good food bad food

September 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

So…i was on design observer as usual and after reading a great article on fat and obesity, I read this great response in the comments area. Its written by Brad Gutting and its brilliant:

‘I think of the biggest challenges about taking on obesity is getting to the core of the problem–what people put in their mouths, and as it relates to the epidemic, what they’re told to put there. Most serious fitness people recognize the huge flaws in what doctors and the US government advises you eat, but it’s tough to convince your average person to ignore the orders of educated doctors and not eat wheat, pasta, too much fruit, and so on. Instead, we’ve made a villain of fat and stack the grocery stores with foods filled with sugar and trans fats. Gary Taubes and Michael Pollan, both excellent journalists, have been taking on the “conventional wisdom” for upwards of a decade, and they wind up being read by the already thin and healthy.

Consider as well where so much obesity exists: it’s not a wealthy person’s problem as much as it is for the poorer socio-economic classes. Corn is cheap and can be mutated into pretty much anything, and well…it’s a big, giant, awful culprit for the obesity problem. In less well-off areas, the food stores are a) probably a convenience store or attached to a gas station, and b) filled with things with an expiration date far, far into the future, that are filled with unusual chemicals. For that matter, go to ANY place that sells food–even Whole Foods–and take a gander at how much of it is processed (i.e., even just slightly changed from it’s original form; that means fruit/vegetable juice, too!). Then look at the foods that masquerade as healthy–nuts, dried fruits, etc. Realize also that your average banana, apple, or orange is basically a sack of sugar, a warped derivative of what it was thousands of years ago (remember: carrots were originally DEEP RED, not bright orange). Literally millions of people have been misinformed and not only had other choices essentially muscled out, but told that bad stuff is good for you.

Granted, in this day and age you can go and do research on the internets, but you’re more than likely to find wildly conflicting advice and essays with suspect scientific backing. The more credible stuff is hard to find and often difficult to understand. Yes, healthy living is a choice but you still can’t excuse the rampant misinformation that’s created this alarming–and growing–problem.

If I had my way, I’d make Gary Taubes’s “Good Calories, Bad Calories” required reading, and get people to understand how your body reacts to food. I’d end the smear campaign against fat and severely restrict access to sugar (especially the refined, wildly artificial types) for children especially. I’d lobby for greater availability of grass-fed cows, in order to increase access to healthier meat and milk. I’d let chickens eat bugs and make sure that vegetables were common and affordable and easily found.

The biggest challenge is that there are too many profits at stake to really take down obesity. While the epidemic affects all of us negatively, on a grand scale, it’s a gold mine for individual companies. Pharmaceutical companies profit from you being fat and sick, and the food companies profit from making you that way. It’s a vicious, dangerous cycle.

Call me crazy for drinking heavy cream, eating a pound of fatty red meat, having 2-4 eggs/day, and not shying away from (pastured) butter, but I’m also 5’10”, 160lbs, and a very competitive athlete who hasn’t been remotely ill in years. Wander on over to http://www.paleonu.com, connect with the motivated people there, and we’ll see what can be done.’

I mostly agree with him. People really don’t understand what “food” they’re actually consuming and how it affects their bodies. “Food Inc” is a great movie to watch to get some insight on the appalling nature of the food industry. It should make you reconsider what you’re eating and where it comes from. Its really difficult to even find good pure foods to eat…so much is processed nowadays. And its definitely a socio-economic problem…poorer areas have higher rates of obesity and the least access to good nutritious food or the money to buy it. its sick! A good book to read about this (and more) is “The Value of Nothing“. Its a book that I reread all the time.

so what do you guys have to say about our food problems and obesity issues? did you read the linked article? what’s your reaction? have you seen “Food Inc”? Are you worried about where your food comes from?

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