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(Become a Certified Eco-Intelligent Eating Advocate & Mentor!)

Is Your Focus on Eco-Intelligent Eating? 

This year, I’m happy to tell you, the spotlight is finally on the farm-t fork aspect of nutrition, which keeps the concept of sustainability on our radar. For those of you who follow me at, you might recall that I am the creator of the Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™ which is one of the first and only sustainability focused eating models of its kind, to highlight the importance of “farming green and eating clean.” If you don’t have a copy of the eating model, I encourage you to go to my website and download a copy. It’s free, and it offers to be a great educational tool for any kind of educational event where you might enjoy promoting a message about ecological health and well-being. I’ve used my eating model to educate high school students, and even some home school students, too. At the end of this blog, I’ll tell you about a training course that I’ve created titled: Learn & Teach Nutrition the Eco-Intelligent Way. It’s an accredited certification course that I’ve designed for parents as well as young adults. It also offers to appeal to nutrition educators who are interested in discovering an impactful way to take nutrition education out of the dark ages!

Bringing Nutrition Out of the Dark Ages 

Are you aware that there is a demand for a NEW kind of nutrition and health mentor? This new kind of mentor is one who is conscious of the idea that the way that food is produced, is just as important as what a person eats. This new kind of mentor is one who is conscious of the idea that food is meant to nourish our connection to not only the natural world and all living things within it, but to our bodies, minds, hearts and souls as a whole. Unfortunately, the USDA Eating Model does not promote a holistic message like this. For decades, the USDA Eating Model has told Americans “what” to eat (and in what amounts), but it has failed to tell us that its creators stand behind an industrial food production system that is harming the environment, and putting people’s health in harm’s way, by exposing them to unsafe levels of pesticides, GMO’s, and food additives. Unfortunately, political lobbyists are handsomely paid to protect conventional food industry standards and their profits! I have created a nutrition course titled Learn and Teach Nutrition the Eco-Intelligent Way! that gives you insights about this problem and encourages you to be part of the solution vs. the problem.


Good Nutrition is Key to Helping Life Go on

in This Generation and the Next! 

Nutrition education, I’m sure you’d agree with me, is essential to keeping current and future generations healthy. And, yet, I find that so many people remain in the dark about what good nutrition is. Unfortunately, the USDA Eating Model, which has been America’s go-to nutrition education tool for decades, hasn’t done a very good job of making clear, what healthy nutrition is. On the surface, its eating guidelines seem to make good sense. They advise us to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains, as well as legumes, lean proteins, and dairy products, all of which are thought to create a balanced diet.   

Have You Been Conditioned to Think that the USDA Eating

Model Has Your Best Dietary Interests in Mind?

The problem with the USDA’s eating guidelines is that they’ve never been specific enough. For instance, they’ve never spelled out the difference between industrially raised foods and organically raised foods. They’ve never pointed out the fact that there is a big difference between the health value of foods that are treated with toxins in the growing and manufacturing process, and the value of foods that are grown and produced without toxins. 

The USDA Eating Model Failed for Many Years to Make a Distinction Between Processed Grains and Whole Grains   

For many years, up until very recently, the USDA eating model failed to make a distinction between processed grains and whole grains. It disregarded the importance of eating more whole grains, and it neglected to mention the importance of including traditional whole grains in one’s diet, such as quinoa, teff, wild rice, buckwheat, and amaranth. Most Americans have never even heard of these grains, let alone prepared meals from them. They’ve been conditioned to eat wheat products, which have proven to be unhealthy for many, because of their high gluten content. Gluten is reported to cause inflammation in the body, among many other unwanted health conditions!   


The USDA Eating Model Failed for Many Years to Acknowledge that Millions of People are Lactose Intolerant  

One of the biggest snafus that has resulted from the public’s adherence to the USDA eating model’s flawed dietary guidelines, is based on the model’s recommendation to consume multiple forms of dairy products on a daily basis.   The problem with this advice, was that it completely overlooked the fact that about 70 percent of the global population is lactose intolerant. Now, while the updated USDA eating model guidelines have since been revised to say that lactose-free dairy products are available for lactose intolerant individuals, I think this advice comes a little late, don’t you? I mean, think of the millions of people who likely suffered routine digestive upsets because of their adherence to the eating model’s guidelines!    

We Have to Question Whether the USDA’s Nutritional Guidance Is Sound or Misleading   

When we pause to consider the fact that at least 60 percent of our youth today are dealing with one form or another of chronic illness, and millions of adults are also dealing with diet-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, hormone problems, neurological issues, heart disease, and cancer, I think we all need to pause and question whether the nutritional guidance we have been getting from the United States Department of Agriculture has been sound advice based on nutritional science, or misleading advice that has been overly influenced by the agricultural industries that the USDA promotes.

The USDA Stands Behind the Industrial Food Machine

In terms of the industries that the USDA promotes, I’m talking about the manufacturers and marketers of factory-farmed, genetically modified, hormone-treated animal foods, whose production depletes and pollutes our earth’s natural resources. I’m also talking about the manufacturers and marketers of chemically laden, genetically modified plant food produce, who do the same. And, of course, I’m talking about the food corporations that rely on their agricultural products to create food products. Unhealthy products, that is to say, which contain highly processed fats, sugars, fake food ingredients, and food additives.

The Business Model of the Industries that Feed the Masses, Is Profit-Centric, Not People and Planet Centric   

Needless to say, the industries which are designed to feed the masses, operate from a business model which is designed to place profit ahead of the health needs of people and the planet. And because the USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee is heavily influenced by these industries, it’s not likely that the USDA Eating Model itself will include sustainability principles in its eating guidelines anytime soon! Although attempts have been made to do so, they have all failed, due to economic interests and biases.      


The Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™ Is Relevant to Our Personal and Planetary Health Needs   

The Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™ that I’ve designed, I’m happy to tell you, offers to be a timely alternative to the USDA Eating Model, because (as I mentioned at the start of this podcast), it features sustainability principles in its messaging. And it is highly relevant to our fast-changing planetary needs, as well as our personal health needs! Although it’s not a standardized model that has been approved by our government or any other agricultural agency, I like to say that its claim to fame is based on the fact that it supports an organic and regenerative food production system. In other words, it supports the food industries that are invested in producing organically raised foods and food products.

The Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™ Features 12 Food Groups and it Caters to Both Plant and Animal Food Eaters   

It might interest you to know that I’ve listed 12 food groups on my Eating Model versus the basic 4 or 5 that have long been promoted by the USDA, for economic reasons as well as shopper convenience. And I think this is a good thing, because for a long time, it has been thought that a vegetarian diet provides the most eco-conscious way to eat. And, while to a large extent, this is true (because it requires fewer natural resources to produce), a diet that includes animal foods can also provide an eco-conscious way to eat. It comes down to utilizing healthy land management practices and raising animals in a healthy and humane way.

The Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™ Features Helpful Tips for Limiting Food Waste and Saving Energy

One important aspect of eco-intelligent eating that my eating model emphasizes relates to the importance of curbing food waste and packaging and composting food scraps. You may or may not be aware that the US discards more food than any country in the world (120 billion pounds every year. Unfortunately, it contributes to the production of methane gases, which in turn, contributes to global warming. Another aspect of eco-intelligent eating that my eating model makes a point of mentioning relates to the value of energy-efficient cooking. Our stoves and ovens use up a lot of energy (as my husband likes to remind me), and if we can use energy-saving appliances to cook our food, we can not only save on gas and electricity, but also save money by preparing more home-cooked meals.       

My Invitation to You: Become an Eco-Intelligent Eating Advocate and Mentor

As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I have created a nutrition training that offers to lead us out of the dark ages of nutrition education. When I mean, when I say “the dark ages” is that we have been living in the dark for too long when it comes to knowing that we can’t be healthy if the food that is produced for our dining tables isn’t healthy. Only when we make a conscious effort to protect and nourish the earth, will it nourish us in return. If you’re a parent, a nutrition educator, or a young adult (who is interested in health and sustainability) and who resonates with this idea, I would like to invite you to participate in my training course. It offers to provide you with the kind of inspiration and support you need to be part of a movement that is creating true and lasting change in the world of food and farming today.  

In my course, you will make an acquaintance with my eco-intelligent eating philosophy, which teaches you the difference between an approach to farming and eating that eco-intelligent versus an approach that is eco-negligent. You’ll gain a holistic understanding of how your personal ecology system and the planetary ecology system you are an integral part of is affected by your food consumer choices.  

You’ll also have the opportunity to listen to a 13-part audio presentation in which I am interviewed about my eating model. If you are interested in hearing more about why I created the model, who is using it, and how the traditional whole foods that are featured on it differ from un-whole versions of those foods in your diet, --I think you will enjoy the insights I provide.

My course also includes a beautiful collection of colorful, text-rich infographics, which I call Tabletop TUTORS.™  These make it super easy and fun for you to learn about and teach others about, topics that are related to earth care, whole foods nutrition, healthy cooking, culinary empowerment, and creative recipe ideas, to name just a few things!  

Eco-Learning Legacies

Founder, Candia Lea Cole





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