Skip to comments.The New Food Fight: Big Food Vs. Big Organic: Have the elite hijacked healthy eating?
Posted on 11/26/2013 6:20:01 AM PST by Red Badger
Late last year, in a small health-food eatery called Cafe Sprouts in Oberlin, Ohio, I had what may well have been the most wholesome beverage of my life. The friendly server guided me to an apple-blueberry-kale-carrot smoothie-juice combination, which she spent the next several minutes preparing, mostly by shepherding farm-fresh produce into machinery. The result was tasty. But at 300 calories (by my rough calculation) for a 16-ounce cup, it was more than my diet could regularly absorb without consequences.
Nor was I about to make a habit of $9 shakes, healthy or not. Inspired by the experience nonetheless, I tried again two months later at L.A.s Real Food Daily, a popular vegan restaurant near Hollywood. I was initially wary of a low-calorie juice made almost entirely from green vegetables, but the server assured me it was a popular treat. I could stomach only about a third of the oddly foamy, bitter concoction. It smelled like lawn clippings and tasted like liquid celery. It went for $7.95, and I waited ten minutes for it.
I finally hit the sweet spot just a few weeks later, in Chicago, with a delicious blueberry-pomegranate smoothie that rang in at a relatively modest 220 calories. It cost $3 and took only seconds to make. Best of all, Ill be able to get this concoction just about anywhere. Thanks, McDonalds!
If only the McDonalds smoothie werent, unlike the first two, so fattening and unhealthy. Or at least thats what the most prominent voices in our food culture today would have you believe.
What the foodies get wrong
An enormous amount of public discourse has been dedicated to promoting the notion that processed food is making us overweight. In this narrative, the food-industrial complexparticularly the fast-food industryhas engineered its offerings to addict us to fat, sugar, and salt, causing or at least heavily contributing to the obesity crisis. In virtually every realm of human existence, we turn to technology to help us solve our problems. But when it comes to food-processing technology, its widely treated as if it is the problem.
The food theyre cooking is making people sick, Michael Pollan, bestselling author of The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food, has said of big food companies. It is one of the reasons that we have the obesity and diabetes epidemics that we do If youre going to let industries decide how much salt, sugar, and fat is in your food, theyre going to put [in] as much as they possibly can. The solution, in his view, is to replacethrough public education and regulationBig Foods engineered, edible evil with fresh, unprocessed, local, seasonal, real food. Pollans world view saturates the public conversation on healthy eating. You hear much the same from many scientists, physicians, food activists, nutritionists, celebrity chefs, and pundits. Pollans peers, such as Mark Bittman, the New York Timess lead food writer; Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us; and Melanie Warner, Times reporter and author of Pandoras Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, are all well positioned to spread the message. Thousands of restaurants and grocery stores, most notably the Whole Foods Market chain, have thrived by answering the call to reject industrialized foods in favor of a return to natural, simple, nonindustrializedlets call them wholesomefoods.
If the most influential voices in our food culture today get their way, we will achieve a genuine food revolution. Yet despite the best efforts of a small army of wholesome-food heroes, there is no reasonable scenario under which these foods could become cheap and plentiful enough to serve as the core diet for most of the populationobese or otherwiseeven in the unlikely case that the typical junk-food eater would be willing and able to break lifelong habits to embrace kale and yellow beets. Besides, many of the dishes glorified by the wholesome-food movement are as caloric as anything served at Burger King.
Real Food Is Fattening Too
Lets go shopping. We can start at Whole Foods, a critical link in the wholesome-eating food chain. There are three within 15 minutes of my housewere big on real food in the suburbs west of Boston. Here at the largest of the three, I can choose from more than 21 types of tofu, 62 bins of organic grains and legumes, and 42 different salad greens.
Much of the food isnt that different from what I can get in any other supermarket, but sprinkled throughout are items that scream wholesome. One that catches my eye, sitting prominently on an impulse-buy rack near checkout, is Vegan Cheesy Salad Booster, from Living Intentions, whose package emphasizes the fact that the food is enhanced with spirulina, chlorella, and sea vegetables. The label also proudly lets me know that the contents are rawno processing!and that they dont contain any genetically modified ingredients. What the stuff does contain, though, is more than three times the fat content per ounce of the beef patty in a Big Mac (meaning that more than two thirds of the calories come from fat) and four times the sodium.
After my excursion to Whole Foods, I drive a few minutes to a Trader Joes, also known for an emphasis on wholesome foods. At the register, Im confronted with a large display of a snack food called Inner Peas, consisting of peas that are breaded in cornmeal and rice flour, fried in sunflower oil, and then sprinkled with salt. By weight, the snack has six times as much fat as it does protein, along with loads of carbohydrates. I cant recall ever seeing anything at any fast-food restaurant that represents as big an obesogenic crime against the vegetable kingdom. (Trader Joes website now states that the recipe has recently changed to reduce fat and raise protein. Living Intentions did not respond to a request for comment.) Im not picking out rare, less healthy examples from these stores. Check out their products nutrition labels online: fat, sugar, and other refined carbs abound.
Next: But chemicals are bad right?
Hold on, you may be thinking. Leaving fat, sugar, and salt aside, what about all the nasty things that wholesome foods do not, by definition, contain that processed foods do? A central claim of the wholesome-food movement is that wholesome is healthier because it doesnt have the artificial flavors, preservatives, other additives, or genetically modified ingredients found in industrialized food. This is the complaint against the McDonalds smoothie, which contains artificial flavors and texture additives and which is pre-mixed. Its the tautology at the heart of the movement: Processed foods are unhealthy because they arent natural, full stop.
The fact is, there is simply no clear, credible evidence that any aspect of food processing or storage makes a food uniquely unhealthy. The U.S. population does not suffer from a critical lack of any nutrient, because we eat so much processed food. (Sure, health experts urge Americans to get more calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A, E, and C, and eating more produce and dairy is a great way to get thembut these ingredients are also available in processed foods, not to mention supplements.)
Processed foods, which Pollan has called foodlike substances, are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (with some exceptions, which are regulated by other agencies), and their effects on health are further raked over by countless scientists who would get a nice career boost from turning up the hidden dangers in some common food-industry ingredient or technique. Until I hear evidence to the contrary, I think its reasonable to include processed food in your diet, says Robert Kushner, MD,a physician and nutritionist and a professor at Northwestern Universitys medical school, where he is the clinical director of the Comprehensive Center on Obesity.
Through its growing sway over health-conscious consumers and policy makers, the wholesome-food movement is impeding the progress of the one segment of the food world that is actually positioned to take effective steps to reverse the obesity trend: the processed-food industry. Popular food producers, fast-food chains among them, are already applying various tricks and technologies to create less caloric and more satiating versions of their fare that nonetheless retain much of the appeal of the originals; they could be induced to go much further. In fact, these roundly demonized companies could do far more for the publics health in five years than the wholesome-food movement is likely to accomplish in the next 50. But will the wholesome-food advocates allow them?
Next: Let them eat Brussels sprouts »
Where the Pollanites get into real troublewhere their philosophy becomes so glib and wrongheaded that it is actually immoralis in the claim that their style of food shopping and eating is the answer to the countrys weight problem.
The most obvious problem with the let them eat Brussels sprouts philosophy of affluent wholesome-food advocates involves the price and availability of wholesome food. Even if Whole Foods or Real Food Daily werent, say, three bus rides away for the working poor, and even if three ounces of Vegan Cheesy Salad Booster, a Sea Cake appetizer, and a vegetarian quiche werent laden with fat and problematic carbs, few among the low-income would be likely to shell out $5.99, $9.95, or $16, respectively, for those pricey treats.
A slew of start-ups are trying to find ways to produce fresh, local, unprocessed meals quickly and at lower cost. But could this food eventually be sold as cheaply,conveniently, and ubiquitously as todays junky fast food? Not even according to Mark Bittman, who explored the question in a recent New York Times Magazine article. Even if wholesome food caught on with the public at large, including the obese population, and even if poor and working-class people were willing to pay a premium for it, how long would it take to scale up from a handful of shops to the tens of thousands that would be required to make a dent in the obesity crisis? How long would it take to create the thousands of local farms wed need in order to provide these shops with fresh, unprocessed ingredients, even in cities?
And even if America somehow becomes absolutely saturated with highly affordable outlets for wholesome, locally sourced dishes, what percentage of the junk-food-eating obese will be ready to drop their Big Macs, fries, and Cokes for grilled salmon on chard? Everyones mother and brother has been telling them to eat more fruit and vegetables forever, and the numbers are only getting worse, says Steven Nickolas, who runs the Healthy Food Project in Scottsdale, Arizona. Were not going to solve this problem by telling people to eat unprocessed food.
Next: What Big Food knows about weight loss »
During my trip to L.A., I also visited a Carls Jr. Inside, the biggest and most prominent posters in the store were pushing a new grilled-cod sandwich. It actually looked pretty good, but it wasnt quite lunchtime, and I just wanted a cup of coffee. I went to the counter to order, but before I could say anything, the cashier greeted me and asked, Would you like to try our new Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich today? Oh, well, sure, why not? The sandwich was delicious and took less than a minute to prepare. In some ways, it was the best meal I had in L.A., and it was probably the healthiest.
So why couldnt Big Foods processing and marketing genius be put to use on more genuinely healthier foods? Wouldnt that present a more plausible answer to Americas junk-food problem than ordering up 50,000 new farmers markets featuring locally grown organic squash blossoms?
In fact, McDonalds has quietly been making healthy changes for years, shrinking portion sizes, reducing fats, trimming average salt content by more than 10 percent in the past couple of years alone, and adding fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and oatmeal. In May, the chain dropped its Angus third-pounders and announced a new line of quarter-pound burgers, to be served on buns with whole grains. We think a lot about how we can bring nutritionally balanced meals that include enough protein along with the tastes and satisfaction that have an appetite-tiding effect, says Barbara Booth, the companys director of sensory science.
Such steps are enormously promising, says Jamy Ard, MD, an epidemiology and preventive-medicine researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a co-director of the Weight Management Center there. Processed food is a key part of our environment, and it needs to be part of the equation, he explains. If you can reduce fat and calories by only a small amount in a Big Mac, it still wont be a health food, but it wouldnt be as bad, and that could have a huge impact on us.
Dr. Ard, who has been working for more than a decade with the obese poor, has little patience for the wholesome-food movements call to eliminate fast food in favor of farm-fresh goods. Its really naive, he says. Fast food became popular because its tasty and convenient and cheap. It makes a lot more sense to look for small, beneficial changes in that food than it does to hold out for big changes in what people eat that have no realistic chance of happening.
Americans get 11 percent of their calories, on average, from fast fooda number thats almost certainly much higher among some segments of the population. As a result, the fast-food industry may be uniquely positioned to improve our diets. Research suggests that calorie counts in a meal can be trimmed by as much as 30 percent without eaters noticingby, for example, reducing portion sizes and swapping in ingredients that contain more fiber and water. Over time, that could be more than enough to literally tip the scales for many obese people. The difference between losing weight and not losing weight, says Dr. Robert Kushner, the obesity scientist and clinical director at Northwestern, is a few hundred calories a day.
Which raises a question: If McDonalds is taking these sorts of steps, albeit in a slow and limited way, why isnt it more loudly saying so to deflect criticism? While the company has heavily plugged the debut of its new egg-white sandwich and chicken wraps, the ads have left out even a mention of health, the reduced calories and fat, and the inclusion of whole grains. McDonalds has practically kept secret the fact that it has also begun substituting whole-grain flour for some of the less healthy refined flour in its bestselling Egg McMuffin.
Were not making any health claims, says Greg Watson, a senior vice president. Were just saying its new, it tastes great, come on in and enjoy it. Maybe once the product is well seated with customers, well change that message. The same reasoning presumably explains why there wasnt a whiff of cheerleading surrounding the turkey burger brought out earlier this year by Burger King (which is not yet calling the sandwich a permanent addition) or the grilled cod sandwich offered by Carls Jr. The industry recognizes what generationsof parents well know: If you want to turn off otherwise eager eaters to a dish, tell them its good for them.
Dozens of food-science companies are now trying to make healthy processed food taste just as good as the high-fat, -salt, and -sugar variety. I visited Fona International, a flavor-engineering company outside Chicago, and learned that there is a battery of tricks for fooling and appeasing taste buds, which are prone to notice the lack of fat or sugar, or the presence of any of the various bitter, metallic, or otherwise unpleasant flavors that vegetables, fiber, complex carbs, and fat or sugar substitutes can impart to a food intended to appeal to junk-food eaters. When you reduce the sugar, fat, and salt in foods, you change the personality of the product, says Robert Sobel, a chemist who heads up research at the company. We can restore it.
I also visited Tic Gums in White Marsh, Maryland, a company that engineers textures into food products. With an arsenal of some 20 different gumsedible ingredients found mostly in tree sap, seeds, and other plant matterTics researchers can make low-fat foods taste creamier, give to sugar-free beverages the same full body that sugared drinks offer, counter chalkiness and gloopiness, and help orchestrate the timing of flavor bursts. Tic served me an under-development version of a low-fat salad dressing that was better than any Ive ever had.
Next: Lets make peace with packaging »
Whats not to like about these developments? Plenty, if youve bought into the notion that processing itself is the source of the unhealthfulness of our foods. The wholesome-food movement is not only talking up dietary strategies that are unlikely to help most obese Americans; it is, in various ways, getting in the way of strategies that could work better.
Pollan has popularized contempt for nutritionism, the idea behind packing healthier ingredients into processed foods. In his view, the quest to add healthier ingredients to food isnt a potential solutionits part of the problem. Food is healthy not when it contains healthy ingredients, he argues, but when it can be traced simply and directly to (preferably local) farms.
In this way, wholesome-food advocates have managed to pre-damn the very steps we need the food industry to take, placing the industry in a no-win situation: If it maintains the status quo, then we need to stay away because its food is loaded with fat and sugar. But if it tries to moderate these ingredients, then it is deceiving us with nutritionism. Pollan explicitly counsels avoiding foods containing more than five ingredients or any hard-to-pronounce or unfamiliar ingredients. This rule eliminates almost anything the industry could do to produce healthier foods that retain mass appealand thats perfectly in keeping with his intention.
The Pollanites threaten to derail the reformation of fast food just as its gaining traction. No sooner had McDonalds and Burger King rolled out their egg-white sandwich and turkey burger, respectively, than a spate of articles hooted that the new dishes werent healthier because they trimmed a mere 50 and 100 calories from their counterparts, the Egg McMuffin and the Whopper. Apparently these writers didnt understand, or chose to ignore, that a reduction of 50 or 100 calories in a single dish places an eater on track to eliminate a few hundred calories a day from his or her dietthe critical threshold for long-term weight loss. Any bigger reduction would risk leaving someone too hungry to stick to a diet program. Its just the sort of small step in the right direction we should aim for.
Continuing to call out Big Food on its unhealthy offerings, and loudly, is one of the best levers we have for pushing it toward healthier productsbut lets call it out intelligently, not reflexively. Executives of giant food companies are not stupid. If they dont counter their most vocal critics, they risk a growing public-relations disaster, the loss of more affluent and increasingly health-conscious customers, and the threat of regulation, which will be costly to fight, even if the new rules dont stick. Those fears are surely whats driving much of the push toward moderately healthier fare within the industry today. Theres no question that people can make small, painless, but helpful changes in their diets by switching from Whoppers to turkey burgers, from Egg McMuffins to Egg White Delights, or from blueberry crisp to fruit-and-yogurt parfaits.
And we can ask the wholesome-food advocates, and those who give them voice, to make it clearer that the advice they sling is relevant mostly to the privileged healthyand to start getting behind realistic solutions to the obesity crisis.
Experts talk back
Freedmans article generated instantand heateddebate in the blogosphere. We found reactions both supportive and critical, giving you the fullest perspective.
Teach a Man to Fish by Miriam Nelson, PhD, a professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University
I applaud companies that incrementally make food healthier. (Full disclosure: I was on the McDonalds global health advisory board ten years ago, helping them to do just that.) We know from ongoing research in Somerville, Massachusetts, as well as in New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, that small changes in calorie intake and activity levels through environmental and policy change can prevent children from becoming more obese.
We have to work with the food industry to reduce calories without adding artificial junk. That doesnt mean that we should give up on getting people to eat vegetables or on teaching cooking skills. I know this from working with less advantaged families in rural, urban, and suburban communities who all want their kids to eat healthy. But you cant just tell a busy single mom to start feeding her family tofu and broccoli. You need to find what foods resonate with peoples culture and habits.
You Can Choose a Better Chip by David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, on linkedin.com
Its all well and good that spinach is very good for us, but its not of much use when its time to dip into the salsa, hummus, or guacamole. I sometimes eat chipsand I like them! But I eat only very good chips. That is what the processed-food solution is all aboutimprove health with the very foods we already know and love.
We can attribute dramatic storiesincluding people losing over 100 poundsto the nutritional profiling system I helped develop, which lets people choose healthier options in any category, including chips, at a glance. We need to judge overall nutritional quality and not succumb to the perils of one-nutrient-at-a-time assessments.
Just Eat Less by Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center and Today show diet and nutrition editor
Processed or not processed, out-of-control serving sizes are still the primary issue related to obesity. You can gain weight eating too much of any kind of food. We need to retrain our brains to know what a real serving looks likeand accept that this is enough food. Avoiding all processed foods is not sustainable for most people. When you stigmatize certain food, you make people feel like eating healthy is an all-or-nothing proposition. Its not.
Stop Blaming Others by Keith Ayoob, EdD, associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
I cannot stand it when anyone implies that there is some vast conspiracy to make us all unhealthy. We didnt become an obese nation without being willing participants. Our lifestyle made it easier to get calories, but we liked having it that way.
There are no quick fixes for obesity, but there are successes. I love the insights from the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks people who have successfully lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a year or more. Almost all eat a good breakfast and follow a moderately low-fat diet. Physical activitymostly walkingis a mainstay of their lifestyles (about an hour daily but often split up).
Getting healthier is a project. Youre making a new relationship with health and food and activity, and that takes time. And if anyone tells you youve been made a victim, run away.
Aim for More Real Food by Michael F. Jacobsen, PHD, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
If you fill up on fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, chances are youll eat a healthier diet and maintain a healthy weight. With refined-grain consumption rising with obesity rates, cutting out white bread and pasta makes sensewhether from Whole Foods or Kroger.
Freedmans defense of processed foods is appropriate to a point. Few of us want to bake whole-grain bread every couple of days. A McDonalds salad is reasonably healthful, and whole-grain breakfast cereals are convenient. But in general, processed foods are junkloaded with calories, saturated fat, salt, food dyes, or artificial sweeteners. The obesity solution is much likelier to be in the Pollan-Bittman camp than the processed-food camp.
Freedman rightly emphasizes the value of large companies focusing more on marketing healthier foods, but they simply arent in the business of selling unprocessed foods.
The French Got Fat! by Tom Philpott on motherjones.com
Forget that the low-fat-everything moment occurred right during the time framethe 1980s and 1990swhen obesity rates were surging. Theres no real evidence that consuming fat, per se, causes obesity. The French are famous for their love of butter, cream, eggs, and animal fat, but their obesity rates started creeping up only when they began to embrace processed food. Meanwhile, research has consistently indicated that a Mediterranean-style diet leads to low levels of cardiovascular disease and other forms of diet-related health mayhem. This suggests that the food industrys quest to replace some fat and sugar with low-cal substances that taste like fat and sugar might be futile.
Dont Trust the FDA by Deena Shanker on salon.com
For Freedman, the proof that processed foods are not unhealthy is that the FDA allows them to be sold. But the FDA is one of the most chronically underfunded, understaffed agencies. Relying on it to determine what is safe is a losing bet. As countless food-borne illness outbreaks have made clear, Americans are gambling every day.
Did Diet Soda Work? NO by Melanie Warner on usnews.com
Just because something is low in calories doesnt make it nutritious or good for weight loss. If it were, diet soda would help people lose weight; it doesnt. Low-calorie food needs to be satiating, which is a quality inherent to many whole foods.
There are real limitations on what fast food and packaged food can do. The honey wheat bun in the Carls Jr. cod sandwich has little more than a dusting of whole wheat. McDonalds flour tortilla wraps have none. Surely its possible to make products without 70 or more ingredients, including flammable chemicals.
Fresh, healthy foods are available to most Americans, and not just at Whole Foods and farmers markets but at Walmart, Target, and thousands of grocery stores all over America. And its not just yellow beets and organic squash blossoms but basic bananas (just 30 to 90 cents per pound!), baby carrots, broccoli, lean meat, eggs, canned beans, nuts, and brown rice. Its essential to get people to consume more of these affordable and tasty foods.
Processed Food is Baby Food by David Kessler, MD, former FDA commissioner and author of The End of Overeating
Processed foods are less healthy than whole foods. Period. They dont need to be chewed as much, if at all. You eat processed foods more quickly, and yourenot as satisfied. Theyre layered and loaded with fat, sugar, and salt. Its hard to live on only whole foods, but we have to do a better job limiting processed ones. Pollan and Bittman have done more for nutrition than the majority of the medical and dietetic community. When you really analyze what you eat and where the ingredients come from, the food is simply no longer as appealing.
organic = full of bugs and poop
Anything picked by migrant farm workers also. I’ll trust what’s in my back yard first.
Depends on the definition of ‘organic’.....................
ah it just means that the pickers peed in the fields
I can truly say that the hospital I was in for 3 days for a bad colon infection, is using Mooch’s kids food plan. None of the food was fit to eat. There was no coffee, or ice tea or even hot tea, but a lot of pita bread and turkey or chicken every thing. Turkey meatloaf is terrible. And you do not give a person in for a colon issue GAS producing veggies!
Sheeeyit. By whose standards? Governments?
If it's true, let's hope it stays that way.
People in Africa are literally starving because hippie filled NGOs told them genetically modified corn Americans eat and donate abroad was “poison”.
Children are dying and being blinded by lack of vitamin A, while Golden rice is held up by NGOs and liberals who decry Frankenfood.
The issue is so bad that “Bullshit” by Penn and Teller did an episode on GMO food and found that the liberal BS was BS, and Penn and Teller are far left.
I think they are more Libertarian or 'classic' liberals than actually 'far left'..................
Weren’t most ‘classic’ liberals Christians?
Any comment or insight on this article?
It’s like anything else, firearms, alcohol, where you live- make smart choices, meaning know what you need, why you need it, what and how you are going to use it and how much you can afford to pay- and you can meet your needs on almost any budget; buy into sentiment or hype, purchase on the basis of fear, spend money you’d don’t have or fail to understand what your actual needs are and at the very least you waste your money, if not lead yourself into unhealthy or dangerous situations.
I mostly eat organic because it simply tastes better, is more interesting to cook and while not paranoid about GMO’s and pesticides in the sense of screeching about banning them I will spend my money on local producers who sell on local farms or at farmer’s markets because I dislike *ANY* large organization, union, government or corporation. However being DINKS (double income no kids) with no debts and living in an area with a lot of local producers gives me options many folks don’t have. I live on too small of a city lot to grow more than some tomatoes and herbs.
In the beginning, and for nearly 200 years. But the ‘liberal’ label has been hijacked by communists, fascists and anarchists...............
So do I, but BEWARE: many of the 'locals' simply purchase produce from distributors, put it in plain cardboard boxes in the back of their pickups and sell it to people who think they are buying 'local' produce. Sometimes they don't even bother to get rid of the commercial boxes..................
True, but if you can’t tell quality produce by looking at it and smelling it, you might as well just buy at the grocery store anyway.
It’s not ‘organic’ that I’m after, it’s getting the really good stuff and supporting the locals that is where why and how I will spend my money. I am fortunate that I can take, if I want, 6 hours and spend $60 to cook a 6 course meal on the weekend, but I’ve spent a lot of time and money developing my cooking chops. If you get used to the good stuff you can tell crap no matter how ‘hip’ the vendors are :-)
Madeline Fernstrom had about the only piece of sense in here: We eat too much when we eat.
We also have to balance that we eat enough. I know that during a regular week that I am eating correctly if I don’t want a regular dinner every few nights.
The big trick is a nice piece of fruit, an “adult” carrot cut up or a small leaf salad before I eat the other foods. I then pay attention to when I am no longer hungry, not how much food is left on my plate.
I had the same experience while in the hospital earlier this year. The damn food wasn't fit to feed to wild animals. After a couple of days, the only food I got was brought to me from friends and relatives on the outside.
I went to our kids Thanksgiving dinners at their schools this year and found that it was very similar. There is no salt available, all bread is Wheat(even the damn pizza), and they are given no other options. As a side note, they don't allow plastic knives either, as they could be used s weapons. (they are forced to use forks for cutting their food) I went and asked one of the cafeteria employees for some salt/pepper, Rolls made from White bread, and a plastic knife. She said they had no plastic knives because of the government, and she couldn't give me any salt or White bread because Michelle 0bama thinks it will make us fat. We both had a good laugh. Even though the lady worked there, she thought it was all stupid as I did.
In case that nugget slipped past anyone: wonder no more why the unit cost of food has been soaring for several years now. The cost of that regulation burden is passed through to consumers at market. And to the extent it's not, the food police have pushed food industry policy toward the retailing of smaller portion sizes (a kind of rationing) and the industry seizes on the opportunity to increase profits by charging the same or more for less packaged product.
But remember, slothful, unwashed comrades, it's for your own good.
the REAL headline.....what, Readers Digest is still in business?
Several years ago a farmer friend said he sold several hudred bushels of organic wheat. I asked him what was the process used to make it organic. He said growing it was no different than any of the rest of his wheat crops.
He went on to say the only difference was how he labeled it, and so far none of his customers have figured out that it is not organic.
Yes, but at a much smaller version...............................;^)
Roger that. Why are we permanently Reds? It’s meant to obfuscate and confuse.
> organic = full of bugs and poop
Not the whole story. There’s also GMO (genetically modified organisms).
Let’s take the simple tomato as an example.
The tomato has 2 major genetic modifications and a few minor ones.
1. Modified to allow it to be picked by machine and not bruise in transport. The food arrives at the grocer looking good and undamaged by transport, but it lacks flavor.
2. Modified to resist white fly larva from wanting to eat it. The tomato makes alkaloids (toxins) that are unpalatable to the white fly larva. The food arrives at the grocer without being eaten by bugs. The problem is that some people (me for instance) can’t eat it because it causes a reaction in my digestive system and makes me sick.
I can live with or without the organic component and will wash the bugs, poop and pesticides off the food. I can’t, however, wash off GMO created toxins because they are within the food itself.
That plastic fork with it’s tines will do much more damage than a plastic knife with a round point. You want to see damage, try a sharpened pencil, a heavy textbook, a fist or a desk.
Someone did that with carrots in California a while back, and had his business shut down by the state when the fraud came out.
The result was the ushering of the extremely restrictive regulations called GAPS that farmers must comply with. Very costly burden the idiot carrot farmer placed on everybody because he was a crook and lied.
Four years ago, I switched to "pure foods". I'd be in tears trying to find healthy food. Now, it's much easier. Many foods have no corn syrup, no transfat, reasonable sodium, no added flavors and colors, no added whey or gluten, and good nutritional value.
The biggest problems are white bread and french fries. They're completely replaceable. If McDonalds and others wanted to, they have the food technology to make cauliflower and carrots that taste good without transfats, drinks without corn syrup, whole grain breads without chemicals or added ingredients, and steak instead of hamburger.
I'm suprised pizza chains and donut shops haven't gotten the message. It wouldn't be hard to make a totally healthy donut or a whole grain healthy cheese pizza. Instead, they're being abandoned by people who finally see the light.
1. Buy produce and meat from local farmers whom you know and trust
2. Cook it yourself
3. Cut down on carbs which turn quickly to sugar and exhaust your body insulin
4. Get over your fear of healthy fat. Your brain runs on it.
- Grass-fed beef is more expensive, but is also higher in protein and has Omega-3 which is almost completely missing from feedlot beef
- Eat wild salmon. Sockeye is the best. The redder, the better. Avoid farmed salmon or anything that doesn't specifically say "wild"
- Green, leafy vegetables should be consumed daily. The deeper green, the better. Kale, spinach, collards are high in vitamins, low in carbs. Look around for good recipes that don't include flour, breadcrumbs, etc.
- If you have to eat bread, bake your own. It's quite easy and the bread won't have sugar, transfats, emulsifiers and flavor enhancers like factory bread.
A farmer friend explained the difference to me, he said,
"On the organic field we spray at night."
Thats the shit they will grow after WW3 we’ll have to eat!................
I live in the desert, there are no local truck farms. I can't grow a garden, because we are in a drought and there are water restrictions on.
Almost all row crop fields are sprayed at night. Less windy, usually so you don’t have to worry about overspray.
Ever heard of a cistern? You can save what little rain that falls and use it. Its a form of self reliance.
You can grow a lot of crops right in a bag of potting soil. The bag retains the water, so you don’t need much to keep your plants growing.
Look at some of the urban homesteading ideas for growing stuff indoors with few resources.
Why is that liar your friend?
Water falling from the sky is just an urban myth.
I think he may have been joking
yeah right . apparently you haven’t stood out in the fields and watched workers who are busy trying to harvest by hand . you don’t see them running for the port-a-potty
Well, living in Ecotopia, AKA the People’s Republic of Northern California has some advantages.
I see them every day.
I also see all the signs the state and fed make the growers put up next to the sanitation facilities. How to wash your hands, how to file a grievance against your employer,you name it. You need a billboard to post them all.
Read the documents I posted.
This is what they make farmers to in California to stay in business.
Workers wear gloves, have hand washing facilities and growers have to give them chairs to sit in on their breaks and shade when its hot out.
You haven’t seen a California farm field ever, I’ll bet.
Well let’s see how do the strawberry fields in Hollister or the artichoke fields in Monterey (or all along the coast) or the brussels sprout farms of Half Moon Bay? Not good enough okay then how about the almond orchards around Merced or the table grape (and hence raisin) growers of Fresno and Selma.
Yeah you are sure right aren’t you? Don’t tell me about the signs. I have worked in the fields
Then you know all about GAPS
I eat to live and the rest takes care of itself :). Just had a nice duck for dinner with a salad of kale, collard, and spinach greens with sliced apple a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar a few drips of Alcohol Free, Liquid Stevia and black pepper. I loved my freshly squeezed lemon with a few drops of Stevia in water with ice as a drink alongside. :).
It is hard to know all about GAPs since like all other government bits of ‘guidance’ and regulation it seems to be ever expanding. But yes I am current through 2011, if there have been additional requirements then I am behind (and that’s not new).
As with so many things that the government (federal or other wise) gets their fingers into what starts out as a good idea (sharing practices that provide the customer with best product and farmer/rancher with a reasonable profit) has been turned into the eyes of big brother trying to ‘catch’ one doing wrong. It has led to raw milk farmers having entire herds destroyed as well as plenty of milk destroyed. And on and on.
The government just can’t seem to help itself. It gets a little sniff of power and goes crazy. Unfortunately, farmers/ranchers don’t help themselves out by insisting on getting subsidies (and I know that’s a whole different can of worms).
Sorry that was a way to lengthy answer for what should have been yeah kind of
You know the food is bad, when a career Ret SCPO won’t even eat it. Now I don’t mind turkey on a sandwich of wheat bread, but not the supper dry pita bread which is all they used. I have swallowing issues with dry foods. And they provided only those little cups of fruit juice. There was actually salt and pepper on the tray. Of course plastic silverware, yes I noticed no knife, just fork and spoon, which can also be used as weapons in the right hands, libs are stupid and don’t know that. LOL. Wheat bread does not bother me as I like it and white equally. The lack of the artificial thing they use for butter which is good for you, and syrup for soggy french toast did not make for good eating. They just threw it on the plate and let it thaw.
What got me the most was all the GAS producing veggies, NOT good for a person in the hospital with a colon infection.
Last visit to a different hospital and they had NO PILLOWS if you wanted one you had to bring it from home. Not even 1 of those throwaway $5 pillows was available. Since I was on a liquid only the broth had 2 ins of fat, a shaker of salt in it. The jello and popcycle tasted of nothing but chems so the only thing I had for 3 days was coffee, juice and ice tea. The broth stuck so bad it smelled to old to be save to consume besides the fact I have Meniere’s and have to be low sodium or it causes big problems with balance and falls. I’ve lived with it long enough to know how much I can get away with, and that is no more than 4,000 mg per day and some days half that.
And once the full 0care goes into effect it will get worse. All the drugs they are now using are Generics, and not all people can take some generics! Me being 1 of them, my Synthroid has to be name brand, I am allergic to something in the generic.