has been on my mind since I got back.

We see many children with allergies and ADHD and I bet we all know someone who have had cancer. Was this the case 20 years ago? Some might say that due to technological advancement in medicine we are now able to diagnose these ailments thus leading to better statistics but what if the rise in these ailments are due to the chemicals in our food? Did you know that it only takes 32 days for a baby chick to grown into a 1.7kg chicken ready to be sold for consumption? This is with the help of antibiotics (of which some may contain some form of growth hormone to help accelerate growth). An organic chicken would take slightly over 3 months to reach the same weight (I am currently working in a company that supplies enzymes to chicken farms in Malaysia).

There are a number of research articles that can be found online relating to chemicals in food. Check some of them out below.

Chemical risk in Food
http://www.nrdc.org/health/

I don't mean to scare anyone or expect to 'turn' someone onto the LOHAS / 'Green' way of life bandwagon. Like I said I am sharing this information and it is up to you to decide.

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