Friday, September 3, 2010

Fake Food, Big Bucks

Someone save that child.
I just came back from a jaunt to the grocery store. I had to pick up some green onions for the Kimchi I'll be starting later today. Every now and then, I like to take a walk through the aisles like some voyeur scoping out the new horrors being pumped out by the pretend-food factories.

How did we get to this place where the further we move away from real food, the more we forget that this stuff in the grocery store, this packaged, creamed, preserved, boxed and cellophane wrapped compilation of indiscernible ingredients is not food? Why do we buy it? I mean, why do we buy it literally, yes. But, why do we buy it, on a metaphorical level?

There was a vat of Kraft peanut butter being advertised as the latest and greatest food.  "It's NEW"!!  Hooray! Kraft has developed a new food product.  Time to celebrate. The peanut butter was "whipped" so it's easier to spread and use as a dip, or so says Kraft on the bottle. The bottle is full of pesticide laden peanuts, trans fats and a couple types of GMO sugars. Why do we agree to pay more for cheap chemicals? How have we been convinced that a peanut is not worth as much as a pretend peanut?

Awww... look at the cute little bears ready to bring you to heart attack heaven.
Peanuts should not make up part of anyone's diet due to the aflatoxin content, a carcinogenic mold, and because of the issues with consuming legumes. But still, I can't help but shudder when I see them take an already harmful food and look for ways to make it worse (more profitable).  Why have factory farmed dairy products when you can have factory farmed dairy products that are pasteurized and full of sugars and flavourings? Why eat pasta when they can sell you a sauce full of vegetable oils, artificial flavourings, and preservatives? Dump the pasta and the pasteurized dairy altogether. Why pay more for something that was detrimental to health even before they started making it worse?

They're trying to convince us that we can't do it ourselves anymore. We're losing our ability to preserve food, to store it, to culture and ferment foods the way our ancestors did. I can't tell you how many people I meet that marvel that I make my own stock or preserves. When we lose our ability to do these things, when we opt for simple, we teach our children what it is to trade health, tradition, independence for easy. The problem is, it's not easy in the long run. It's not 'simple and quick' when we are diseased, depressed, and fat.
My little laboratory. Kefir, raw milk yoghurts, butter, and creme fraiche, ghee, some kombucha, a jar of red wine vinegar with its mother, some kefired homemade apple cider, sauerkraut, lard, pastured bison tallow, and some raw grass-fed sheep cheese. Yum.

There's a great satisfaction, beyond the physical benefits, of creating and producing foods that are healing and nourishing. We teach our children by our example. They love us, they admire us, they believe us when we pick up a bucket of whipped peanut butter and tell them it's o.k. to eat it. We have to do better.

Further reading:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks much for the link to Modern Paleo! I've added you to our list of "food and health" bloggers. (Are you on the PaleoBloggers e-mail list? I'd love to have you in our weekly blog carnival, The Paleo Rodeo!)