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It is hard to think of professionals that know less about their subject than nutritionists. We all eat. We all obsess about nutrition & weight. Yet try and find two nutritionists who agree on what we should eat. Add TV shills promoting wonder foods. And no wonder we’re clueless.

Then mix in the worst actor. We may disagree on how many carbs to eat; whether we are eating the right fats; cardio or weights; or even if we should eat after 8 pm. But we can all agree that industrial food is rapacious profit generator with no interest in its customers’ health.

Think not? Let’s consider some of its offerings.

Smuckers ‘Uncrustables’

photosApparently some American parents have lost the ability – or run out of time – to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. To fill this void, the kind folk at Smuckers have pre-made and frozen this staple of the American diet

The homemade peanut butter & jelly sandwich is typically a nutritional wasteland of white bread and fruit-flavored sugar. But at least there is love in the making.

And I’m sorry, they look disgusting.

Kraft Singles

photoKraft foisted this industrial food on the unsuspecting in 1949. They would dearly like you to think that this is cheese. It isn’t. Look at the label. It is ‘Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product’.

It doesn’t meet the FDA’s standards for Pasteurized Processed Cheese’. And it can’t even call itself “Pasteurized Processed Cheese Food” because it contains ‘milk protein concentrates’ – whatever they are.

So they had to settle for ‘Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product’. A suitable name for a factory made ‘food’.

 

Kraft Cheese

photoKraft cheese, on the other hand, is a real cheese – although it is mass-produced rather than lovingly hand-crafted.

Typical of Kraft cheese is the ‘Natural Extra Sharp Cheddar’ sold in 8oz blocks – for $3.69 at my local supermarket. Alongside it is the same cheese but marketed as ‘Natural Extra Sharp Cheddar – Cracker Cuts’. The only difference is that now the cheese block has been cut into slices. It also costs $3.69. But the package is now only 6oz.

A 33% premium people, who can’t figure out how to use a knife, are apparently prepared to pay.

Drinks

There is perhaps no ‘food’ group worse for nutrition than drinks produced by industrial food. Let’s have a look.

Soda

Sugar is addictive. Reproduction is evolution’s most powerful imperative. Animals can move about, but plants must use wind or animals to disperse their kind. To attract animals plants produce sugar – a longed-for taste – which is why fruits are sweet. But as advantageous as sugar is to plants it is an addictive disaster for us. Which makes it enormously profitable to drink companies.

Think tobacco.

Soda manufacturers thought they were addressing the obesity crisis promoted by their sugar water by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Now science shows that, far from controlling weight, they upset the body’s biochemistry leading to even greater weight gain.

photoSunny D

If one product epitomizes the cynicism of industrial food, it is ‘Sunny D’. This artificially-colored, sugar water is soda without the bubbles. Yet the industry markets this swill by implying that adding vitamin C makes it a health food.

I need say nothing more about it. The ingredients tell the tale.

Fruit Juice 1: Sugar & Water

In Europe fruit juice is drunk at breakfast out of small glasses – which is quite sensible. Fruit juice may have a nutritional value that soda doesn’t. But it is still sugar-dense food. Just eat the whole fruit and drink water.

Fruit Juice 2: 100% Fruit, Which fruit?

Look at this pastoral picture of Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Juice.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 9.18.13 AM

Now consider this claim to greatness.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.46.22 AM

You would be forgiven if you thought it was 100% cranberry juice. But no. There’s grape, apple and pear juice (all from concentrate) in there. It is a label calculated to deceive.

Natural Flavors

There is no more abused word in food marketing than ‘natural’ – especially in ‘natural flavoring’. Here is its federal definition.Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.53.34 AM

In short, if the flavoring comes from something living, you are good to go. Let’s consider one – Castoreum. This bitter, orange-brown, odoriferous, oily secretion comes from the sex glands of beavers. The glands are found between the anus and the external genitals.

It gets worse. Castoreum is used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings.

Supplements

One final thought. If supermarkets sold nutritious food, they wouldn’t have to sell nutritional supplements.

Bon Appetit.

 

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