Processed food is taking over our supermarkets
August 12, 2006 at 11:04 pm · Filed under Eat
Eating quality food is ESSENTIAL to our health, and is particularly important to growing children so that they can develop to their full potential physically and psychologically. Processed food is slowly taking over our supermarkets and our diets, and I think is one of the mostimportant contributors to disease. Even food that most of us don’t consider as a processed, like milk for example, is actually highly processed and frequently has additives. Next time you pick up a carton of milk, read the ingredients list. If the carton you chose is not organic, I bet “milk” is not the only ingredient in there. Do you know what those other ingredients are that you are drinking? And wehaven’t even talked about how the milk is altered through the pasteurization, homogenization and the defatting process! Wikepedia’s definition of food processing “is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for consumption by humans. Food processing takes clean harvested or slaughtered and butchered components and uses these to produce attractive and marketablefood products.” Funny that they are saying transforming “raw ingredients” into food. I think it is more the other way around. The raw ingredients are the food, and in the processing they become a non-food. My definition of processed food is any real food that has been altered in any way in order to lower its production cost, lengthen its shelf life, make it look more appealing, or makes you wantto eat more of it, and that results in the reduction of its nutritional content and/or the increase of toxins.
Processed food is a huge business, and by using slick advertising and packaging methods that make us believe they are healthy, we are replacing the real foods that provide us with quality nutrition with “food products” that not only have less nutrition, but also all kinds of other stufflike transfats, preservatives, flavourings colourings, etc., which greatly adds to our body burden if consumed regularly. So let’s go through a few of these processed foods and suggest real food alternatives.
I haven’t found one brand of commercial salad dressing that I would consider healthy. Commercial dressings are full of refined vegetable oils meaning they are heated in the extractionprocess oxidizing them and making them rancid. Often soybean or canola oil is used, both of which are usually genetically modified. These dressings are also full of preservatives, flavourings, emulsifiers, colourings, and they often contain MSG or “hydrolyzed protein”, which are a neurotoxins. Homemade salad dressing is so quick and economical to make, that if you care about your health and the healthof your family there really is no excuse. Mix some organic extra-virgin olive oil from the first cold pressing with organic balsamic or apple cidre vinegar and some unprocessed mustard, and spice to taste. If you wish to up the omega 3 content, you can add a bit of unrefined flax oil. (Should be in a dark bottle and kept in the fridge.)
The next huge category of processed food that is very popularwith families, is boxed breakfast cereal. Sorry folks, but despite the health claims on the box, those cereals that are made into flakes, shapes or puffs are terrible for you. The grains in these cereals are not prepared properly through soaking or fermenting so the phytates that prevent digestion are not destroyed, yet the heat and pressure of the extruding process does destroy most of thenutrition, and in particular the proteins which seem to be rendered quite toxic. These very difficult to digest cereals are often fed to very young children as one of their first solid foods, and one might ask if this is part of the reason for the explosion in gluten/wheat sensitivity. These cereals tend to increase blood sugar very rapidly, which is another major problem that is exacerbated when...