Russell (zimzat) wrote,
Russell
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Food: What's wrong with today's food

Yesterday turned into a very productive and educational day. Rather than go over everything at once I want to highlight just the last few things in one go.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (90 minutes)
Yesterday started out by discovering a blog entry on sugar via a round-about method (I was browsing the blog for technical entries). It makes a compelling case against the consumption of fructose and anything containing it, including high fructose corn syrup and sucrose (half fructose, half glucose). The video walks through the health trends, food trends, and even goes into the metabolic process of glucose, ethanol (alcohol), and fructose. One scary thing to note is the chronic effects of fructose have the majority of the same effects as excessive long-term (chronic) use of alcohol. One good thing to note is that he does not advocate against all sweeteners, only fructose. Glucose sweeteners within moderation are okay.

TED Talks: Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat (20 minutes)
Also via the same blog's entry on "mark bittman on food" I discovered the following TED Talk. This one is a little over the top of the advocation of certain food consumption, but some of the comparisons are startling. We've doubled our population yet we've quintupled (5x) our consumption of meat. It appears that he is advocating we all become vegetarians, but that's not technically true. In the end he is only advocating for the reduced consumption of meat by half. Yes, meat is tasty, and we can still keep eating it, but not so much.

TED Talk: Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food (20 minutes)
I found this one in the comments of the blog post that contained the previous TED Talk. This one has a few scary parts in it. The one that strikes me as the most worrisome is that a bunch of K/1st/2nd graders can't identify the raw foods we cook with. Is that bright red thing a potato? Is that white thing broccoli? They know of some of the words, but they don't really know what they look like, how they taste, or what their properties are. The amount of sugar added to milk to 'encourage' kids to drink it is an eye-opener (see first video as to why) that we've counteracted at least some of the health benefits of drinking it.

TED Talk: Ann Cooper talks school lunches (20 minutes)
I found this one as a 'related talk' from one of the previous two TED Talk pages. She glosses over a few statistics, but the underlying principle is still relevant. What she is really trying to point out goes beyond the statistics and attributes she mentions at the beginning of the talk, and directly to the school cafeteria. This talk is where the food value fed to kids in schools really comes home to roost, when you see the multitude of processed packaged food that is handed out to kids.

Between all of these videos it gives a shocking view on the food industry and where things are headed for the majority of us. Some of us still cook our own food, but not many. We're being hand-fed whatever ingredients and chemical processes happen to be cheapest and easiest to mass produce, but that necessarily mean it will be the healthiest, or even remotely so.

What you do with this information, if anything, is up to you. As for me I'm going to finish off the last of the fructose/sucrose items (soda, especially for the volume of it that I drink in one go) I've gotten and say goodbye to them. I'm going to be adding more fiber to my diet. And get back to taking a daily multi-vitamin to help counteract and balance things. Once I can get a job and a kitchen of my own again I'll be taking much more care of what I eat, even if it takes longer.
Tags: food, ted talks
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