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Our Modern Fast Food Diet

By: Ron Lagerquist

“Rape is a strong word, but I cannot think of a more appropriate image of how processed food has negatively impacted the fine workings of the human body.”

Bleaches, antioxidants, trans-fatty acids, preservatives, chemical flavors, buffers, noxious sprays, alkalizers, acidifiers, deodorants, moisteners, drying agents, expanders, modifiers, emulsifiers, saturated fat, caffeine, processed sugar, stabilizers, thickeners, clarifiers, disinfectants, defoliants, fungicides, neutralizers, anticaking and antifoaming agents, hydrolyzers, hydrogenators, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and four thousand other unpronounceable ingredients—all of these are commonly found in the food you eat.

“So what does all this have to do with me?”

The spine bone’s connected to the shoulder bone
The shoulder bone’s connected to the leg bone
The leg bone’s connected to the foot bone
For a three-toe tappin’ time.

Dem Bones

A vital part of understanding the world around us is our ability to make connections. As scientific knowledge has increased, so has our awareness of how connected everything really is. A day does not go by without the media covering some new study connecting two seemingly unrelated things. Human activity is connected to the earth’s ecosystem; a mother’s diet is connected to an unborn child’s health; emotional wellness is connected to upbringing; a child’s mental development is connected to what they have been viewing on TV; poverty is connected to a lack of education; the health of the human cell is directly connected to diet. The list is endless—everything is connected to everything. It is naive, even dangerous, to believe that there are not real consequences to every action, whether smoking while pregnant, or driving a gas-guzzling Hummer.

The connection between health and diet will be a repeated theme throughout this website. It is a vital connection that has become second nature to me. After years of nutritional study, there has fermented within me an instinctive relationship between whatever I am stuffing into my mouth and my personal health, and staying aware of this connection has kept me healthier and more energetic. 

Rape is a strong word, but I cannot think of a more appropriate image of how processed food has negatively impacted the fine workings of the human body. In the same way that human activity is directly impacting the earth’s ecosystem, so too the food industry has impacted every cell of your body. How’s that for connection?

How Much Junk Food Do You Eat?

When I talk about fast food the response is always predictable: I hardly ever eat at those places anymore. Somebody is. Today, fast food has become a large percentage of what North Americans use for the building blocks of human health. Thirty years ago, Americans shelled out about $6 billion annually on fast food. Today we spend more than $110 billion, greater than the amount spent on movies, books, newspapers, videos and music, all combined. Fast food is now North American’s favorite form of entertainment. On a typical day of the year, one-quarter of the adult population will be filling up at a fast food restaurant. 

I’m sure the quality of material that is used to build your home matters to you. But vastly more important are the raw materials that are being used to construct your children’s little growing bodies. Market research has found that children can often recognize a brand logo before they can identify their own name. Little mouths are trained early to beg Mom and Dad to eat lunch at McDonald’s. The marketing industry calls it “pester power,” and it has translated into billions of dollars.

Are evil men trying to poison our children? Is there some secret conspiracy? No, it’s something far simpler than that. Food has become big business; therefore, the whole approach of feeding the masses is about profit. More money will be spent on how to market a cute clown than on research as to whether the meals offered are nutritious or even safe for human consumption.

In most cases, competition is good for capitalism, but when it comes to food, it has been nothing short of disastrous. Taste, convenience and affordability are where the fast food industry has focused its money and attention, because this is what increases the bottom line: profitability. Intangibles like health and nutrition do not increase profit, except as a marketing ploy. Permitting profit-driven corporations to feed the masses has manifested itself into millions of obese, sick people who are as addicted to fast food as a drug addict to heroin, throwing the elegant workings of the human body into a chaos of sickness and disease.

Related Article: Preservatives and Additives

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