What Are You Eating?

My mother-in-law told me a story once about a salad she had. This wasn’t any old salad. This was a salad from McDonald’s. Now, you might think that if you’re going to get fast food, a salad would be a better option than say a burger and fries. I don’t remember the exact name of the salad but it had apples on it. Apples are healthy, right? There can’t be anything wrong with an apple. The story went like this: she bought the salad, brought it home, took two bites, and then let it sit out on the counter all night. The next morning the salad looked exactly as it did when she bought it. Pristine. The apples were white, crisp and fresh. The lettuce leaves were crunchy. Not a hint of discoloration. She saw this and immediately threw it out.

What’s wrong with this picture? If you cut an apple into slices and let it sit out for a few minutes it begins to turn brown because of its exposure to the air. This reaction of the apple to the air is called oxidation. It’s the same reason why rust forms on an untreated scratch on a car. But if a salad that sat out overnight looks brand spanking new, that’s a red flag. Abort the mission. Something is wrong in Beaver-Cleaverville.

Food that is left out at room temperature will rot quickly, as it should. The beauty of refrigeration and air tight containers is that it prolongs the life of raw food. So, now you have to wonder what exactly is in that salad? What are you eating? It’s certainly not lettuce and apples. It’s something else.

I always tell my clients to buy the best quality food that is available to you, and that you can afford. You’ll hear that organic food is a scam because it’s nutritionally no different than the conventional version. This is partly true. Yes, the nutritional value is the same. An organic apple and a conventional apple are both apples, and have the same amount of vitamins and minerals. What the organic apple doesn’t have is all of the chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and other genetically modified organisms that cause cancer, organ failure and other health problems.

If these frankenfoods are causing major problems to humans, it’s certainly doing the same to the animals that are fed this mess. You’ll see these words on food labels for meat and eggs that say, “Fed a vegetarian diet,” and probably think well that sounds healthy. This translates to the animal was fed a grain mixture of genetically modified wheat, soy, and corn because it’s cheap. These animals are essentially sick. If you consume grain-fed meat you’re eating a sick animal and it’s passing its problems along to you. Yum. The vegetarians and vegans are right in this regard, this type of meat will kill you. But here’s a protip: animals are not meant to eat those foods. Cows eat grass. Chickens and pigs eat bugs, grubs and worms. They’re not meant to be jacked up on hormones and antibiotics all the time.

Grass-fed and pastured meats and organic fruits and vegetables currently cost more than their conventional counterparts. But honestly, you can’t afford to buy cheap food. If you want to make a real change, vote with your dollars. It’s simple economics: supply and demand. If you create a greater demand for top quality real food by continuing to purchase this type of food, the producers and manufacturers will see this and meet the demands of the consumer. This will create a greater supply, which in turn creates competition amongst the producers and manufacturers and causes the price to go down.

Strive for quality over quantity. Take a look at  the foods you eat, and the restaurants you frequent, and ask yourself, “What am I really eating?”

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One response to “What Are You Eating?

  1. Pingback: $10 Bacon | The Blog of Larry Palazzolo·

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