Over the past year, I have had 3 distinct revelations regarding the food that is produced in the United States. It is an understatement to say it has been alarming and eye-opening. The good thing is that I have made significant changes in where I shop and what I eat. This is all due to the documentary Food, Inc., an episode of Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution, and a recent report on 60 minutes. The information in these reports enable people to make decisions, seek better choices, and in some cases succeed in changing the industry.
About a year ago, I watched the documentary Food, Inc., and changed where I buy the beef and chicken consumed by my family. After seeing how these animals are housed, fed, and grown to be abnormal in size, I was disgusted to learn that these practices are used by major brands found at the supermarket. I now go to a meat store in a nearby town to make these purchases. Not only is the quality and taste noticeable, but the price is lower. Even the stores that claim to have the best cuts of meat, and the greatest chicken, cannot match what I have found in this small store. The other advantage is that you can purchase only what you need, so none goes to waste.
A couple of months later, I saw the episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution demonstrating how Pink Slime is created. Jaime reproduced the exact process that is used by the big companies that produce this fatty, chemically washed filler that is used in burgers found in fast food establishments and school lunches. It does not appear to be a coincidence that McDonald’s and many school districts are now in the process of eliminating this filler from their burgers. How many people have eaten this manufactured food product and what effect has it had on their health?
Lastly, 60 Minutes recently aired a report regarding the amount of sugar that is added to many food items in order to improve taste and increase the desire for more. Dr. Robert Lustig, stated sugar is responsible for obesity, heart disease, and some types of cancer. I eliminated high fructose corn syrup a few years ago. Now I’m reading labels to see how much sugar is in foods that we might not suspect such as bread, yogurt, milk, etc. I can honestly say that I am well below the daily limit, but it is astounding to see the amount that is found in a serving of some items.
Reports and the media should be used as an avenue for providing information so people can make decisions regarding the choices in their lives. It is not easy to eliminate everything that is deemed bad for us, but at least we can make decisions when we have the knowledge. It also puts pressure on an industry that is continuously being exposed for unhealthy products that sit on shelves, or served in schools and restaurants. Food is a major factor that affects our health, our energy, and our minds. If we want to lead a life that allows us to enjoy it to the fullest, then changes have to be made.
Note: There will be a follow-up to this post regarding the availability of better foods for all.