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Archive for the ‘Eating Habits’ Category

Food Inc 

This is definitely one of those films that not many people would want to see, but everyone really really should NEEDS to see it.  I’m not just talking for their own good, but also for the good of other people, and even the planet itself.  It cracks me up that the kinds of images shown and points made in the film cause most people to look the other way, perhaps even more than before, or they avoid watching things like this altogether for fear that they will not want to continue to eat what they like. 

What kind of thinking is this??  How could you not want to know where your food comes from?  If someone is worried that they will be grossed out by something in the movie, then really that’s even more reason to see it.  Pretending that all food is produced in a clean and healthy environment does not make it true, and in fact will probably make it further and further from the truth.  Knowing the truth can help make things better, and by making better choices we can influence the type of food production industries that will thrive and actually want to make us healthy, rather than fat and sick.

Contributors/Interviewees of this film include:

Michael Pollan – author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and the sequal, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

Eric Schlosser – author of Fast Food Nation.

VERY unfortunately, the movie was not widely released.  Go here to see if it is playing in your area.

A bit about the film from its website:

“In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.”

“Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.”

You can find a trailer for the movie there, or on a previous post I did.

Take the whole family.  Seriously.  This is a subject people should be talking about and concerned over.

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Comic

Your body craves what you give it.  Think about that statement…

You’re not depriving yourself of anything if you get out of the

CRAVE-bad-food—–>EAT-bad-food cycle.

When trying to get out of the habit of eating junk foods, it will take some time, but slowly you will begin to enjoy the taste of things that you may not have before…  or that you assumed you wouldn’t (even though you’ve never tried it).

If you begin transitioning into eating better,  you will actually learn that those foods that used to satisfy a hunger, or a craving, or boredom, will no longer be able to do that because of how your mind and your tastes have changed.  If you never stop having your bag of peanut M&M’s at 3pm everyday, or if you stop but don’t try hard enough to find a healthy alternative, you’ll never find out if there can be something better for you that you will enjoy.

Those salty and sugary snacks can begin to actually lose their appeal.  That may seem hard to imagine if you love your Doritos or your Snickers bar habit, but that just proves how mental that challenge really is.  The mind can be changed.  Cravings can be changed.

[image via]

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elephant-slideTimes are tough.  People are losing their jobs!  Most of us need to pay more attention to where our money is going because of the uncertainty about the near future.

When disasters happen, people often say:

Well, at least we’ve got our health.”

I think people need to make sure that they really believe that, and are not just saying something that sounds good to make themselves feel better, like they are attempting to look on the bright side.

Being healthy, and maintaining health should always remain a priority, and we should be especially diligent about paying attention to that in hard times!

I always think it’s rather odd when people I know brag to me about how inexpensive something they ate, or are about to eat, was.  This doesn’t seem like something I would want to brag about.  

Think about it like this:  What’s the most common thought that someone has when discovering that a material possession they have that has broken, was inexpensive and/or cheaply made?

I guess you get what you pay for!”

Indeed!  

Shouldn’t this phrase have ten-fold meaning when talking about food???

When I hear someone bragging that they bought a food product or a meal for “x” amount of money, and it seems relatively pretty cheap, I just CAN’T HELP but think about all of the resources that it took to plant, grow, harvest, produce, package, transport, market, and retail that item or meal, and wonder how it is possible that anyone is making any money off something so inexpensive!  They do it by cutting costs every way they can, and often that means providing a sub-par product.  Cutting costs when it comes to something I’m going to eat, does not sound good to me.  

Cutting costs results in salmonella and e-coli contamination.

Cutting costs results in unsafe food temperatures during transportation.

Look…  Modern transportation, refrigeration, and manufacturing has provided us with more and more food products daily, and at lower prices.  This of course can be a good thing too!  Produce is available year-round in most places.  To me, that is convenience food.  

I’m certainly not made of money, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be frugal at the grocery store too if we’re concerned about money.  I’m just saying that maybe we should put a little more thought into it when picking our battles over what to spend our money on.  Food choice is an important battle to think about.

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Does this happen to you?  

Somehow traveling always makes me feel BLEH!    …And grabbing junk food when we stop for gas seems to make me feel 10 times worse, but that urge to nibble on things is tough to fight.  

Still, I can’t imagine getting things like these:

Chip Znuff

 

This is like the most condensed collection of the worst chip-type-snacks I can imagine.  They fall into the category of something that I would want to try just because I can’t even imagine what they would taste like, and I would probably be amazed at the flavor that the factories were able to concoct from no ingredients that came from any real discernable food.   

Who knew Burger King made those “chips”?  Do you think the King knows?

banana

I like to stick to nuts and fruit when driving or flying.  You’d think I was part monkey since I always seem to have a banana everywhere I go.  They’re like the perfect snack!  I guess they’re a little fragile though.  

I need to get myself one of these:

 

What do you like to snack on when traveling?

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to spell it out quite like that.  You’re safe (for now).

My new favorite website that both fascinates me and gives my gag reflex a good workout is here…

This is why you're fat

This is why you’re fat: Where dreams become heart attacks

It’s like my site’s cousin!

whyareyousofat.wordpress.com  –  meet  –  thisiswhyyourefat.com

Holy Jeezus is there some scary stuff on this site!  You know, it takes the kind of people that have the ingenuity and the bravery to make these kinds of things to work with the space program…  or to work as a carnie at the state fair, I’m not sure.   You’ve gotta hand it to them for being original, I guess.

Let’s look at some of my fav’s:

pizzaburger

“Giant burger between two large meat pizzas, eggs, bacon, colby and pepper jack cheese.”

I seriously can’t stop laughing when I look at this pizza-burger.  I wish I knew how much something like this costs.  Look how much ground beef is in there!!

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Another good pizza…

mega-pizza

“A pizza with a hot dog wrapped in bacon pigs in a blanket crust. The center is filled with italian sausage, ham, bacon, bacon bits, sliced tomato, mushroom, onion, peppers, garlic chips, basil, black pepper and tomato sauce. It can also be flavored with maple syrup and ketchup.”

Supposedly this thing is sold by Pizza Hut in Japan.  Seems weird they wouldn’t start this bad boy out in Mississippi.

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Next we have…

egghamcheese

“A regular ham and cheese sandwich but topped with 11 sunny-side up egg yolks.”

They couldn’t just leave a ham sandwich well enough alone, could they?  This may be the closest thing to a manageable meal for a single person on that website, and yet look at my estimates for this sandwich:

  1. 110 grams Fat
  2. 32 grams Saturated Fat
  3. 825% daily value for cholesterol

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One last one…

stuffed-oreo

I love that someone took the time to make this leaning tower of creamy centuple stuffed oreo goodness.

I wonder if they threw away all of the cookie parts in lue of enjoying their unadulterated masterpiece. 

I could imagine crushing them all up, mixing the crumbs with a bit of butter, and pressing them into a pie pan to bake.  Do that twice and you’ve got your top and bottom to a GIANT oreo!

None of this tall and skinny crap.

(I just realized I’m starting to think like them.  I’m scared.)

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is-not-fat-is-just-fluffyFrom a recent exchange a few posts back:

R, D & MJ

I would like to start by saying that this blog must be a joke.
I would also like to mention that fat is actually one of the healthiest things you can eat, as long as it is the right fat from the right food source.
If this blog is not a joke then you are an idiot.

To which I said:

McBloggenstein

Although I use humor a lot, I’m afraid it’s not a joke.

I welcome you to elaborate on what kinds of fat you believe are beneficial. I am quite aware of them, but you seem to think that I believe that all fat is bad, when I have never said such a thing.

I also welcome you to elaborate on why you think that I am an idiot. Let’s hear it.

Fat is an energy source, like carbohydrates and protein. One major difference, however, is that fat contains 9 calories per gram, vs 4 calories/g for both carbs and protein. This causes a diet of general overeating that is high in fatty foods to be easier to achieve an excess in calories… which are stored as fat when our glucose storage is filled up.

Of course we need some fat in our diets. No one has said that we don’t.

He/She replied:

R, D & MJ

Actually we need a diet of mostly fat. Fat from grassfed animals or milk/dairy products from said animals is probably the best basis for a healthy diet.
But I am not going to get into a long discussion about it. I find the whole concept of your blog to be ofensive and won’t be reading it again.

 

Oh well, there goes another.

For those of you who I don’t scare off, perhaps you wouldn’t mind reading my response…

_____________________

The one valid point you made is that grass-fed cow products are better than (I assume you meant) grain-fed cow products.
 
First, a little knowledge about fat:
 
All fats from food are generally made up of some combination of the following.
  1. Saturated Fats
  2. Monounsaturated Fats
  3. Polyunsaturated Fats (omega 6, omega 3)
The only fats that are essential fatty acids (meaning that it must be obtained from the diet, and cannot be made by the body), are omega-6 and omega-3.  These fats are involved in specific biological processes, and not just used as an energy source.
 
What is considered to be a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is roughly between 1:1 to 3:1, respectively.  The typical western diet consists of a profile that can be as high as 30:1, which has been shown to be highly associated with various inflammatory diseases as well as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, even strokes.  Grain fed cows produce products with a fat ratio that is anywhere from 6:1 to 20:1, while grass fed cows produce ratios of fat around 3:1, which is ideal.  So, in that respect you are correct.
 
Given this information it may seem that lean grass fed beef and milk seem like pretty good sources of fat.  However, the information about omega fatty acid ratios should not overshadow the rest of the lipid (fat) profile which tells us that obtaining most of our dietary fat from animal sources is a sure way to end up with high cholesterol due to generally higher levels of:
  1. Saturated Fat
  2. Trans Fats (only obtained through animals or processed foods)
Both have been shown to similarly raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower HDL (good) cholesterol, which can then lead to several cardiovascular diseases, and it is well known that heart disease is the number one cause of health related death in the U.S.  Neither of them are essential fats, therefore the best sources of fat in one’s diet would be those that are as low as possible in these two fats that are associated with health risks.
 
Some foods that are great sources of fat in our diets are:
  1. Avocado (mostly monounsaturated fat)
  2. Flax seeds (mostly polyunsaturated omega 3’s, some 6’s, and monounsaturated)
  3. Olive oil (a small amount of saturated, but over 70% monounsaturated, and some poly)
  4. Nuts and seeds (mostly comparable amounts of mono and poly, with a small amount of saturated)
If you must insist that there is a good source of fat other than plants, then I would suggest that some types of fish in one’s diet can be very beneficial.  But only if those fish are proven to not contain high levels of mercury and other fat-soluble pollutants.
 
As you can see, one would be hard pressed to find a non-plant source of fat that does not have many problems associated with it’s particular lipid profile or other contaminants. 
                                                                                     
sirloinLet’s look at Top Sirloin, which is considered to be one of the leanest cuts of beef.  Around 40% of it’s fat profile is from saturated.  Does this look like a typical serving?  It’s actually probably about 4 servings.  What would you be consuming if you ate the whole thing, you ask?  My estimates put it at around 30 grams of fat, and 13 grams of saturated, along with almost an entire days allowance of cholesterol.
                                                                                                  
2% Milk has 5 grams of fat in one cup.  Three of those 5 grams are saturated fat.  That’s 60%.
 
So, my point is that while your assertion that grass fed animal products are better than other amimal products is valid, I do not agree with your claim that a diet in which we get most of our fat from animals is “the best basis for a healthy diet”.  I don’t mind telling you that vegetarians are 24% less likely to die of heart disease.

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asparagus

What can I say?  I’ve got it, and I’m proud of it.  

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, write asparagus on your shopping list right now.

It’s always weird to notice the smell, but it reminds me that I ate something good!  There’s not many foods that do that.  

It makes me think that it’s too bad that there aren’t more foods that provide evidence of their consumption on their “way out”.  After all, most of the time we’re just mindlessly putting food in our mouth holes.  Despite putting so much emphasis on getting food that tastes good, we still seem to always be preoccupied while both making our food decisions and while eating… (whether it’s talking to other people, or watching TV, or daydreaming).

In other words, swallowing means “out of sight, out of mind”.  

It’s not so obvious what direct effect food has on our body, so when I eat something healthy like asparagus, it kind of gives me a little reminder later.  

Wikipedia says that asparagus can effect urine smell as soon as 15-30 minutes!  Apparently the vegetable has specific compounds like asparagusic acid, which metabolizes to create the smell of sulfur.

It reminds me of something I heard about regarding the military, and hydration.

Supposedly in their outhouses, they have PEE CHARTS to help them determine their levels of hydration in hot and dry environments.  They probably look something like this:

urinechart

 

It’s too bad that noticing our waste has such a stigma.  

This got me thinking that it would be cool if we had “smart” toilets that told us things, like if we have too much salt in our diet, or not enough iron, or (if you’re a woman) you’re pregnant.  Heck, if some little stick you buy at the drug store can detect hormones in urine with 99% accuracy, it should be easy to program an electrical device to detect nutrient levels.

It could talk to us too…  

In a robotic voice (male or female, your choice):

EAT MORE BROCCOLI.  LESS BEER.

 

Yeah, yeah…  leave me alone!  CAN’T I WIZZ IN PEACE???

 

These are things I think about when I pee.

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