You Are What You Eat!
What's in your stomach?
body was designed to maintain an equilibrium of health, and one of the basic cornerstones is your diet. Unfortunately, most
Americans are flat out delusional about what constitutes healthy eating (I know
I was). America's food
has changed drastically in the last sixty years compared to the last several
thousand. Our ingenuity coupled with technology has led to genetically
engineered crops, fatter, hormone induced animals and manufactured snack foods
such as chips, soda pop and crackers that are so convenient when we get hungry.
these leaps in technology and engineering may seem incredible, there is a price
to pay that we have failed to notice until recently. Diseases that have not existed for the entire
span of humanity have presented themselves in the last 100 years. Obesity,
diabetes, auto-immune disorders, food allergies…
end of World War II, farming changed drastically to fill the need for massive
quantities of food in dense city locations. The small, localized farms gave way
to large, industrialized fields of crops and with that shift came the
alteration of how crops were grown.
grow the same crops year after year in the same fields with numerous
fertilizers. These synthetic fertilizers have the three main components that
plants need to survive: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The problem is
soil requires approximately 52 different minerals! So where is the calcium,
magnesium, zinc, iron... they're missing. With a deficient soil lacking so many
nutrients, our grains, fruits, and vegetables become deficient. Studies of 64
foods made between 1940 and 1991 reveal that vegetables have lost 76 percent of
their copper, 46 percent of their calcium, 27 percent of the iron, 24 percent
of the magnesium, and 16 percent of the potassium. Compared to our ancestors’
generations before us, we need to consume more food than ever today just to receive
the same amount of nourishment. Also
with plants being deficient, they do not have the necessary resources to build
up their own “defenses” against the various insects, bacteria, and viruses that
our weakened crops, in enters the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides needed
to protect them. The use of pesticides have been accredited with producing
greater “yields of most crops” with a wealth of “documented cases” showing
pesticides minimizing crop losses. Yet pests and viruses have evolved and have
actually become resistant to the pesticides, requiring newer and stronger
pesticides to be created. Also, dangerous side effects for humans are now evident
and being associated with their use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
estimates that there are 10,000 to 20,000 physician-diagnosed cases of
pesticide poisoning of agricultural workers each year in the United States. The
list of health problems from exposure to pesticides include: higher rates of
blood and lymphatic systems cancers, melanoma, cancers of the lip, stomach,
brain, lung, and prostate, Parkinson's disease, damaged immune systems, infertility
in women and lower quantity and quality of sperm in men.
atrocity we have become immune to is how our animals are raised and slaughtered.
For decades, farm animals were raised on ranches, roaming and grazing on
various grasses. With the advent of fast food restaurants, hamburgers became so
popular that a greater supply of beef and other meat was needed to keep up with
the demand. Here
is a scary reality- around 70 million fast-food meals are served daily across
live the majority of their lives in massive feedlots across the plains, tens of
thousands crammed together, wading in their own feces. A single cow deposits
about fifty pounds of manure every day and its hide is usually covered in it.
Because of their unsanitary living arrangements, many cattle pass diseases and
viruses to each other, infecting thousands. Cattle are also slaughtered and
butchered into their various cuts at such accelerated speeds, that many times
their colons and stomachs are accidentally slit by the workers, spilling feces
and remains from their stomachs onto the meat. In the USDA study 78.6 percent
of the ground beef contained microbes that are spread primarily by fecal matter.
cattle's normal diet of grass has now been replaced with corn, growth hormones,
and antibiotics. Feeding cattle corn has changed the cow's harmless E. coli bacteria
in their stomachs to mutate and evolve into a new and deadly strain for humans
called E. coli 0157:H7. This
strain can lead to diarrhea, kidney failure for kids, hemolytic uremic
syndrome, or death. This new strain is also passed through the fecal matter of
the cattle, so that if one has it, the rest will also get it as they wade in
each other's manure.
are nutrition deficient and poisoned; our meat is contaminated and infested
with antibiotics and hormones- all this before it has reached a processing
plant. As if this was not enough, our precious food is then broken apart and changed
into something molecularly unrecognizable- processed food. More than ever
today, Americans eat out at fast food restaurants, consume junk food, munch on snack
items, and eat pre-made dinners. All of these are high in calories from sugar,
starch, saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and lacking in vital vitamins,
amino acids, minerals, and complex carbohydrates.
diet for an American is coffee, soda, artificial sweeteners, sandwiches or
hamburgers, ice cream, pizza, potato chips, candy, French fries, cereals,
donuts, Hamburger Helper, meals from McDonald's or Burger King, microwaveable
meals, etc. They ‘taste’ good, are CHEAP and fill up your stomach- but they wreak havoc on
our mind and bodies!
have arrived connected with our altered diet. Mental disorders, depression, obesity
and teen aggression are on the rise. There are numerous studies of how diet
affects addiction, behavior, brain function, blood pressure and many other
behaviors and bodily functions.
brain does not receive the proper building blocks of vitamins, minerals, amino
acids, and complex carbohydrates, how can it repair and maintain itself? An inflamed,
unnourished brain, is a depressed brain. Antidepressants are not the answer, it's changing our diet!
done produced some interesting results- rats were fed a typical British diet of
white bread and margarine, sweetened tea, boiled vegetables, and tinned meat.
In her book The Food Factor, author Barbara Griggs wrote the rats soon
displayed stunted and nervous behavior, with lackluster coats, they snapped at
the attendant and took to cannibalism after three days. After they'd killed and
eaten three of their number, they were segregated, to die of pneumonia and a
variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
Why is this so shocking?
What we put into our bodies- we get out!
What can we do?
I think the
greatest tool we have against our current, corrupted food chain is choice. Our
choices do drive change. Choosing non-GMO, local, organic and seasonal changes
the food system, because corporations are smart enough to know- to give us what
Take the time to find stores with organic food and products at
affordable prices. Search out neighbors
who grow own their crops or a community garden. Get involved in a food share
program or co-op community. Get your meat from local humane farmers. Support local farmers by going to farmers' markets and buying
your produce fresh.
Choose to take the time to prepare healthy snacks such as cutting up
veggies at the beginning of the week. Plan to make wholesome meals for you and
your family, make it a joint activity. If you don't have time, make time by
decreasing other activities like internet surfing and watching television. Our
bodies will always reflect our choices, for in the end, we are truly what we
eat. Most importantly- ask yourself what you are really hungry for. Is it food?
Use this website as
your health cliff notes. There is just enough here to be informative, but not
overwhelming. Read a little each day, each week, and each month. Research,
experiment and open your mind and listen to your body. It has a lot to say.