An Effort to End Nutritional Ignorance
I used to presume if something was on offer, it was safe to eat. If a store sold it as a food item, I should be able to ingest it. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Additives and preservatives, not intended for our gastrointestinal tracts, are in almost everything, from ibuprofen to cereal bars. If you cannot pronounce the ingredient or identify it, don’t eat it.
Unless, of course, you have a real hankering for some sodium benzoate.
Most “sports drinks” and candy, anything with a red, orange, yellow, green, blue, pink or purple hue that is not a fruit or vegetable, has been dyed. Look at the ingredients of these items and you’ll see Red #40 or Yellow #5. Scary. We’re actually ingesting the equivalent of paint; chemicals whose sole purpose is to add color. This stuff is even in mouthwash and toothpaste!
When I was getting pudgy as a kid, I remember our pediatrician told my mother not to let me eat anything from a bag, box or package. As I think back to what my diet consisted of then, this suggestion would’ve required a total overhaul of my usual regimen: a Pop-tart or Cereal for breakfast (box), Grilled cheese (KRAFT singles Package) white bread (bag) for lunch and macaroni and cheese (box) and a Starcrunch (package and a box) for dinner. A real nutritious line up there, eh?
It was also not uncommon for me to eat several meals a week in the car out of a McDonald’s bag on the way to a gymnastics or soccer practice. (Don’t get me started on whats actually in chicken nuggets, just avoid them, trust me. hotdogs are worse)
While convenient for a working mother to whip these things up quickly to meet my ingestion needs, my health and nutritional needs were suffering. And what ole hairy-eared Dr Reuben was tactfully trying to tell my mother was, well, I was on track to become a wooly mammoth of a girl, and what I ate mattered. Foods that come in a bag box or package usually are of poor quality and have synthetic ingredients that cause our bodies to gain weight and suffer nutritionally. We are intended to eat things mother nature has provided for us, not food contrived in a factory, or genetically modified, or from animals injected with hormones.
THIS INCLUDES MOST DIET DRINKS and PROTEIN BARS. CHEMICAL LADEN.
Actually now is a good time to put the book down and Netflix the movie Food Inc. No seriously, I can wait. This food documentary doesn’t tell you not to eat meat or to become a vegan, it just exposes the food industry’s practices. And like any industry, understandably, the goal is to make money. I hadn’t realized most restaurant chains get their meat and produce from one source, and that source has completely revolutionized raising beef and growing corn. It is a streamlined, efficient process. Unfortunately, as with most things, when you take time and cost-saving shortcuts, quality suffers. And your health suffers.
When you ingest meats, milk and cheese from animals injected with hormones, your body responds to those hormones, eventually in the form of breast and prostate cancer.
You get what you pay for, and unfortunately we are, as a nation, getting obese, and getting diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attacks and cancer.
And we are paying for it.