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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 181

Thoughts: Why do fruits and vegetables cost more than things in a box?

Why is it cheaper to make unhealthy choices than it is to make healthy choices? Are we being rewarded for making consistent unhealthy choices?

Are fruits and vegetables becoming a luxury item?

I always wondered this, until I stop wondering on this day and chose to find out and let you guys know.

Well it started well after cattle domestication first begun. It was at a time of technology where humans could travel across the oceans to see a different kind of human being. The human beings of that time were playing with technology and new creations and certain people had stumbled, and I purposely placed the word stumbled, can you imagine sanely thinking, well if I mix these two main ingredients cocaine (benzoylmethyl ecgonine) and caffeine and I will sell it for a patent medicine for five cents and call it coca cola? and so they stumbled across these new recipes and they decided that these new recipes would now be loved by the population. These were recipes like coca-cola, gum balls, evaporated milk, cracker jacks and instant mash potato, jello and nutella. These recipes were never tasted before and people were seeing a brand new thing that had never existed in life before. They were fascinated and loved these new things, so people went with it. Everyone agreed and everyone was happy. So the companies were happy that they were making money off these recipes, and the people were happy that the companies were making them. Then a few fellows had thought why don't we start a company that will appear to protect the people's health, and we will actually be paid by the food companies as it will be us who sells millions more for them. "How do we do that?" asked the quietest speaker. Well he was shot. Now the who that are left are all on the same page, and that page is the one which tells the story of lets make it cheaper to buy food from the supermarket than it is to buy food from the farmers. The cheaper it is the more people will be in supermarkets. And it is there that we will sell them other things as the walls will be smothered in advertising. Because there is this thing that everyone loves to hate and hates to love made from paper in a factory called money. So then they will get sick and unhealthy from all these new recipes and they will need something to make them feel better. As everyone thinks that feeling better is better. So we will make them things, and tell them those things will make them better, and then when they buy those things they will believe it will make them better, because they believe us we are in power, and then they will be better. And that's how the system is, and that's how it stays. And if anyone tries to change that system, oh we will make their life hell that they will want to stop ... Kevin Trudeau.

Well hehe that's my story of how it went, and yes I went into a darker mind, as I believe only darker minds could plot this way. This is the system.

This is what other people say when I researched in the universal conversation called internet:

The cost is excess hunger. The precipitous drop in blood sugar triggers primal mechanisms in the brain: "The brain thinks the body is starving," David Ludwig explains. "It doesn’t care about the 30 pounds of fat socked away, so it sends you to the refrigerator to get a quick fix, like a can of soda." Ironically, U.S. government agencies’ attempts to deal with obesity during the last three decades—encouraging people to eat less fat and more carbohydrates, for example—actually may have exacerbated the problem.

Take the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid, first promulgated in 1992. The pyramid’s diagram of dietary recommendations is a familiar sight on cereal boxes—hardly a coincidence, since the guidelines suggest six to 11 servings daily from the "bread, cereal, rice, and pasta" group. The USDA recommends eating more of these starches than any other category of food. Unfortunately, such starches are nearly all high-glycemic carbohydrates, which drive obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and Type II diabetes. "At best, the USDA pyramid offers wishy-washy, scientifically unfounded advice on an absolutely vital topic—what to eat," writes Willett in Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy. "At worst, the misinformation contributes to overweight, poor health, and unnecessary early deaths.

"The food industry is huge and exerts enormous influence on government policy. Clearly, some food industries have for many years successfully influenced the government in ways that keep the prices of certain foods artificially low."

David Ludwig questions farm subsidies of "billions to the lowest-quality foods"—for example, grains like corn ("for corn sweeteners and animal feed to make Big Macs") and wheat ("refined carbohydrates.") Meanwhile, the government does not subsidize far healthier items like fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. "It’s a perverse situation," he says. "The foods that are the worst for us have an artificially low price, and the best foods cost more. This is worse than a free market: we are creating a mirror-world here."

The 1950s was an era in which the kitchen—not the television room—was the heart of the home. "In some ways, you can see obesity as the tip of the iceberg, sitting on top of huge societal issues," says Willett. "There are enormous pressures on homes with both the husband and wife in the work force. One reason things need to be fast is that Mum is not at home preparing meals and waiting for the kids to come home from school any more. She is out there in the office all day, commuting home, and maybe working extra hours at night. This means heating something in the microwave or hitting the drive-through at McDonald’s. There really is a time issue—people do have less time. Yet, look at the number of hours spent watching television. Somehow we’ve lost an element of creativity and control over our lives. All too many people have become passive."

Personal responsibility surely does play a role, but we also live in a "toxic environment" that in many ways discourages healthy eating, says Ludwig. "There’s the incessant advertising and marketing of the poorest quality foods imaginable. To address this epidemic, you’d want to make healthful foods widely available, inexpensive, and convenient, and unhealthful foods relatively less so. Instead, we’ve done the opposite."

We are awash in edibles shipped in from around the planet; seasonality has largely disappeared. Food obtrudes itself constantly, seductively, into our lives—on sidewalks, in airplanes, at gas stations and movie theaters. Humans can eat convenient, refined, highly processed food with great speed, enabling them to consume an astonishing caloric load—literally thousands of calories—in minutes.

Pumping up portion size makes good business sense, because the cost of ingredients like sugar and water for a carbonated soda is so small, and customers perceive the larger amount as delivering greater value. The French aren’t so interested in the amount of food; they are more concerned with its quality. The restaurant industry—which employs 12 million workers (second only to government) and has projected sales of $440.1 billion this year.

The obesity epidemic arrived with astonishing speed. After tens of thousands of generations of human evolution, flab has become widespread only in the past 50 years, and waistlines have ballooned exponentially in the last two decades. In 1980, 46 percent of U.S. adults were overweight; by 2000, the figure was 64.5 percent. Childhood obesity, also once rare, has mushroomed: 15 percent of children between ages six and 19 are now overweight, and even 10 percent of those between two and five. "This may be the first generation of children who will die before their parents," Foreyt says.

Healthy eating really does cost more, the New York Times reported.

According to the paper, "That's what University of Washington researchers found when they compared the prices of 370 foods sold at supermarkets in the Seattle area. Calorie for calorie, junk foods not only cost less than fruits and vegetables, but junk food prices also are less likely to rise as a result of inflation. The findings, reported in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, may help explain why the highest rates of obesity are seen among people in lower-income groups."

The study's lead author Adam Drewnowski came to this obvious conclusion:

“If you have $3 to feed yourself, your choices gravitate toward foods which give you the most calories per dollar. Not only are the empty calories cheaper, but the healthy foods are becoming more and more expensive. Vegetables and fruits are rapidly becoming luxury goods.”

"Chances are pretty good that if you're poor you're going to opt for junk food that gives you the most calorie bang for your buck. You're more than likely to buy potato chips than carrot sticks. That in turn is going to lead to more poor folks becoming obese. This is a particularly knotty problem with no easy solutions." - Serious Seats

The food industry’s major objective is to get us to intake more food, the restaurant industry’s major objective is to get us to eat there more often, the drug industry major objective is to get us to use more drugs and the TV industry’s objective is to get us to watch more television, to be sedentary. Advertising is the action that keeps them both successful. So you’ve got these huge industries being successful at what they are supposed to do: creating more intake and less activity. And since larger people require more food energy just to sustain themselves, the food industry is growing a larger market for itself.

In 1978, they note, only 8 percent of homes had microwave ovens, but 83 percent do today. Food that once took hours to prepare is now "nuked" in minutes. Cities are designed for automobiles, not for healthier ways of getting about like walking or bicycling. "In fact, we’ve made it dangerous and unattractive to do so. Our bodies were not designed to handle so much caloric input and so little energy outflow.It's becoming so obvious and so easy for us to see these days, how our eating habits and sickness is linked to billions of dollars. People's bodies are adjusting to the new environment, and that new body is obese.

We are all in this. Every human being on the planet, there is not one person to blame or 3 or 10 people to blame. I do not blame anyone. I know I am in it. What does blaming got to do with anything anyway? The restaurant owners are winning, the drug companies are winning, the manufacturers are winning, the people are winning that have a job in the factories, the stock traders get to win, we get to win because we like the food. It is a working world.

“A hundred years ago there was no such thing as a snack food—nothing you could pop open and overeat”, says Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook

References below.

Challenges: You pay more for healthier food. For organic produce.

Triumphs: You pay more for healthier food ...... so... soo what???! Hehe

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: Water with lemon. The last strawberry and the last 6 blackberries! Time to replenish!

Lunch: Avocado. A generous amount of peanuts! Brown rice :)

Dinner: Brown rice with basil potatoes! Last night's creation! Mmmm a sweet mix of basil, garlic, onion, carrot, zucchini, chilly, basil, lots of basil, coriander, and potatoes! Mmm chunky soft pieces of potatoe!

Dessert: Chocolate balls with pecans and peanuts! The p's are in town! And town is in my mouth! Hehe ;)

Recipe: Recipe for chocolate balls and basil potatoes are in my book coming out in November! So if you make it to November - check it out!

Exercise: I exercised today ... hmmm what did I exercise today? (You are witnessing my thought process here! Hehe) I exercised my lower legs walking up and down the stairs in our apartment quiet a bit, and I exercised my self - literally, I exercised generating myself new each moment, obviously it happens minimal as I allow my chittery chattery mind to come in and play! Hehe!

184 days to go!!!

---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 41-2)
--Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 65-7)
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1 comment:

  1. You are amazing and such an inspiration! Keep it up! :-)Blessings to u.