Are We There Yet?
Over on Food Politics this week Marion Nestle asks the question as to whether the food movement is beginning to win the battle regarding getting the major food manufacturers to get their acts together and stop using things in food that are either unhealthy, unnecessary or both.
She cites recent moves by McDonalds promising to source chickens that haven’t been treated with antibiotics, PepsiCo saying it is taking aspartame out of its diet sodas, Chipotle saying it will source GMO-free ingredients, Nestlé saying it is removing artificial colors from its chocolate and Kraft saying it is taking the yellow dyes out of its Mac n’ Cheese.
I guess from all of that it could be argued that progress is being made but sadly I am not that optimistic.
The problem with most of these victories is that in all of the above cases the change only came when there was public exposure, resulting outcry and then the company in question fearing a drop in sales.
In other words, there was no genuine acknowledgment on the part of any of those companies that what they were doing was wrong and was in fact promoting bad health.
To me that signals that these people are doing WAY more to their foods that we don’t know about and are throwing us these bones to make us go away.
When you look at the overall “philosophy” of these companies when it comes to food production they do not care about the quality or safety of the food itself, they are only driven by profit and until they develop a sense or corporate responsibility they will keep doing this stuff and ONLY change when they get busted. And even then they will only change that thing they got busted for.
Sugar Alcohol… what could possibly go wrong!
Very often these days food manufacturers are trying to find ways to add ingredients to their products to add sweetness.
Obviously the easiest way to do that is to add sugar.
Unfortunately for them this presents two problems.
The first problem is that by just listing sugar as an ingredient is like marketing poison at the moment.
Sugar is fast becoming the big “no-no” for food and the food industry wants to avoid that problem.
Keep in mind the food industry really doesn’t care about adding sugar from the viewpoint of your health!
Your health is not their concern.
Their concern is that if they show an “added sugar” listing then their sales will be affected.
The second problem for anyone wanting to add sweetness is that sugar contains calories… a lot of calories and that also makes the labelling look rather unattractive.
They might as well put a sign on the product saying “Fatness Guaranteed!”
So, what’s a poor multinational to do?
Enter Sugar Alcohols.
Now as the name suggests these are a group of sugars that are derived from sugar molecules and alcohol molecules.
In fact there are some sugar alcohols that occur naturally in some fruits. From my point of view the naming of them is a complete loser and a more apt name would be alcohol sugars but that’s just my opinion.
The upside of them is that they are mostly of an equal sweetness to regular sugar yet contain up to 60% less calories.
They come packaged into various foods under a range of names.
I suspect the reason for that is so as not to have to use the term Sugar Alcohol because from a marketing point of view that doesn’t look good in any way or form.
So those ingredients you were thinking were strange chemicals in your food?
They are strange chemicals in your food to make it sweet!
More on Gluten
It seems that just about every week these days there is at least one report or blog post or article or something on the subject of gluten.
And because it now seems to have become one of the major “subjects du jour” the whole thing has run out of control and we are reduced to the “it’s all good, it’s all bad” point of the argument.
In my experience you can follow all of this garbage for about another two years and finally when the dust settles we will probably end up back at the beginning.
By that I mean we will end up at a point where everyone now agrees that it wasn’t such a big deal in the first place and that there is no “always good, always bad” scenario here.
If you are interested in cutting through the crap and getting to that balanced view then check out the article below.
Pomegranate… who knew?
Quite apart from pomegranate being a total pain in the butt to extract from the whole fruit and that each little seed seems to be 90% pit there apparently still seems to be some kind of benefit.
I always thought that there was a threefold purpose to the pomegranate.
First as a handy all natural finger and hand strengthening device.
All that twisting and constant picking to get to the seeds has to be good for that.
Secondly as a tool to improve hand to eye coordination combined with the development of strategy skills in order to achieve success.
And finally as a meditative testing tool.
One first achieves a calm state and then when feeling confident in that stability of that state one proceeds to extract the contents of the pomegranate all the while attempting to maintain the previously attained calm state.
According to the article below apparently actually eating the contents of one of these fruits can aso be of assistance to your health as well… who knew!
Well it’s been a bit of a depressing week this week on the food front!
Just when you thought you had pretty well worked out that most of the food you see in the supermarket is bad for you we find this article.
This week we get to see that many of the foods that you think are bad are actually worse than that! Woohoo!
We’re all gonna die. Here’s a list of “foods” that technically speaking are not really food at all!
This Week’s Bad Food List
Every week someone comes up with a list of foods that will kill you. So here’s this week’s list! Enjoy!
These days it is pretty easy to go for an aspirin or similar over the counter pain reliever.
Provided you are not constantly taking them they are pretty safe and often can be the difference between making it through the day in a sane condition.
However there are alternatives around and although for convenience they really don’t compete they may still be worth a try.