Monday, March 23, 2009

What is Food

The definition of food in this country has become more ambiguous than ever.   When we walk into a grocery store we are expecting to purchase food, but let me say that this notion is now skewed.  Shelves are lined with countless processed “foods” with brilliant advertising schemes, colored wrapping, and promises that they are “natural” or “heart healthy” or “fat free.”  On a side note, any item that makes these promises is probably not the best thing for us.  An orange does not need a giant label saying, “Helps the immunes system function while cleansing our organs leading to greater energy levels.”

Ask yourself this the next time you walk into the market:  what in this place wants to be eaten?  The reason plant based foods evolved and thrived alongside us is our symbiotic relationship with them.  When our ancestors ate fruits they either dropped the seed remains on the forest floor or it came out the other end, and those seeds developed into a new plant furthering the circle of life.  The point is, we are designed to consume plants.  They have nourished us and us them for as long as people walked the earth.  Our bodies know exactly what do with them; they have for thousands of years.  

On the other hand, processed/packaged foods are dominating market shelves. Our bodies are currently having a lot of trouble dealing with these other “foods”.  Chemicals, additives, colorings, preservatives, etc create a unique problem for us, mainly because our cells have never had to deal with such substances.  Some of the more potent chemicals, which will be discussed later, cannot be used up by our cells, so we store them as fat, they accumulate in our arteries and even end up in our brains.  You may ask, why then are these chemicals added to our foods if they cause so many problems?  Like many other answers in this world, the answer here is money. The sad truth is, most of these food corporations could care less about our well- being as long as their bottom line looks good.  Food companies have found ways to extend shelf life through chemicals additives.  Cheap crop commodities like corn and soybean oils are added to processed foods to make them taste better and get you addicted to them.  They have taken out many nutrients and vitamins, which prevent foods from going rancid. Any food that won’t spoil is suspect. 

Now back to nature’s food.  Plants harness the suns rays into their own form of energy, making them grow.  When we eat these plants we are indirectly getting the sun’s energy into our bodies.  When you think about it, this is truly the way in which the sun sustains life on this earth.  What better way to increase our energy levels than to eat from the sun?  If you are trying to make this connection, think about the last time you spent time indoors and then went outside into the sun.  I know I instantly feel more energy.   Plants are the perfect food to thrive.  They provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, heal the body, cleanse our organs, and many studies point to cancer prevention.

It is important to keep in mind which foods got us here.  We did not develop our complex brains by eating frozen dinners and cheese its.  America’s 3 most consumed vegetables are potatoes (fries), tomatoes (ketchup), and iceberg lettuce.  These "vegetables" certainly are not going to help our bodies fight off cancer and heart disease.  

Back to the market, a good general rule is to stick to the perimeter, where more produce is located.  Ask the dude/gal in the produce section what is grown organically or locally.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables/fruits. 

Let’s start rejecting the industries idea of food and going back to what the earth has given us. 


Thanks for reading,


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