The idea to write this post spurred from a recent post I did on High Fructose Corn Syrup.
When a food item is found to be linked to adverse health effects, there’s always some people who want to assume it’s fine, or they want to believe that it’s no big deal. There are a number of foods out there that have been found to pose some risk, but are mostly ignored because the effects may not be fully understood, or are slow in causing real damage.
I wanted to pose an analogy for those that think that all foods are fine, as long as they’re enjoyed in moderation. I used a car analogy once before, in my post “Junk Food – You are what you stuff your face with”.
“Hundreds of vehicles are breaking down all over the country due to engine problems. Mechanic lab results are suggesting that the problem may be linked to a commonality between all of these vehicles: They all recently filled their tanks at an Exxon gas station!”
There would be a boycott of Exxon until either this problem with their gas was solved, or the results of the study were proved to be something else, and the commonality in gasoline type was merely a correlation, and not a cause.
If there were a mere possibility that due to Exxon Mobil’s oil refining process, their gasoline for some reason caused long-term damage to your engine, and shortened the life of your car, you would think twice about filling your tank at an Exxon. If the Shell station one block away had the same prices, perhaps only a few cents more, you would probably go there just to be on the safe side… To feel better about it.
Why do people take these few extra steps to safeguard their cars?
Because for a LOT of people, their cars are their livelihoods. It gets them to work, to school, to the store, and it hauls around other people and things. It get them from point A, to point B and C and D and back again. A lot of people wouldn’t know what to do without their cars. They depend on them.
Even if Exxon started placing ads in the media claiming that their gas is safe, and that there isn’t enough evidence that it causes problems, people would still hesitate to fill up at their stations when there are obvious alternatives. People’s gasoline habits can easily be changed. After-all, what does it matter where you get your gas? Gas is gas, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy for foods. We don’t like to change our food habits. We’re comfortable eating what our parents taught us to eat. For some reason, making the effort to actually think about what is in our food is more than a lot of people want to put forth.
Most people wouldn’t put their car in danger like that, but their bodies are free game.
Some people LOVE their cars. So much so that they spend tons of time working on them, doing their own repairs, taking things apart just to put them back together…
…but I’d bet they couldn’t tell you what’s in that hot dog they had for lunch, or that the ground beef used to make their hamburger patty contained meat from over 100 different cows. And if you told them, they probably wouldn’t care. Weird eh?
**NOTE** I’m not trying to say anything about car enthusiasts here. I’m just using them as an example that it’s interesting that you can find a lot of people that know a lot of different things about anything you can think of, but most people don’t know squat about the food they stuff their faces with.
I’m not saying everyone needs to become a nutritionist. I’m saying that if everyone put even just 1/20th of the energy they put into any of their other hobbies into learning more about the food they eat, I think a lot more people would be a lot healthier.
Avoiding certain foods that are associated with health problems, and instead choosing better options, seems an easy alternative to actually having health problems.
When worrying about whether or not a food item has something harmful in it or not, remember this:
There has never been any reason to avoid fruits and vegetables.
There has never been any reason to have to consume any of them in moderation.