Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don't Eat Me, Don't Drink Me

A lot of people, myself included, have decided to start eating healthier and become more aware of the foods that they put in their bodies. Unfortunately, this process can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming. It can definitely cause a kind of fight or flight response, where people either choose to learn more and make real changes, or they become so overloaded with information that they stop reading anything about the subject and carry on as before.
The truth is that the things the majority of people in our society eat on a regular basis aren’t healthy. They are mass produced, chemically altered, and artificially enhanced. We have come a very long way from real food.
It’s hard to face the truth. I, for one, was always a loyal and trusting customer, unwilling to believe that anyone would sell a product that might be harmful. Unfortunately, I know better now. The mass production of food has called for the cutting of corners in all areas. Animals in the food production chain are mistreated, plants genetically altered, pesticides used to maximize profits, flavor enhancers, preservatives, colors, etc. chemically produced and added to our food. Our environment is suffering the consequences and so are we in the form of food intolerances, allergies, obesity, cancer, etc.
In theory, the solution to this problem is quite a simple one: we have to stop eating mass produced, highly processed food. I always think of it this way- if a product contains an ingredient I do not know and/or that did not exist a few decades ago, I shouldn’t be eating it.
A lot of people are reluctant to make changes, since they see these changes as a form of sacrifice. What we as a society have forgotten is that we truly are what we eat. The whole purpose of taking in nourishment is for the production of cells and to provide our bodies with energy. If the food we take in is not ideal, the building blocks our body uses to produce its cells are substandard and illness is a logical consequence.
I see numerous reports pop up daily all over the Internet about how xyz is not healthy and abc causes cancer, etc. People seem surprised to learn that e.g. the chips they love so much actually aren't good for them. I have seen people express sentiments such as: ‘What else is there left to eat?!?’, after discovering that the fast food chain they love eating from isn’t serving them the healthiest of foods after all, despite what they advertise.
We as consumers have a choice. A product that doesn’t sell will no longer be produced. It is in our hands to lead the way when it comes to food consumption. We can each make an effort to gradually cut out more and more of the highly processed foods we have become accustomed to eating. If my grandmother wouldn’t have known what an ingredient is, I now refuse to eat it.
We can all do our part by making better choices. Shopping locally for our meat, dairy, eggs, and produce. Trying to stick with produce that is in season over green house grown fruits and veggies. The more healthier choices we make, the more the food industry will have to adjust to our change in demands.
Becoming a healthier eater should be a fun task, not a stressful one. Try not to overload your brain with too much information or you might end up feeling as though there is no food that is truly edible anymore. Most of us don’t have the luxury (or is it?) of growing our own food, so we must stick with the options we have. It really helps to take a relaxed approach and even splurge every once in a while. I think a nice restaurant burger every once in a while is a must! (vegetarian or meat)

1 comment:

  1. So true! I basically tell myself, when presented with a choice, to choose the lesser of the evils.

    I recently shifted from that processed peanut butter to the unsalted and unsweetened kind. Then I shifted to - even better - the natural kind. And now I don't even like the taste or texture of the first two! I've EVOLVED. Go figure. :)