What is the link between the capacity of today's ultra runners to break new boundaries and the food they eat? The quality of food is undoubtedly the biggest single influence on physical health and vitality, especially for athletes. Unfortunately, the industrialisation and globalisation of today’s food systems has impacted the quality and safety of our foods negatively. We’re paying a high cost for cheap food.
Changes in farming practice have reduced the micronutrient content of the foods we eat, as well as increasing the level of undesirable chemical residues, both of which are likely to affect the health and vitality of runners.
To highlight these vital connections Anthony Rodale, grandson of American organic legend J.I. Rodale and president of the Sustainable Food Trust's (SFT) not-for-profit arm in the US, will be drawing attention to these vital connections as he runs the gruelling 7 day, 150 mile Marathon des Sables, through the desert sands of the Sahara.
The funds raised from Rodale’s effort will be allocated to the SFT's work reconnecting people to their food system by promoting a better understanding of the links between farming practice, food quality, safety and human health. This will include their pioneering work on True Cost Accounting (TCA) for food and farming which shows how highly subsidised, intensively-produced food does not reflect the true cost of the damage it causes to the environment and public health.
Rodale, a seasoned ultra-runner, will be competing in his third Marathon des Sables. His first run 2011 and 2nd in 2013, netted him a reshaped body, an empowering running community (the Wild Bunch), and a newfound perspective on what it means to be 'fit and healthy'.
"All runners know: it starts with our food," says Rodale. “But this affects everyone on earth. We’ve got to get moving on changing the system before it’s too late to reverse the damage.”
To follow Anthony's journey, visit www.rodalewildbunch.com