Processed Food (1) - An Overview
What is this?
INGREDIENTS : filtered water, coconut oil, potato starch, tapioca starch, vegan natural flavors, potato protein isolate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, konjak gum, whole algal flour, xanthan gum, lactic acid (vegan), yeast extract, vegan enzyme.
It's food... Or is it? I recognize a couple words, but I don't recognize them as food.
Recently, I pulled a package of vegan cheese out of the refrigerator and read the label. I started to wonder, even with my improved eating habits, was I really eating all that much better?
So what does this mean?
It means, for the sake of our health, I think we need to increase our awareness of what ingredients are in the foods we eat and how those ingredients/foods are processed.
First, perhaps we should give some thought to the way the food we eat is processed. Processing isn't always bad. Food can be either mechanically processed or chemically processed. Here's some explanation of processing...
- Foods that are merely mechanically processed. (such as washing vegetables and cutting them up or peeling and mashing bananas, etc.) are usually just fine. There is really no alteration to them other than the size and the consistency of the food.
- Chemical processing is what we should pay attention to. Food manufacturers use chemical processing to add taste, texture, and that irresistibility factor to our food. They have scientists working diligently to make packaged, processed food as tasty, pleasing, and addictive as possible.
The results of processing
- Most often nutrients are sacrificed in the processing. So, companies fortify the food, but the fortification process does not return but a fraction of the nutrient value.
- Sugar, fat, and salt are added to make the foods more desirable. Watch food labels for added ingredients in the families of sugar, fat, and salt.
- And, artificial ingredients are added to increase flavor.
- Companies have been studying for years what will keep us eating and overeating in order to sell their products.
- The result is that the companies thrive, but we are acquiring heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases directly linked to obesity.
This post is to present an overview of the problem. We will talk about solutions in subsequent posts.
For now. I found this wonderful short video. Please watch it... It is packed with food for thought.