Today, I want to talk about something that really pisses me off.I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but there is a huge conspiracy (yeah, I said the ‘c’ word) happening right here, right now, in this right here country of ours. The government knows it’s happening, and doesn’t give a shit. They pretend to… but they don’t. They are watching unwittingly ignorant people get sick and die, while other people—who are supposed to know better—turn a profit off of the ones who are getting sick. There are multiple industries involved, and the government just stands by and lets them all get away with… well… murder.
Basically.I am not a ‘pulpit’ kind of girl. I believe in balance and logic, and I believe there are always two sides to every issue. I believe that if something is unbelievable, that’s probably because it isn’t true. I don’t ‘read into’ things. I’m cynical; suspicious. I never share anything on Facebook without first checking Snopes or some other site like that.
And YET: Here I am, about to climb up on a rock with a homemade sign and start preaching at you nice people. I’m sorry, but I’m so pissed about this particular topic, I just can’t help myself!
I’m talking about: FOOD.
I’m talking about all the damn chemicals and preservatives and false mothereffing information (also known as: LIES) that food companies stamp all over their packaging and that the FDA—an organization which is supposed to protect people—does nothing about.
I’m talking about how after two days of eating organic food, my ADHD child was a different child. He was more than just ‘altered.’ He was different. The change my kid underwent made me think of a child who finally gets glasses after years of not being able to see. At last, someone has lifted the veil, and he can be who he was meant to be. All we did was cut out a few pesticides!
Before the ADHD monster reared its ugly head, I thought I fed my family healthy foods. I was proud—egotistical, even. I would eyeball other people’s grocery carts with pity. Ignorant, I would think. Well, maybe… but so was I.
As part of my family’s ADHD saga, and in addition to me trying to lose weight, I watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, and Hungry for Change. (Netflix!)
Since then, I have made so many changes to my family’s eating, and I have a feeling I will continue to do so the more that I learn. I’m going to share a little of our journey so that hopefully someone will read this and will learn something new about food… or the things that we call ‘food,’ but really aren’t food at all.
First of all, most of us, including myself at one time very recently, eat food because a) we’re hungry and b) it’s yummy. We don’t always give a thought to whether or not we’re nourishing our bodies. This is a key concept that is totally absent from the typical American diet: Nourishment. We count calories, watch our fat intake, watch our sugar intake, count carbs… etc… We fill our bellies and count everything but the nutrients. I would venture to say that 80% of the grocery store is filled with stuff that is marketed as—but really isn’t—‘food.’ It’s ‘unfood.’ It tastes sweet or salty and stretches out our stomach so that our brain says, “Yep. Got fed. Thanks. But uh… where’s the food?”
Much of the things we feed ourselves are marketed as ‘healthy’ or ‘for weight loss’ when they’re so totally not healthy at all, and will probably make us gain weight in the end. I might even dare say that they are… poison. (GAH!!! Conspiracy theorist!!!)
No. I’m not crazy. Did you know the FDA approves these ‘unfoods’ based on research that the food companies themselves paid for—seems totally legit and unbiased, huh?—and the approval is basically saying: “Pretty sure this doesn’t cause cancer. At least, it didn’t in rats. So go ahead and eat it. You proooobably won’t die. Most likey.”
You know what I want the FDA to base their approval on? A third party, non-affiliated study that says: “This will nourish the typical human body. It came from the earth and has had minimal processing.” Anything that does NOT meet those criteria should, at the very least, have a scary label on it like the cigarette companies have to use.
Can someone please pass me my Birkenstocks?
My biggest pet-peeve with ‘unfoods’ is artificial sweeteners. Did you know they make you fatter? Seriously. There are studies that prove it. Look it up. You know why they make you fatter? I’ll tell you why:
Let’s say you eat a fat-free yogurt that has Sucralose in it. YUM, right? (Actually I hate yogurt, but let’s pretend you love it!) So you gobble it up and when the sweet flavor hits your tongue, it sends a message to your brain that says, “Hey, I just ate something sweet! Gotta find the calories and process them into energy for immediate use, or store it somewhere for the impending famine!”
So your body goes looking for the energy… But guess what? There isn’t any. You tricked your own body into thinking it was getting fed, when really it wasn’t! Now your body is super-confused. “Where are the calories I was hoping to get? If I didn’t get any energy… I guess I must still be hungry. Hey, brain—let’s go eat some more!”
And every time you eat anything with artificial sweeteners, this happens. Can you believe the FDA lets us do this shit to ourselves? How is the average person who works full-time and has bills to pay supposed to know this stuff? When do they have time to research all this? They don’t, and they can’t, and they shouldn’t have to. The FDA should be doing its job to keep them safe.
Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that they mess with your taste perception. If you regularly consume them, your taste buds become accustomed to that huge, unnatural sweetness payoff every time you eat. Foods that are only sweet by nature’s standards seem to be lacking in deliciousness. Doesn’t that suck? It’s kind of like when a drug addict gets used to feeling that high all the time… regular ol’ natural, feel-good endorphins, like from exercise or sex… just don’t do it anymore.
This brings me to my next point… If I didn’t already sound like a left-wing conspiracy theorist, now I’m really going to sound like one… artificial sweeteners are addictive. Yes: Addictive. There. I said it. And now I really am going to go live on a commune and wear ponchos handmade out of hemp.
The addictive nature of artificial sweeteners has been proven in multiple studies, but you don’t have to be a scientist to figure it out. Remember what I said before about ‘tricking’ your body into thinking you ate something sweet? And remember how your body got hungry right away again? Well let’s say you didn’t know any better, so you fed it more of something sweet, yet still devoid of calories. “Ahhhh,” says your body, “That’s better. Thank you. Now I can finally find those calories and turn them into something useful—like energy.” But again! There is no energy to be found. So your body requires more. And more. And more. “Where is the energy??? Feed me!!!”
You continue to fill yourself, but your body is never truly fed.In fact… It is starving.
No wonder artificial sweeteners make you gain weight! Imagine when you finally eat something that has some actual nutritional value, like a tuna sandwich on wheat bread, with some tomatoes and green-leaf lettuce stuffed in there. Do you think your body is going to want to let you burn up those awesome nourishing calories right away? Or will it store them instead? (You know… as fat.)
Uh, yeah… your body is smart. It has evolved (or was created, if you prefer) to be a machine of efficiency, most especially during times of famine and starvation.
And we are starving ourselves.
In this country, there are millions of fat people walking the streets, and they are all starving.
I thought I was going to talk about a ton of things, but it appears that I’m particularly angry about artificial sweeteners, how the FDA tells us they’re okay to eat, how the food companies keep marketing it to us like it’s healthy even though they know it’s not, and so people just keep shoveling the stuff down by the truckload.
I might talk more about food/nutrition if you guys want to hear more about my awesome epiphanies about eating and my new way of consuming food that makes me feel like I’m snorting coke except not crazy harmful, and wayyyy awesomer, and I’ll probably live ‘til I’m like 120 because of it. I already have like five more single-spaced pages typed, but I’ve cut it down so that you don’t go stab yourself with a fork in hopeless surrender…
So let me know if this topic is interesting/inspirational to you, since it’s off my typical area of focus... and I will happily do more.
Thoughts? Concerns? Questions? Errors? Comment!