Last week the Great NEWS blog shared Costa Rica – Health & Longevity in Paradise for Pura Vida (Pure Life) and today is a follow up with the Costa Rica – Problems in Paradise imported from the US and other developed countries.

After traveling on my third trip to Costa Rica and being immersed in the culture it became quite evident there are major issues developing that are harming the country and its people. As you read the article notice the examples and warnings from Costa Rica Problems in Paradise to see which ones may also be robbing you of your health and longevity.

While Costa Rica is currently one of the Blue Zones for health and longevity there are many alarms, red lights on the dashboard and warnings being sounded to alert people to the problems in paradise. Today you will read valuable life lessons learned regarding how fake foods and modern conveniences are harming your health and longevity.

Influences Effecting the Harmony of Costa Rica

Two decades of introducing modern comforts is undoing hundreds of years of living in harmony with the land of Costa Rica. Therefore you can imagine what 100 years of modern comforts are doing to the rest of us in our daily lives. As you notice the trends in Costa Rica what else do you notice about your life?

People are starting to eat significantly more highly processed and refined foods like white biscuits, bread, buns, cakes, rolls and sweets, Many people are replacing one or two traditional meals of beans, rice and vegetables with fast foods or fake foods. Burgers, fries and sodas are becoming much more common.

Costa Ricans are Getting FatThey are now eating more foods that are not fresh. They are drinking more juices and powder drinks instead of eating the whole fruit.

More of the foods are not whole foods and not cooked from scratch.

People are eating much less of the beautiful rainbow of colors from beans, fruits, greens, plants, seeds and vegetables which provides a wide range of antioxidants and phyto-nutrients.

Many people in the cities of Costa Rica are eating only one or two good meals a day and frequently unhealthy one and snacks.

They are also switching to corn, canola and soy oil in cooking. Many of the foods are now being fried in rancid oil.

While they still work hard five and a half days a week on the farm, in the city they are doing less physical work and more sitting or standing jobs. Often they have less time to enjoy Saturday afternoon and Sunday for family, friends, fun, special occasions and spiritual time.

Houses are becoming more closely crowded together and built along busy roads and streets. More of them lack fresh air due exhaust fumes and the noise levels are increasing significantly.

Signs of Obesity Popping Up

The long history of natural foods and raw foods in Costa Rica is beginning to be replaced my mostly cooked, fried, micro-waved and pasteurized foods. More fast foods and fake foods are being eaten. With much less fresh foods and much more processed foods they are gaining weight and showing many signs of obesity.

Many people are starting to buy the apples and grapes from Chile rather than eating local fruits.

More of the fish is farm raised tilapia. Many people eat lots of fried chicken. Hogs are gaining in popularity and known to carry many diseases. More of the eggs and dairy is coming from other than free range organic sources.

The children, men and women are walking less due to buses, cars, motorcycles and trucks which produce quite a bit of particulate material and pollution. While they still do more walking than the average person in the developed world the benefits of modern transportation combined with less healthy foods is taking a “heavy” toll.

People are consuming more candy, cakes, crackers, cookies, fried corn chips, fried plantains, potato chips and sodas which are some of the unhealthiest foods in the world.

Significant increase in consumption of breads, pasta, pizza and tortillas made with processed and refined white flour is another sugar.

Refined sugar is becoming the sweetener of choice for many families.

Fried chicken, French fries, fried chips, fried fish and fried foods are becoming increasing common in their diet.

Commercially processed and refined canola oil, corn oil, soy oil and sunflower oil is replacing the healthier oils like butter, coconut and palm oil for cooking.

More Lifestyle Changes Effecting Long Term Health

Lottery in ParadiseLots of people buying and selling Lottery.

Due to many unsafe factors there are excessive accidents, car crashes, drownings and serious injuries. Most adults and children do not wear a helmet when riding a bike or a motorcycle and therefore many suffer excessive injuries.

The rapid access and exposure to modern electronics devices such as cell phones, cell phones towers, Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMF), microwaves, power lines, televisions and transformers is increasing significantly.

As mentioned before and worthy of mention again, consumption of sodas, sugar and sweets is rising rapidly and it shows.

Excess coffee consumption frequently with sugar is very acidic, addictive and harmful to ones health. Also much of the coffee trees are sprayed with fungicides and insecticides.

Many more chemicals are being used in the home.

There is a significant increase in chemicals used on farms. Bankers want to loan uneducated farmers money so they can buy herbicides to kill the grass and weeds so they can plant new grass for their cattle. Guess where those chemicals end up. They end up in the food, drinking water and rivers of course.

Excess meat consumption and eating less vegetables is causing more gout, liver problems, varicose veins and other health issues.

Lots of cooked carbohydrate foods such as pasta, pizza, potato, flour, white rice, white bread, white sugar, yucca, corn, and mostly cooked foods.

Many young women and women are wearing high heels which cause the bones, joints and ligaments of the body to be out of alignment. This shows up in deformed and ugly feet as well as back, knee, hip and neck problems in the future.

The influence of magazines, movies and television is shifting behavior towards excess unhealthy consumerism and consumption.

Adults and children are starting to consume way too many cooked foods, sugary fake foods and sodas.

Deep Fried Yucca

Deep Fried Yucca

Excess pasteurized cheese and milk is putting excessive pounds on the people.

More people are working early and late shifts to accommodate the new business and industries developing and relocating to Costa Rica. This is increasing their stress levels and disconnecting them from the rhythms of nature.

While there is abundant clean water more of the water is being treated with chlorine as a precaution. More plastic bottles are being used for beverages and other items which are creating a lot of exposure to chemicals in the plastic and greater amounts of trash.

Many of the people who grew up working on the farms are migrating to city jobs and are less connected to the job they are doing. While the life and pay seems better they are also spending more for food, housing and transportation as they slip deeper into debt and stress and their real quality of life is deteriorating.

While Costa Rica is well known for its focus on family many people are being relocated away from the family. A teacher may be sent across the country to a school far away from her family and social support.

While they typically eat lots of fresh beans, fruits, roots, vegetables and plants more of their foods are over processed and over cooked. They are by passing up more of the local items for more of the imported ones.

Due to excess alcohol, coffee, fruit drinks, sodas, stress, strain, sugar and sweets in Costa Rica their warm and friendly nature seems to be affected. You can see it in their eyes that they are stressing and struggling more.

More young people are smoking. Ex-pats, tourists and cheap cigarettes are setting an unhealthy pattern for the future.

Kids are playing more electronic and computer games with less outdoor activities and games to stay mentally and physically fit.

The Costa Rica Landscape

While Costa Rica is blessed with access to the Caribbean sea, Pacific Ocean and clean rivers more of the water is being polluted by bar soaps, chemicals, laundry detergent and other harmful industrial chemicals manufactured and promoted by foreign companies.

While Costa Rica is blessed with abundant renewable and sustainable energy there is still much more opportunity to utilize solar power sources at the individual level.

Costa Rican Landscape Showing Effects of ErosionDue to excessive tree cutting for wood and land clearing for cattle many of the beautiful birds and rainforest animals are negatively impacted. Invasive grasses, lack of food trees, weed species and soil erosion are isolating many species and causing significant population declines.

While many fragrant flowers, plants and trees still fill the air with fragrant smells there is definitely a significant increase in cow manure, burning trash and diesel fumes that are offensive and unhealthy.

Unfortunately in Costa Rica there is increasing and significant noise pollution from cars, horns, radios and trucks that detract for the peace, quiet and serenity of paradise.

More people are turning to alcohol, drugs, loud music and late night partying which robs the body, mind and spirit of what it needs to find balance and peace.

So much of the land has been cleared that during the rainy season there is excessive flooding and soil erosion. Beautiful hardwood rainforest trees are being replaced with invasive trees and even non native species that can upset the ecology and balance of nature.

The Other Side of the Coin

While Costa Rica is well known for the health and longevity of its people it is obviously sounding an alarm to all of us because now we see the Costa Rica – Problems in Paradise side of the coin.

Traveling to Costa Rica is a must on anyone’s bucket list before paradise is lost and they put up more cattle lots. It is still one of the most beautiful ecologically diverse countries in the world. As more of us continue waking up in time to stop the damage from the many suggestions, strategies and solutions offered by the US and other developed countries we prevent harming the people and detracting from their health. We can all implement more of what we are learning and move towards a more healthy and holistic lifestyle. Now that you understand what is happening to cause Costa Rica Problems in Paradise you will more easily notice what is happening to all of us.

Mastery Action Plan

  • What are you doing that is contributing to problems in your country?
  • What can you do this week to lessen your footprint on mother earth?
  • Identify one or two things you will do this week to create a more renewable and sustainable future.
  • How can you add some Pura Vida (Pure Life) to your daily routines for your health and longevity?

Our next Great NEWS blog post will share: The Great and Gross in the UK