You Are What You Eat — Facts of the Food Industry

TAGS: processed foods, nutrient value, Industrialized Factory Farming, food label, you are what you eat, general health, Ken Whetham, food intake, stress, Nutrition

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I'm going to start this article by telling you that I'm not claiming to be a nutritionist or Food Nazi whatsoever. This article is simply meant to provide some information that may provoke more thought in your eating habits.

Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

There is lots of evidence in the health fields that show your body has the capability to heal itself if it is provided with the proper nutrients in the proper amounts. Most people are nutrient deficient, have compromised immune systems, and are sick and fatigued. This, for the most part, is a result of eating foods that are nutritionally bankrupt, as well as other factors including the environment, lack of sleep, and stress.


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Most people never give a thought to where their food comes from, whether it’s nutritionally sound, or whether is contains any harmful toxins or chemicals that could potentially impair your health. We are living in a society where Type II Diabetes is common amongst adults and is now becoming an epidemic in younger children. Obesity is at epic proportions, more and more couples are having difficulty conceiving and have to rely on fertility drugs and procedures to have a chance at raising a family. Is the general decline in our overall health a coincidence? Could it be that we’re fueling our bodies with food that isn’t healthy for us and we’re consuming fuel that really isn’t meant to keep us functioning at an optimal level?

You are what you eat. We’ve all heard the cliché and it sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? For the most part, it is very true. Athletes and people that are concerned with their health are fairly regimented in ensuring that whatever they put into their bodies is “nutritionally sound” and won’t impair their progress or general health. After all, nutrition is usually 80% of the battle with most training programs and regimens. Most people are reluctant to spend their money on nutritious food; they want to eat as cheaply as possible and that means eating at fast food restaurants and consuming a variety of processed, chemically laden, synthetic foods full of food coloring, flavoring and artificial ingredients. How would you ever expect to be vibrant and healthy fueling your body with garbage? If you fueled your high performance race car with regular pump gasoline, how long would it take for the engine to detonate and break down? I would guess it wouldn’t take long before you were in the garage getting expensive repairs to your expensive race car. Our bodies are no different. If you want to perform and feel vibrant and full of energy, you need to ensure you are fueling your body with the best fuels available.

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What about the average person? Do you think people are really concerned with what they are eating, where their food comes from, or how it is produced? Are they concerned with the use of fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified substrates that are utilized in most available food sources today? I will wager that most people don’t give a second thought to their food sources, whether they are healthy or not, or whether eating them will cause health concerns for them or their children.

We are living in a fast food generation where almost everything is processed, modified, or consists of food sources that we weren’t meant to eat and survive on.

When you walk into a typical supermarket, you will be inundated with approximately 47,000 choices of different food products most of which are highly processed with additives, flavoring, coloring and a myriad of chemicals and preservatives that you can view on the label and probably have a difficult time pronouncing.

With a population of 318 million people just in the United States alone, it’s a monumental task attempting to feed this many people on a daily basis. Food corporations have to find the most efficient and cost effective ways of feeding people AND making money.


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Most people are lead to believe that our food is typically grown on small farms and somehow ends up in the aisle of the supermarket.  The truth is that there are a small handful of corporations that control the majority of the food from contracting farming operations to industrial processing and shipping from large distribution centers to the supermarkets. Most foods sold in the supermarket travel 1500 to 2000 miles before they end up on the shelves so fruits and vegetables are picked before they ripen in different countries and shipped to food distribution plants where they are forwarded to supermarkets, sometimes using ethylene gas to ripen them. The nutrient value of fruits and vegetables purchased in a supermarket is nowhere near what they would be if they were grown to maturity and picked when they started to ripen. Most fruits and vegetables contain 40% of their original nutritional value.

The majority of beef, pork and chicken production rely on something called "Industrialized Factory Farming.”

Factory farms hold large numbers of animals, typically cows, pigs, turkeys, or chickens, often indoors, typically at high densities. The aim of the operation is to produce large quantities of meat, eggs, or milk at the lowest possible cost. Food is supplied in place. Methods employed to maintain health and improve production may include some combination of disinfectants, antimicrobial agents, hormones and vaccines; protein, mineral and vitamin supplements; frequent health inspections; biosecurity; climate-controlled facilities and other measures.

Physical restraints like fences or creeps are used to control movement or actions regarded as undesirable. Breeding programs are used to produce animals more suited to the confined conditions and able to provide a consistent food product. Most large operation ground beef products use fillers that are treated with ammonia to kill bacteria.

T-bone steak leftover on white plate.

A typical chicken used to take 70 days to reach full-grown maturity but now with genetic modification and nutrient changes, chickens are able to reach full-grown maturity in 48 days. A typical chicken used to be able to lay 83 eggs per year and now with genetic modifications can lay 300 eggs per year.

There are approximately 52 minerals in the earth, which plants rely on for proper growth and production yet when fields are fertilized, only three nutrients are replaced: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, so plants that are grown in fields where minerals are depleted also become nutrient deficient.

Most of the processed foods found in your grocery stores contain significant amounts of artificial flavoring, color, preservatives and chemicals that aren’t optimal for vibrant health.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are things you can do and changes you can make to ensure that you are eating better quality food and can become healthier, stronger and more vibrant.

  • Become more educated about what you are putting into your body.
  • Make smarter choices; it’s easy to figure out that eating vegetables and fruits are much healthier for you than fast food or potato chips.
  • Buy your meat products at a local butcher shop or local farm.
  • Purchase your vegetables at a local Farmer's Market.
  • Drink lots of water and forego the soda and sugary drinks.
  • Eat foods that are in season.
  • Buy organic or grass fed.
  • Read labels.
  • Plant a garden and grow your own vegetables.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Take a daily multi-vitamin and multi-mineral.

Small changes in your daily diet and routine can make a huge difference in your health and well-being. We shouldn’t take our health for granted and we should be proactive versus reactive when it comes to staying vibrant and healthy. Don’t wait until you suffer from some medical issue before you decide to take your health into your own hands. Remember, you are what you eat!

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