I once had a patient tell me that eating a bag of potato chips was worth having diabetes and injecting insulin every day. My thought was, “Seriously? Are potato chips really worth dying for”?
How can this mentality even exist?
It exists because processed foods in the standard American diet aren’t just unhealthy, they’re addictive. They are designed by chemists to be addictive in the same way nicotine makes cigarettes addictive. One reason that compounds like isolated sugar, salt, fat, gluten, MSG and aspartame are added to foods is to purposefully get people “hooked”. Needless to say, saying “no” to that bag of potato chips takes a lot more than willpower when your physiology has been compromised (think of how hard it is for an alcoholic to stop drinking or a drug user to stop using).
An article published in the New York Times earlier this year chronicled the experience of James Behnke, a food scientist who in 1999, held a meeting with the CEO’s of the biggest food companies in America. The author says Behnke was “… engaged in conversation with a group of food-science experts who were painting an increasingly grim picture of the public’s ability to cope with the industry’s formulations — from the body’s fragile controls on overeating to the hidden power of some processed foods to make people feel hungrier still. It was time, he and a handful of others felt, to warn the C.E.O.’s that their companies may have gone too far in creating and marketing products that posed the greatest health concerns”.
The scientists presented compelling scientific evidence connecting processed foods to the rise in chronic disease and obesity, but unfortunately, the meeting didn’t end the way they had hoped; “’What can I say?’ James Behnke told me years later. ‘It didn’t work. These guys weren’t as receptive as we thought they would be.'”
Behnke summarized the CEO’s response as; “‘Look, we’re not going to screw around with the company jewels here and change the formulations because a bunch of guys in white coats are worried about obesity.’”
The truth is, as nurturing as food should be; the food industry is about big business, not mother nature. It really isn’t surprising the CEO’s weren’t interested in making changes that could potentially lose money.
But, doesn’t it speak volumes to the severity of the situation, that the scientists hired to create these foods are growing a conscience about it? Keep in mind, this happened 14 years ago! Chronic disease and obesity have only continued to rise.
Considering this, I think it’s safe to say, one of the most important “keys” to being healthy and happy is to outsmart the food industry. You HAVE to educate yourself about what real food is, because you certainly can’t trust the food manufacturers to do it for you. Understanding how to bypass marketing jargon and read ingredient labels takes some study time, but is well worth the effort if you can live longer and stronger, right? Knowledge is powerful. You may even want to consider joining a “therapeutic lifestyle change” program, like FirstLine Therapy, to get the educational tools you need to be knowledgeable, POWERFUL people! Use what you know to create a positive change in yourself and those around you. My hope is that eventually the “almighty CEO” will get the message and be convicted to create positive, healthy changes in our food industry.
Never lose hope…
Never let yourself become complacent…
And as always,
Be well and stay healthy!
To read the full article in the NY Times, click HERE.