Monday, November 23, 2009

Rant #1 demonizing the wrong foods and additives

Ok, I am going to ruffle feathers so if yours are easily ruffled and this makes you jerk your knees to your chest and waggle about the world coming to an end please look elsewhere for your nightly reading.

What do the following products or ingredients all have in common?
Tree Nuts
Mono Sodium Glutamate (and any other Sodium or Glutamate)
Wheat (probably mostly Gluten)
hydrogenated oils
… etc.

1)They are all demonized by one group or another.
2)They are all ingredients or products which have been used as food for millennia
3)BILLIONS of other people have successfully consumed them for that time

Just because I am allergic to citrus (and I have experienced anaphylaxis a couple of time as a result of my careless approach to this awesome tasty product) does NOT mean that NOBODY should eat citrus or products containing citrus.

It does mean that I have a right to know that what I am about to eat contains what is to me a poison.

It does mean that I have the choice to make:
1)consume the product and pray the resulting reaction is minimal
2)find something else to consume instead

Now I do have a theory as to why there is a growing number of people experiencing food related issues.

Lets take a quick look in our way back machine to see what has changed in the most recent hundred years or so.

1)Especially in the “developed” world we are producing food (meats and plants alike) in cramped and chemically “enhanced” condition.
2)We feed our food (again plant and animal alike) antibiotics and other prophylactic measures to “prevent” issues that we created (see #1)
3)We feed our food various substances natural and not to make our food products look nicer, grow larger, and generally look like something produced in a factory not on a farm.
4)We torture especially our animal food by cramming it together twice as much as our plant food.
5)Many of these additives are fat soluble which creates a reason to demonize fats which only adds to the other reasons why a fat should be avoided today when years ago it would have not been a problem.
6)We use hydrogenated oils with great abandon rather than moderation.
7)We generally ignore eons of wisdom in favor of producing the most product in the smallest space possible at the cost of our health and well being :(
8)We chase the all mighty cash cow and maximum profit over our own health and well being.
9)We subsidize one or two products and then spend millions of dollars/drachma/yen/euros/etc. again forgetting the moderation in all things wisdom of the ages.
10)We process our food into a form that would not be recognized by people even a few decades ago as food.

Somewhere we need to go back to open markets free of government payments to produce or not produce a certain product. A market where health and well being are what food is all about (and this DOES NOT mean we need to have our food taste like saw-dust!) not the mansions a few people (seldom the producers of the products more often the processors of the product)

We need to get past the “need” for one or two products at the expense of healthy food choices (a good example of this is corn... we actually spend millions of dollars here in the USA finding new ways to use corn and it's chemically enhanced offspring such as High Fructose Corn Syrup... another is soybeans and I am sure every “developed” country has it's own cash cows which are subsidized over sound logic and moderation).

Comments? flames? etc. you know how to add them, lets get this discussion moving ;)


  1. Will,
    What you say makes perfect sense to me...but then I belong to the food newsgroup who will shout you down if you use canned soup or jarred mayonnaise in your food prep. Wasn't it Christ Himself who stressed all things in moderation?

  2. That would be one place I have heard that concept for sure!.

    Yes usenet is a bit different than when I last ventured into those realms for personal reasons (my professional filters are set so well that I probably miss things I may find useful but I would get distracted if I did not do that).

    I tend to shy away from processed food because many of them contain allergens (I am deathly allergic to citrus) or ingredients I am better off without.

    If I have a specific reason for a particular choice NOT just my own issues I work to state it clearly as in my chocolate mousse.... “if you use thickened cream you will have … ...” “alkali processed cocoa kills some of the culture” etc. and then it is up to the consumer to make their own choices.

  3. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.


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