The Bourke Accounting Book Club is back in session with JD Salinger’s Franny and Zooey keeping us company. JD is my favorite nonprolific reclusive writer of all time, so I’m digging it. Yesterday, we delved into the subtleties of literature over Panera Bread. My co-workers ate salads ladened with mysterious fruits and little-known vegetables as I left buttery fingerprints from my Classic Grilled Cheese (with extra cheese) on my book. While my co-workers argued points of dialogue, I thought about malnutrition.

When we think about malnutrition, we generally think of faraway countries and pallid Oliver Twist extras, begging in the streets for a shilling. We think of the 37 million Americans who aren’t getting enough to eat as a result of limited money and inaccessibility to food banks. At the grocery store, we don’t label a well-appointed, fit young person or a larger store clerk as people suffering from malnutrition. However, as obesity and lower-nutritional food choices become ever more rampant in this country, we’re embarking on yet another crisis.

Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a malnourished person by a waistline. If you’ll remember 8th grade health class, malnutrition means that not enough of the right foods are eaten (we had the food pyramid, but I think they use a plate graphic these days). As of right now, 85% of Americans aren’t getting the proper, FDA recommended, vitamins and minerals from food for healthy living (TheGuardian.com). In addition, vast amounts of children are suffering from “hidden hunger,” or micronutrient deficiency, which means that the foods they are eating “are calorie dense, but nutritionally poor” (TheGuardian.com). As a kid, I was told that if I didn’t finish my vegetables, I wouldn’t grow up to be big and strong – what are these kids being told?

Besides causing us to look like a Dickens’ refugee, malnutrition does incredible internal damage. By simply eating the wrong things, we are afflicted with tiredness, inability to concentrate, depression, immune system problems and, eventually, difficulty breathing and heart failure (Medicalnewstoday.com). As issues create a sicker, weaker population, it affects the US economy, as well. The productivity of malnourished workers isn’t as high as nourished ones and sick workers don’t go to work. Also, undernourished folks cost the country $157 billion per year in medical expenses (Mediaroom.com). While it won’t kill us to eat a carrot, not eating one could.

With our busy lives and bizarre new world, we want comfort. Unfortunately, this desire for comfort doesn’t end with a fluffy sweater. Research has shown that “70% of fast food meals consumed in the US are of poor nutritional value” (USNews.com). Since almost half of all Americans eat fast food every day (USNews.com), we are paying for the privilege of being poisoned. People say that eating healthy is too expensive. That’s true. A Harvard study has discovered that healthy meals cost $1.50 more a day than fast food (HSPH.Harvard.edu). But what about the hours needed to cook healthy, cheap meals at home? I Goggled cheap, healthy, fast meals and found 643,000,000 entries in .59 seconds. I think it’s possible to avoid McDonald’s, I really do.

We aren’t good for anything if we’re not good to ourselves. Our mental and physical health are being damaged by the plastic foods we’re ingesting. It’s time to put down the spork and pick up real food.

Bourke Accounting bookkeepers and tax preparers know that they can’t meet your needs with clogged arteries. Bourke Accounting pros also know that their cognitive abilities are lessened with a brain full of additives. Sit down with a Bourke Accounting expert and see how their clean living can benefit you. Also, they’re not shy about sharing their secret, healthy recipes!

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.