Forging Change: ‘Food’ for Thought

Go Lean Commentary

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” – Old Adage.

Could it be that simple? Have we been laboring all the while, trying to forge change in the Caribbean region while missing out on the easiest driver: Food?

Seriously! We “gotta” eat!

While the publishers of the book Go Lean…Caribbean wants to forge change in the Caribbean, we recognize that it is a heavy-lifting task. There are so many societal defects in the region and we need effective strategies, tactics and implementation to effect turn-around. Despite all the advance research and academic exercises, we seem to have left off this simple yet effective model: Food.

This is the impression gleaned from this University of Pittsburgh (USA) study and VIDEO here:

Video: Study: Changing Diet May Affect Colon Cancer Risk –

As the foregoing VIDEO depicts, change can be forged in as soon as 2 weeks. That simple! This is impactful enough for us to all lean-in to this guidance.

Cancer – this is the underlying threat being mitigated in the foregoing VIDEO. While this is a complicated medical issue – where many people have lost their lives – it is not oversimplifying to say that our food choices can endanger our overall health. While everything is not known about cancer – there is no actual cure, only treatments – it is the accepted wisdom that diet and exercise minimize the risk of affliction.

The subject of cancer is a community health crisis. But if we can forge change in this threatening area by our food choices, then we need to pay heed.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a confederation of all 30 member-states in the region. This effort is an initiative to bring change and empowerment to the Caribbean region, to make the region a better place to live, work, heal and play. From the outset, the book recognized the significance of our culture, how food and diet plays a significant role in the Caribbean eco-system with these statements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14):

xxvi.     Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of … frozen foods … impacting the region with more jobs.

xxx.     Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.

xxxii.    Whereas the cultural arts … of the region are germane to the quality of Caribbean life, and the international appreciation of Caribbean life, the Federation must implement the support systems to teach, encourage, incentivize, monetize and promote the related industries … These endeavors will make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

The purpose of the Go Lean roadmap is societal change, not food; yet there is this acknowledgement that food can help forge change. This is against the backdrop that there are many threats to Caribbean life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Food choices affect these executions. Think: obesity, health care, cancer, poverty and jobs.

This Go Lean roadmap calls for the heavy-lifting in shepherding many important aspects of Caribbean life; these food-related issues included. This is not so simple anymore. For one, the book reports (Page 157) that in the United States “Cancer strikes nearly 1 in every 2 men and more than 1 in every 3 women” and then sounds the alarm that the Caribbean cannot be far behind. This may be considered a “Clear and Present Danger”. So there is the need for change in this important area.

The Go Lean book, as an empowerment roadmap, must therefore examine the reality and consequences of food, under the guise of this regional effort. This roadmap has 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion GDP and create 2.2 million new jobs, many of which are projected for food-related and allied health industries (30,000 in direct agriculture; 20,000 in direct Health Care; 4000 in direct Fisheries; and 2000 related to Frozen Foods).
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance, including a separation-of-powers with the member-states, to support these engines.

The book is not a public health instruction manual. Nor is it is a book on science and nutrition. But it does describe the CU as a hallmark of a technocracy, a commitment to efficiency and effectiveness, but still with a commitment to concepts of culture, food, and fun – overall happiness. The Go Lean book declares that before any real change takes root in the Caribbean that we must reach the heart, that there must be an adoption of new community ethos, the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. We must therefore use effective and efficient drivers to touch the heart and forge this change. How? We know there is truth to the opening quotation: “through the stomach”.

The Go Lean roadmap was constructed with the community ethos in mind to forge change, plus the execution of related strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to make the change permanent. The following is a sample of these specific details from the book:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development – Nouvelle Caribbean Cuisine Page 30
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness – Promotion of Domestic Cultural Institutions Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Mission – Build and foster local economic engines to satiate food   needs Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Celebrate the Culture and Cuisine of the Caribbean Page 46
Strategy – Customers – Outreach to Caribbean Diaspora Page 47
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Creating $800 Billion Economy – New High Multiplier Industries – Frozen Foods Page 70
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of State – Culture   Administration Page 81
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Food / Nutritional Administrations Page 87
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Agriculture & Fisheries Licensing – Inspections Page 88
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Farm & Marine Credit – Economic Influence Page 88
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization – Dynamics of Food Supply Page 119
Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence – Food Interdependence Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region – 4 Languages & Culture in Unison Page 127
Planning – Ways to Improve Trade – Diaspora Marketing Page 128
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 136
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Impact  Cancer – Promote Wellness – Better Diets Page 157
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Food Consumption Page 162
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications – Public Broadcasting of “Sound-bites” Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Events – Food Festivals Page 191
Advocacy – Ways to Develop Frozen Foods Page 208
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Fisheries Page 210
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage – Promote Culture Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Improve the Arts Page 230
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Promotion of Farmers Markets Page 234
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – Agricultural Co-existence Mandate Page 235

This roadmap wants to change the Caribbean diet plan, branded Nouvelle Caribbean Cuisine: more fiber, less fats; more green vegetables, less processed food; no more S.A.D., meaning Standard American Diet.

As depicted by the S.A.D. references, there is the expectation not to allow the American eco-system to lead in this sphere of influence. There was a time when much of the Caribbean food supply originated locally. That is not a difficult message to convey. Lesser developed countries, (think Africa), are more successful with local food production and consumption, the Caribbean can succeed. While this plan is optimistic, it is realistic too. People can and do change.

There is the acknowledgement that the business of food has changed in the light of modern dynamics, particularly due to globalization. To spur more local agricultural development, the economic engines of the food supply must be secured. This point was previously detailed in these Go Lean blog/commentaries: Role Model Shaking Up the World of Cancer The Cost of Cancer Drugs Climate Change May Affect Food Supply Within a Decade Cuban All Natural – Declared “the best in the world” Wellness Advocates push for junk-food tax Cuban cancer medication registered in 28 countries PR’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Project Breaks Ground

“Do what you have always done, get what you’ve always got” – Old Adage.

The effort to forge change has also been stressed in previous Go Lean blog/commentaries, as detailed here: Forging Change: Music Moves People Forging Change: The Sales Process Forging Change: The Fun Theory Only at the precipice, do they change

In the Caribbean, we need better food consumption habits. According to the foregoing VIDEO, it does not take a lot to change habits in this regard. We must simply push hard (messaging) on the needed changes, and then labor to get the community ethos to take hold. All the earnest effort will be a waste unless people are moved to change. So we must use all effective tools to forge the required change; food or the “stomach” is one of the best ways … to reach people.

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Food - Photo 3

This is serious; this is life-and-death.

The quest to change the Caribbean is more complex than just feeding people. But their food options can signal their willingness to change and assimilate the empowerments being advocated for the region. This is the mandate of the Go Lean roadmap: making the Caribbean a better place to live, work, heal and play.

We “gotta” eat …

So everyone is encouraged to lean-in for this change and the full Go Lean roadmap. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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