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The industrialization of food in the U.S. is scary & sad


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I feel pretty educated when it comes to nutrition. Not that I always am smart about my choices, but if I eat something not-so-great for me, at least I UNDERSTAND what makes it not so great.

It's so confusing to the average person though: A hodgepodge of reports by "professionals" gets thrown out to the public with crazy conflicting info. People assume that things marked "low fat" and "lower calorie" are better for you than the less chemically altered full-fat versions.

Then there's the whole cost issue. The sad truth is, many people CAN'T AFFORD fresh fruit and veggies. Right now in my area, for $7.00 you can get:

Which in my house, would be gone in about 15 minutes and be simply a "snack" considering each of us would get roughly one handful of blueberries

OR
SEVEN items off of this list:

Which, skipping drinks, could feed 2-3 people a "MEAL" (albeit a really unhealthy one)

I'm fortunate that I can afford fresh fruits/veggies, but even I have to limit it. I introduced asparagus to my girls recently, and they loved it, but at 6.50 for ONE BUNCH, it's something i have to consider a "treat" rather than a regular dinner item. How sad is that??? And I would much rather (as would they) have them snack on berries than chips, but when an entire bag of chips costs less than a handful of berries....most people have no choice but to add in the foods they know aren't so great simply to make the food stretch and keep within budget.

I know it will get better when the farmers markets open (soon!!) but that is only 3? 4? months of the year. It will be better when we plant our garden, but again, that's only 3 months out of the year. Right now I pick and choose on the organic items: Chicken and beef is always organic. Always organic cage free eggs. Organic milk is a 50/50 thing only because there is a huge disparity in the cost of regular vs. organic. I'm trying to replace a couple items the kids like with organic options (things like graham cracker snacks, etc)

So I do feel a little more ahead of the game than most, but then I watched Food Inc. last night, and wow. I didn't realize it was quite so bad. I had no idea that pretty much ALL beef (non-organic anyway) in this country has been altered to the standards of MCDONALDS because they are the #1 purchaser of beef. I knew that the burgers at McDonalds were crappy, but I had no idea that going to a higher scale restaurant, you are getting ground beef from the SAME company. I knew how ecoli was introduced into food, but I had no idea the food industry cared so little about taking the necessary steps to PREVENT it, and instead of simply feeding cattle what they were DESIGNED to eat (grass) for a mere week to rid them of them of the dangerous bacteria in their stomachs, they decided it was better to "wash" the meat with ammonia, and keep force feeding them corn.

I had no idea that soybeans in this country are almost ALL genetically modified, and the main producer of seeds is pretty much WORSE than the mafia, and threatening and bankrupting farmers who dare to try to plant NON-genetically modified seeds. And the government is behind this 100%. They're behind ALL OF IT, because of the funding provided to them by these manufacturers, whose ONLY concern is profit.

The 4 main chicken producers are no better. They force farmers to raise their chickens in squalor, then hire illegal immigrants to do the grunt work. Once the immigrants have been working there too long, immigration comes in and deports them, and a new wave of illegals is hired in. All so the few people at the top of the chain can make gross amounts of money.

Bah.

It's frustrating. It really is. I really truly believe that most of the health problems we've seen rising, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer...they ALL are being aided by the food industry. And the people who can't afford organic or local products are simply doomed. emoticon

Anywho. This blog isn't really going anywhere, I just needed a really good vent. On the plus side, I did discover that one of my many cousins (40! All from my moms side) is a farmer about 7 hours north, and I can purchase fresh, organic, grass fed beef & chicken from him. Hurrah!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 5/9/2013 9:08PM

    Healthier food should actually be cheaper than unhealthy food, not more expensive. If they are serious about people getting healthy and staying that way they should so something to correct these problems.

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LIVING4HIM_INWI 5/8/2013 3:06PM

    I'm so glad that you value your health and see that the extra cost up front for good healthy food in worth the investment. The people that can't afford the healthy food will pay the cost down the road with medical bills. We pay it one time or another.

I'm glad that you are concerned about how your food is handled, but I do need to caution you to not believe everything you hear. There is a large group that would love to see all of us be so scared of what to eat that all of us would be vegetarians or vegans. The food industry isn't out to get you sick and they do care about how they handle the food. There was a big push to discredit the farmers and now it has gone up the chain to the processors and others. Is our system perfect, oh no it isn't. But we are far better here in America than in so many other places. As long as you are choosing foods that are close to their original state, minimal processing, you are choosing wonderfully healthy products for your body and for your family.

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ANASARI 5/8/2013 12:25PM

    Ack! I had no idea bout this stuff. Also another pressing issue for many Americans are our food deserts: inner city (usually) areas where there's nothing like a grocery store, just fast food restaurants, and so what ends up getting eaten? Not only because it's cheaper, but some people can't drive to the 'burbs to get groceries, or don't have the means by which to do that. Kind of scary that one of the richest nations has issues like this still.

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FITGIRL15 5/8/2013 11:16AM

    The reality of our society... we don't do enought hunting/gathering for ourselves... we let the supermarkets do it for us!

After reading "The Hunger Games", our society looks so 'Capitol' to me! ... I wish I could have my own garden! (Living in a condo makes that hard! If I lived on a farm....)

Comment edited on: 5/8/2013 11:17:47 AM

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PASTAFARIAN 5/8/2013 11:12AM

    You make a lot of good points but, to be fair, I can always find inexpensive veggies in the frozen and canned food aisles. You may frown at not buying fresh but if you are selective, there is a lot of high-quality but inexpensive veggies. Fruit too.

As for those blueberries, I wouldn't buy them until they're in season locally; otherwise you're likely getting something that looks very good but doesn't taste very good.

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ICANLOSEMORE 5/8/2013 11:06AM

    I have been trying to learn more about this problem lately and to learn how to eat clean. Just when I think I have something figured out I find another article that disputes the last one. It is very confusing and frustrating. I also share your concern for people who cannot afford to eat healthier. No matter what we are told, the unhealthy foods are more budget friendly, which is very sad.

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PRINCESSAMY 5/8/2013 11:04AM

    I have to agree with you. I try to purchase extra veggies during the spring/summer months. I can and freeze them for the winter. I order a huge qualities of meat/chicken for my freezer from a locally organic butcher. I plant my own garden as well.

It is the only way I can make it through as a single mom and give good food to my son.

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