The Big Food Companies don’t give a shit about you or your health; their sole raison d’être is “stomach share,” and they will do whatever’s necessary to increase their portion.
How often have you started in on some salty snack or a carton of ice cream, and the next thing you know, the container’s empty, and you’ve eaten far more than you intended? We’ve all been there, and we knew full well that we were gorging on a nutrient-void indulgent “treat.”
But what if most of the food we eat at mealtimes is equally bad? And what if our diets are so unhealthy but so addictive that the decisions we make about what to eat are beyond our control? How would you feel to know that the actual cause of the soaring rates of obesity and diabetes is simply the result of widescale addictions to processed food that, in some cases, is even more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes and drugs?
The latest evidence is rather conclusive that the Food Giants have managed to engineer much of the food we eat so that it’s cheap, attractive, convenient and wildly addictive. In fact, New York Times investigative reporter Michael Moss spent four years prying open the secrets of the food industry’s scientists, who have discovered that whatever happens on the tongue triggers a response in the brain. That’s why the main focus of the food industry isn’t nutrition; it’s neuroscience and how to make food hyper-palatable and irresistible. We are being overfed and undernourished, and make no mistake, this is being done by deliberate design.
In fact, Michael Moss says he was totally surprised by how much math, science, regression analysis and energy they put into finding the perfect amount of salt, sugar, and fat that will ensure their products fly off the shelves by having us buy more and eat more. To understand the research, you need to speak the lingo.
There’s “mouth feel,” “maximum bite force,” and the most important concept, “sensory-specific satiety,” which is the rate at which a food product loses its appeal as it’s being eaten; if the taste builds too much, consumption will stop … and snacks need to be eaten non-stop until the packet is finished.
I don’t know about you, but I get pretty pissed when I see an unsuspecting public, and even children, being manipulated, conned, programmed and lied to … especially when it’s making me fat and unhealthy. As a culture, we’ve gone after the tobacco companies for advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. In fact, the toll taken on public health by a poor diet is starting to dwarf the damage caused by tobacco.
But here’s the thing: all we need to do is take control by eating real food. If you saw my last post, you can eat as much as you want, and you’ll quite likely lose weight; just make sure that what you’re eating is real food. When we eat real food, nutritious food, our brain’s satiety regulators begin working again.
When you go to a supermarket, simply avoid any product that claims to be healthy; cookies are not a “sensible solution,” chips and crackers are not sources of whole grains and fibre, and fruit juice that claims to be made from 10% real fruit is actually 90% sugar water.
Consider this: When was the last time you saw real food, such as an apple, a head of lettuce, or a T-bone steak, try to convince you of its nutritional value?
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, if you avoid all the processed garbage and simply eat real food, you’ll never need to take vitamins, minerals or supplements because they’re all readily available in something called food.
In fact, all you must do is follow the simple, timeless advice of food author Michael Pollen, which he so eloquently summarized in just seven words: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
The sum total of your life will come down to the choices made, and if you don’t consciously make your own choices, someone else will do it for you … and rest assured, you won’t like the results.
So, here’s the thing, when you learn how to master your health, diet and lifestyle (by joyfully making better choices), you will very likely get to enjoy a lifetime of vitality, confidence and wellbeing.