Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Do You Eat THAT?

I am curious why you eat. Upon discovering that so much of our food supply is filled with non-foods, I started wondering why we eat them. Why are there non-foods in our food? Isn't the point of eating all foods, to digest and glean the nutrients from those foods so we can be healthy and stay alive? Why are there so many chemicals added to food? (Food colorings, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc.) None of these even claim to be a food. They are just added to food. Why? If your food is sweeter and brighter-colored than a competitor product, you will buy it. It's about money.

I have also reasoned that we no longer eat responsibly. To survive. We eat as a luxury and a form of entertainment. Food is entertaining. Because we have evolved so much (have we?) from the cave-people days, we don't look at food as a means of survival anymore. We eat for fun. There is so much food. Everywhere. Few people (I am generalizing, here. See *below.) think of food as their means to staying alive another day. Rather, people make their food choices based on an emotion, a social context, or for psychological reasons. I'm even going to postulate that most of us eat when we want to, instead of basing what and when we eat on hunger.

I am curious why people eat when and what they eat. Very recently I reread some facts about sucralose, otherwise known as Splenda. The truth about sucralose is that it is not a food. It is a powder made from sugar, but the body cannot digest it. I repeat, the body cannot and does not digest sucralose. Yes, Splenda. But we eat it. (Actually, I don't touch it, but it gets sneaked into the ingredients of some least likely items. My most recent discovery was sucralose in Airborne.)

This brings me back to why we eat. We are not eating Splenda because we are hoping to get nutrients into our bodies to help us live longer. We eat it as a luxury because we are addicted to sweetness and need our food and beverages to taste a certain way. We won't eat or drink something that isn't to our liking. Food corporations know this. Why else do all of these strange ingredients end up in our food? It is not because billion dollar food companies care about our nutrient intake. It is about selling a product that is more flavorful and colorful than its competitor. We eat chemicals disguised by the charming foods they are in.

Long ago (albeit still in some cultures), every drop of food counted. For survival. For health. For maximum nutritional caloric value. I can picture a cave person finding a yellow or green M&M laying around, and passing over it as something poisonous. Those bright colors and the crunchy outer shell with an "m" are not natural!

I am concerned because supposedly we have come so far, and yet we are using our brains and our intuition much less. We count on others doing the thinking for us. If something is sold at the grocery store, it must be okay. If a "food" is offered at a restaurant, it must be okay. After all, we are all so busy and caught up in other things, who has the time to consider whether a food is healthy or dangerous?

I believe that in an effort to survive, our cave-people ancestors used better judgment and more intuition in their hunting and gathering, than we use at the grocery store today.

What we can do:
  • Read labels.
  • Research strange words that you find on labels and ingredients lists.
  • Write to food companies.
  • Stop buying (endorsing) food products that you don't believe in.
  • Spread the word. Be an advocate.
  • Recognize advertising and marketing tactics.
  • Use your intuition. If fat-free Oreos seem too good to be true, there is a reason.
  • Eat more fresh, local, organic foods.

*Disclaimer: I acknowledge that hunger/starvation exists, both in and out of our country. I volunteer with and advocate for groups like Meals-on-Wheels who help provide needy people with nutritious meals. I generalized and stated the above for argument's sake.


Mom2my9 said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I've followed yours for quite some time and I refer to it often. I especially love the sweetener list you have at the top of your sidebar. I completely, 100% agree with this post you wrote. We have given over our nutrition to the institutions to take care of and we are suffering because we are not willing to take the time to prepare nutritions and delicious meals from scratch and because we trust the government! Thank you for your influence and I look forward to reading more of your posts and following more of the links you have on your sidebar. Have a great one!


I got rid of all (I better double check to make sure!) of all my Splenda--it IS sugar because it's made from sugar. Way too processed for me.
Have you heard of Truvia? If so, what do you think of it?

I've been trying to blog about my adventures in trying to eat right...though I've lost a bit of the OOMPH of blogging.
You're welcome to check it out:

Fox's Bunny said...

I just wanted to let you know that I came across your blog while looking for information on eating 'sugar' free.

I am very thankful for the information that you have and I will continue to read your blog.

I have not touched refined sugar, fake sugar, or any other form of *yuck* in the past month.

After reading 'Sugar Blues', that was it.

A friend of mine who I hadn't seen in two years lost a tremendous amount of weight. When I asked her about it, she told me to get the book and cut back on the carbs.

I'm not a meat eater, so I am eating raw vegan. No white flour, rice, etc.

Again, thank you!!

AIRBORNE!!!! *bah*!

Fox's Bunny said...

Well...I made an original post, that didn't post, lol.

So...I was just telling you that I came across your blog while studying refined sugar and I wanted to thank you for all of the helpful information.

I haven't touched refined sugar or any of it's 'subsidiaries' for the past month. I cleaned my entire kitchen out and enforce it upon my children as much as I can.

An 11 year old girl going through sugar detox is not fun.

Thankfully, we weren't very big sugar eaters to begin with and I managed to fit all of the 'bad' food in a medium sized box and send it to a new home :)

I also eat vegan raw.

I have noticed a huge difference in my mental clarity and energy levels and I feel great.

I saw Christina's comment as well..I just started using Truvia, so I hope it's okay!!

I look forward to more of your blog posts!

Thanks Again.

BTW....I do make sugar scrubs. After I stopped eating sugar I picked up a cute slogan for the scrubs, lol.

'What Sugar Was Meant For'