I picked up a book over the holidays and Dawn got a hold of it before I could. She got sucked in fast and read the thing in a week and with her schedule that is no small feat. She could not stop talking about how it all made sense to her and how the book tied together so many loose ends. Anyway I finally got the book. I am halfway through and can see what Dawn was talking about. The book is called Deep Nutrition and is written by Dr. Cate Shanahan a family physician in Hawaii. It is about how the food you eat can affect the genes in your body, we will provide an in depth review of the book in a future post, but I wanted to share a couple of paragraphs that encapsulate what we hope you are coming to realize about the food we have grown accustomed to eating.
Take a look at the back of a bag of dog or cat food, and here are the ingredients you'll see: corn meal, soy meal, (occasionally) wheat, partially hydrogenated soy or corn or other vegetable oil, meat and protein meal, and a few synthetic vitamins. But guess what? The animal pushing the shopping cart is buying foods with the same list of ingredients for himself. The main differences between donuts, breads, and cheerios are the quantities of hydrogenated oil and sugar. Cheerios, in turn, are nearly identical to Ramen noodles. Throw on a little salt, and you've got snack chips. Add tomato flakes and bump up the protein powder and -bam!- it's Hamburger Helper with Noodles! Add a pinch of meat byproducts, take away some tomato powder, and we're in the pet food aisle again, holding a 20-pound bag of grade A Puppy Chow.
We already know why manufactures make food this way: it's cheap and convenient to reformulate the basic ingredients of protein, starch, and fat..into a variety of shapes and textures, coat them in sugars and artificial flavor enhancers, and ship them just about anywhere. That's why they make it. But why would we eat it? Same reason: It's cheap and convenient. These day's a busy parent can buy a frozen lasagna dinner heavy enough to feed a family of five for about what it would cost to make from scratch. It comes in its own disposable aluminum pan so - no fuss, no muss - the dinner riddle is solved. Like other foods in the supermarket, it keeps forever(or at least a really long time) in the freezer, so if we don't eat it tonight, it'll be ready when we want it. And thanks to the fact that these convenience foods contain protein, fat, and carbohydrates plus some synthetic vitamins, we can survive on them for a certain amount of time. But that doesn't mean these foods aren't changing us. They are.
We can go on for a long time with our hedonistic view of nutrition being about instant gratification. Eating what pleases us temporarily and is easy and fast. We deal with any complications from that by blaming it on heredity and finding a new medication to treat any symptom that pops up. Unfortunately, we are reminded, fairly consistently, these days of the long term effects these foods have on the health of those we care about.
But there is another way. We can take a closer look at what we are providing our body to perform the most important function in the world, keeping us alive and well! While we hope you are losing weight and looking better, improving your health is the main goal. We hope you are starting to make that mental connection that the quality of the foods you consume has a dierct effect on the quality of your health.
Garbage in = Garbage out.