Friday, August 27, 2010

What's your fuel?

Right: homemade organic
cheddar-jalapeño challah
In my house, we're kind of obsessed with food. Part of that is because we're naturally health nuts, part of it is because of dietary restrictions and food allergies. A third, more important part, is that we're both nuts about eating, and if it doesn't taste good, why bother?
I discovered earlier this year, for instance, that the reason I never liked bell peppers before was that I was eating conventionally grown peppers that taste like dirt. Organic bell peppers are sweet and crunchy, and delicious in just about everything.
Today on The Karel Show, the passionate host, Karel, spent an hour talking about how the CorporatizationTM of our food chain is poisoning us, making us fat, and increasing the prevalence of metabolic diseases to the extent that there is now a classification of illness called "metabolic diseases". To quote another favorite liberal talker:
As crazy as it sounds, it's 100% true. Most of the available sustenance is half-artificial. Most of even our freshest fruits and vegetables are genetically modified, or at the very least grown in such a way that they are nutrient deficient and taste non-existent. Don't believe me? Do an experiment with me: purchase two of your favorite fruits or veggies, like a honeycrisp apple; one with a produce code that starts with a 3 or 4 (conventional), and one with a produce code that starts with a 9 (organic). If you're really feeling adventurous, grab one starting with an 8 (that's your GMO, bleh!). Take your fruit home and try each of them. What you're going to find is that the conventionally grown apple is soft and meally and has that waxy flavor that is only supposed to come from apples at the food bank. Meanwhile, the organic apple will be crisp and sweet and will taste like, huh, an apple.
Truthfully, most people actually don't know the difference between organic and non-organic foods -- and a part of that is because they avoid vegetables because they don't taste good. Or they were raised with canned veggies, and those are good enough. Except that their not. Things that come in cans, pretty universally don't have any nutrients.
The thing is, if you don't have time to pay attention to what you're eating, you need to reassess your priorities. The less time you devote to feeding your body what it needs -- not just something to put into your stomach, but nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and NOT preservatives, additives, or things that metabolize into formaldehyde in your liver -- the less time you're going to have to be alive.
The chemicals that Big Food is pumping us full of is causing more harm than the chemicals we get from Big Tobacco! Think about it. Do you know what monoglycerides are? I can't even figure out if "monoglycerides" is the plural or singular expression of that word! Is there a reason something with common ingredients to nitroglycerin is in food*? Is there a reason an ingredient has ingredients?!
We all know that these things are cheaper than actual food. And for some reason we've been socialized to think that the amount of food is more important than the quality of that food. And truthfully, an entirely organic diet is just as satisfying and not that much more expensive than a conventional diet. (And trust me, organic chocolate is so much better!) For some reason, the idea that money trumps value has been transferred from the people who make the garbage and sell it to us, through the "food", and into our subconscious minds.
Well, we're paying for it now. The money that we saved eating eggs made in factory farms, shrimp grown in pools with chicken coops suspended above them, and high fructose corn syrup, will eventually be spent on our healthcare bills. And then some. Having diabetes costs way more than you ever would have spent on bread made with sprouted whole grain instead of flour. It takes a lot more effort to deal with the impact these poisons have on our health than to avoid them in the first place. Just ask my friend Kelley.
Americans aren't fat because we eat too much and exercise too little. We're fat because our bodies are filled with garbage. And it's incredibly difficult to get that stuff out once its in. Start by drinking more water.
*If you can call it food.

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