Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Once more, with feeling: real foods are always better. Always.

This just in: Fat Substitutes Linked to Weight Gain

Are we surprised to learn that real, unaltered, actually-occurring-in-nature foods are better for you than frankenfoods? Of course not.

Will this change Big Food or the diet-industrial complex or the gov't regulatory agencies that produce our guidelines and recommendations even the teensiest lil bit? Hell no. Because switching to an evidence-based approach would be too ... anti-capitalist? Or reasonable. Or something.

See also:
Eat More
The "Obesity Epidemic"
We Need Policy Not Plates


  1. willow6/22/2011

    It seems like a pretty good rule of thumb to just assume that any chemically altered food is probably not good for you. There might be exceptions, of course, but what will you lose by eliminating them?

  2. Shanigan6/22/2011

    Here's a theory. In a capitalist economy there's a tendency to preference chemically altered foods over natural ones. This is because if you do a bunch of work to create something in a lab, that's perceived as a "value-added" product over something you could just grow from a seed in the ground.

  3. Ahh, interesting theory. From a nutrition perspective it seems counterintuitive, but from a market perspective it kind of makes sense.

    And then there's the issue of intellectual property. If you made it in a lab, you patent it and profit from all of its uses. But some plant that's been growing for millennia isn't anyone's intellectual property and so is less profitable. Or it's just that if you convince consumers that they need to replace natural foods with chemically-altered products, that pushes the profit up the chain and away from the actual producers. Which is pretty much Monsanto's entire business model in a nutshell, now that I think about it.

  4. theotherHeather6/22/2011

    You people are all terrifically intelligent and articulate, and also depressingly cynical! But I love you anyway.

  5. Anonymous6/22/2011

    It also has a lot to do with our addiction to fried foods and really salty/sweet foods. We don't want to give those up, but we also don't want to live with the consequences of a diet like that, so we try to fake it in the lab.

  6. Anonymous6/28/2011

    I think any food that leaves a strange residue on the roof of your mouth or has an unpleasant, chemical aftertaste has got to go.

  7. Well, that rule pretty much captures all the synthetic sweeteners and chemically-altered oils. I'd say it's a great place to start.

  8. Except people get acclimated to that stuff really fast. Everyone I know who drinks diet soda prefers the chemical flavor and aftertaste of diet soda to beverages that are sweetened with sugar or HFCS.