Why do we eat?

No bad foodsAre you scared of flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes and drought? You should be. They all have a huge impact on many people’s lives, their health and wellbeing, the national healthcare, ultimately the taxes which are being used or not used on the healthcare. Speaking of healthcare, did you know that the trends show that there is a correlation between population taking less care of themselves and skyrocket in spending in healthcare. Have people started to enjoy going to doctors and hospitals? We think not. And the taxes being spent on healthcare could be spent elsewhere, like in the education sector, if the general population realized one thing, which may be the most important and often overlooked item. What are you eating?  The more appropriate question should be “why are you eating?”.

It may sound silly but have people forgotten that the main reason for food is to refuel their bodies with minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids and amino acids which are essential for health.  Yes, Health! Not for fulfilling 3 day long cravings followed by binges on pizza, fries or burgers. Some of us have forgotten that we need to eat for health and that is why we should pick up the piece of fruit versus the Mars bar. For those who are thinking “ha ha! I don’t eat, pizza, fries, burgers or chocolate bars”, consider this. The mineral and vitamin content in fruits and vegetables have been declining and will continue falling due to a phenomenon called “Dilution effect”. Overused soil and the same crop grown each consecutive year depletes the soil of the minerals which can only be so much compensated by fertilization.

There have been several studies on rats which involved placing rats on various combinations – water, nutrient, and cereal diets, and you would think that the rats eating water and corn flakes would live long and happy, but they didn’t.  This is the result of the study: “The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months. The animals on water alone lived about a month. But the company’s own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks—they died before the rats that got no food at all.”  Surprised or skeptical? Another unpublished study in Ann Arbor University (Michigan University) was meant to be a joke when these results shocked the scientists and the public. “The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions.”

Ok, so why am I tell you all this? The take home point is that you should be eating a large variety of fresh, unprocessed, and highly nutritious foods. If you like mushroom soup, choosing button mushrooms typically mass cultivated on horse manure is not the best choice. We should rethink our selection and reprogram our thinking to focus on the health aspects of what we are eating and how much we are eating instead of eating for emotional satisfaction.  Ideally if you can eat foods that are fortified or contain dense levels of nutrients (like those found in functional foods) you are getting the best benefits. Which brings me back to the beginning; if the population collectively improves their lifestyle and eating habits, in long term there will be less strain on the healthcare system, less doctor visits and more money in your pocket.

References:

Davis, Donald R.,2009, Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What is the Evidence?, University of Texas, Hort Science, Vol44(1)

Stitt, Paul A., 1980, fighting the food giants, Manitowoc, WI (P.O. Box 75, Manitowoc 54220), Natural Press

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