- Written by Dr. Stephanie Shelburne Dr. Stephanie Shelburne
I am an O.Q. I admit it.
I love being an O.Q. I think it’s the smartest route in today’s world of mixed information and confusing media about health and happiness. Being an O.Q. saves me a lot of hassle and makes my life easier, more enjoyable, and more consciously attuned to sustainable living in a modern world.
What exactly is an O.Q. and how can you become one?
An O. Q. is an Omnivorous Qualitarian (major emphasis on the qualitarian part). How does being an Omnivorous Qualitarian make life simpler and more enjoyable and more sustainably attuned?
For one, instead of trying to weed through all the confusing facts and figures of whether or not something is the right amount of carb or fat or fun, I get to ask myself one simple question...is it quality?
Quality is the most important part of being an O.Q.
Important even to the point of outright snobbery. Before you get worried that “Quality” means “expensive” let’s break this down a little bit. I think you’ll be surprised...and then you’ll want to be an O.Q. too.
Quality means “a degree of excellence” according to good old Merriam-Webster. It also means possessing an air of superiority. Here’s the best definition I’ve come across yet: “Quality is the attribute of an elementary sensation that makes it fundamentally unlike any other sensation”. (Merriam-Webster, 2013)
In short, quality means singular and special.
Rarely, if ever, is quality mass produced. As far as food is concerned, quality means; no matter whether it is an animal, vegetable, or mineral it is as close to the original source as possible, minimally processed, non-GMO, sustainably grown, humanely raised and handled, small batch, and freshly prepared. If you’re eating quality food then rest assured that it’s actually food and not the dreaded “food product”.
How does focusing on quality help with sustainability?
More than likely the higher the quality, the lower the carbon footprint.
Omnivorous is the next part of being on O.Q. Omnivorous means “avidly taking in everything”. In the world of food it refers to including both animal and plant based components in your diet. Let’s be very clear on one thing; being omnivorous means you can eat anything however being an Omnivorous Qualitarian means you don’t eat just anything.
Whether we want to believe it or not, our pre-modern forebears knew how to feed themselves well. Think about it, no pills to pop, no superfoods to order through Amazon, they needed to know what to eat and when to eat it to remain optimally healthy. And research indicates quite unequivocally that our pre-modern peeps were omnivorous.
Being omnivorous is important. Eating a wide variety of quality, nutrient dense foods insures that you are getting a wide variety of actual nutrients.
Not to mention, spreading your consumption across a wider variety of locally sourced food helps the planet exponentially! Are you starting to see the picture?
As an O.Q. I get to say "Yes" to all kinds of actual food without too much worry, just as long as it is quality. For example; let’s say I want some pasta for dinner. Do I get it from the franchise restaurant in the strip mall down the road where it was actually first prepared in Kansas from conventionally grown and processed ingredients, frozen, shipped, and then reheated in a microwave when I ordered it here? (bleah)
Or scenario number 2: do I go down the road to the neighborhood Italian place, where the pasta is made fresh daily by Luca's granny, using locally produced produce, semolina, dairy, with a sauce recipe that has been handed down a few generations? All prepared in house with a legacy of love and nourishment...deliciously simmered to just the right aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel? Hmmm... kind of a no-brainer when you put it that way, right?
Being an O.Q. isn’t just limited to what you eat. It can be applied to every single thing you consume. What kind of clothes are you wearing? Did you know that the new and trendy polyfiber based clothing wreaks havoc on the enviroment everytime you wash and dry them? Yep, all those little fibers break off into plastic microbeads, making their way into the environment.
Other things that enhance O.Q. Living: Do you get to spend time in nature simply enjoying the experience of nature?
What sort of movies do you watch and music do you listen to? What kind of books do you read? What is the subject matter supporting? Where does the money from your purchases go?
O.Q. is a lifestyle that impacts everything around you. And it means asking questions rather than accepting the status quo.
But it also means feeling great not just good as you increase the pleasure in your life. Upping the mmmmm factor and reaching for quality instead of quantity.
I'm an O.Q.... Wouldn't you like to BNOQ2? (: