Whenever conversations around me are going on about chemicals in our food people are always talking about how it didn’t used to be like this. It is only in the last three four decades or so that chemicals have been added to our food. I went along with this, thinking it made sense since the average number of people who are ill or plagued with various conditions continues to grow. But last night I was reading Julia Child’s book “My Life in France” when I found this passage and thought I might need to rethink my time line a little. She says this: “We experimented with recipes, tools, and ingredients, and made several useful discoveries. In working on pie crusts, for instance, we had tested French versus American ingredients. To our horror, we discovered that French flour has more body than its U.S. counterpart, and that the French flour needed a third less fat to make a nice crumbly crust. Why was this? I wanted to know. We supposed that, in order for U.S. flour to last forever on supermarket shelves, it must have been subjected to chemical processes that removed its fats. The French flour, in contrast, was left in its natural state, although it would go “off” more quickly and become maggoty.”
I know, I know, I already talked about flour. But that isn’t the point here. The point is actually two points:
1. Due to our lifestyles our food had to be adapted, depleting it of minerals, vitamins and nutrients and altering its natural state. In order to make it “perform” as it should in its natural state we must add things to it.
2. Adding things to our food has increased our weight, our diabetes, and our risk for cancer and other illnesses.
We know this right? The question is why did we tolerate it? Why do we tolerate it now? And why is it that every time I talk to people about things like this the majority of them roll their eyes at me. What happened to us as a society that allowed us to settle for chemically altered food? Was it ignorance? If so, that certainly can not be the excuse now, so what is it?
I don’t understand why it is more important that our food be easy and fast than healthy, or why as a society we can not make the choice to eat healthy and feel good, rather than eat poorly and feel bad.
A friend of mine recently went vegan. He comments to me quite regularly at his continued surprise over the incredible taste of vegetarian and vegan food. He says it is amazing to him how intense the flavors are, and how amazing an organic vegetable tastes when you take the sauces, and dips and other artificial ingredients away from it.
Is it possible other people could be converted to healthy eating if they tried? Is it possible for enough of us to work together and actually raise the standards of our food to that of Europe and other countries? What are your thoughts?
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