Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sick, Sick, Sick to DEATH of Ridiculous Substitute Food!



Maybe I did not get enough sleep last night.  I did.

Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  I didn’t.

Maybe, just maybe I am simply irritated and furious about the fact that food companies, and individuals are making a quick buck on well-intentioned people who are looking for ways to not die earlier than “normal”.  I am.

Yesterday I heard about a website with a really catchy name, run by a person who began it as a blog 5 years ago in an attempt to pass on “healthy” tips to their friends and family.  Over time, the popularity of the blog grew, a website was posted, and this person now has a following of 700,000.  They have just published their second book – also with a really catchy name (and I am not even going to give you the title because I was soooooooo annoyed at what I found on the site!).  This person is on a book tour.  This person’s book is popular.

Inspired by the article I read about this person, I quickly went over to the website and signed up to be on their mailing list.  Since yesterday was actually a busy “self-employment” day for me, I did not have time to read anything on the site (well, there was a bit of time when I was not “scheduled”, but that was when I was recovering from the dilating drops administered at the eye-doctor’s office…and there was NO way for me to read anything then). 

This morning, I visited the website, curious about what a “successful” blogger/writer/creative person had to offer.  One of the first things I noticed was the advertising:  Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Edy’s Lite Ice Cream… all over the home page.  On the site I found recipe after recipe, some listed as “healthy alternatives to popular restaurant foods”, that were full of artificial “diet” ingredients like Splenda, and fake peanut butter, “lite” Pringles, and Funyuns. Now, don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think that everyone needs to become a raw-foodist or start growing all of their food in their own backyards, but when people are really looking for answers for ways to get healthier, I think that offering advice on simplifying foods by choosing items with the shortest list of ingredients, or eating foods in a condition as close to their natural state as possible is much better than directing them to a can of “lite” Pringles.

The diet and weight loss industry generates more than $30 billion dollars every year.  It’s popularity began, in earnest in the 1980’s with the proliferation of the “lite” and “diet” foods. “Well, it gives people ‘better’ alternatives than they had before these things were available.” Really?  The obesity rates in the US have risen drastically since the 1980’s – among men, women and children!   …and what about the rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes?  Is “diet” food the answer?  Has it solved anything?

I do not intend to bash anyone’s beliefs, when it comes to what they put into their mouths.  It is a free country.  If you love, love, loooove diet soda, drink it.  …just read the label and research the ingredients every once in a while, to see what it is you are actually putting into your body.

To quote Dr. Joel Fuhrman (once again):  “If you don’t want to die like most Americans, stop eating like most Americans.”

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