What exactly is a "Food Advocate"?

ellwood thompson's, food advocate, kirk schroder, richmond virginia

Have you ever tried ordering a restaurant meal while surrounded by family and/or friends and seen no options that meet your diet on the menu? From time to time, have others been “put off”  or “taken a back” by your diet? That’s the story of my diet although such scenarios occur far less these days than when I became a vegetarian over 20 years ago. (I am practically vegan but have been known to sparingly permit a little dairy to slide on to my plate – usually on special social occasions). While I am by no means offended by others who eat meat or for that matter who eat junk food, upon reflection, it amazes me how often over those years I’ve had to stand firm to others (many of whom I love and care for) about my dietary choices and my beliefs about a healthy diet. From stubborn “show downs” at the family Thanksgiving table, to insisting on a different plate in front of dignitaries at a Governor’s Mansion, to disbelief over a chef who refuses to serve side vegetables as a meal – if someone ever had to advocate for his food choices over decades (often in awkward situations), that’s me.

Of course, everyone is a “food advocate” to the degree they recognize the vital connection of a healthy diet to their own quality of life. Thankfully, vegetarians, vegans and others with non-traditional diets enjoy much easier accommodations these days than 20 years ago. However, unlike 20 years ago, today’s drastic changes in the harvesting, processing and preparation of our food supply make understanding and choosing what you eat much harder. Genetically modified organisms in produce, bio-waste solids in fertilizers and high levels of processed sugar in packaged goods are only but a few examples of such drastic changes. Even food labels can omit key information, be misleading and often contain complicated names of unheard of chemicals. That’s in large part why this new role as the Ellwood Thompson’s Food Advocate has come about.

Many customers come into the store because they want healthy and quality food and supplement options. Many want to learn ways to improve their health through good nutrition.  Yet, too many are also busy and as such, often have to compromise their food choices for convenience. Hopefully, that’s where I can help. Through this blog and other ways in the future, I’ll try to provide you with helpful information to make your food and dietary choices better and easier. Of course, you don’t have to be a carnivore, vegetarian or a vegan — in  fact, it doesn’t matter what your diet is — just that you are open to new ideas and to more informed choices when it comes to diet and good health. You may also care about the environment and the future of humankind’s stewardship of this planet. If any of those descriptions fit you, then come back to this blog as often as you can. Let me hear from you. It may be an interesting article you came across or some rumor you heard — whatever it is regarding good health and good diet, let me know. And feel free to say hello if you see me walking around the store. Thanks.

Kirk Schroder / Food Advocate / foodadvocate@ellwoodthompsons.com