The entire human existence is built on trust. From the moment we are conceived, we trust our mother’s body to supply us oxygen and nutrition rich blood. When we emerge into this world, we trust that loving hands will lift and cradle us, that warm, sweet milk will come in abundance and so forth…
And just like when boarding a plane we don’t go checking if the engine is intact or if the fuel tank is full to the brim and the pilots are well trained, the same goes for when we go to the market or into the supermarket. We naturally trust that the food being offered to us is edible, suitable and healthy for us to eat. Only some of us bother to look at the list of ingredients and only few knows that some of the items on the list have absolutely no place in the human body. Who would have think that those fresh and healthy looking apples are actually two years old and are stripped from most of their nutrients. It is inconceivable to grasp that 95% of the wheat (that make all the bread, bakes and pastas) has been hybridized and altered to the point where it works on our body like a harmful and highly addictive drug. And so the list goes on and on….
During the past few decades the nutritional agenda has been determined mainly by the agriculture and food industries (two industries that became monstrous since the end of 2nd world war) and literally shape so many of our eating habits. It is absolutely taken for granted that both children and adults eat some sort of morning cereal with milk for breakfast, or for example, or bread with Nutella. Easy peasy out of the box, milk from the carton and ready to start your day in less then 10 minutes. Very few of us pay attention to the ingredients listed on the package to see that in most brands, the second ingredient (if not the first) is sugar, which despite the healthy image of the product aggressively promoted to us, is linked to most chronic disease known to us today.
If you walk the aisles of the average supermarket you will notice that 80% of what is sold comes in packed boxes, jars or cans and only 20% is fresh produce. In fact it should be the other way around. Supermarkets don’t pay attention to our real nutritional needs because it is an industry that wants to earn money. Rather than manipulating us for its own needs, the food industry should be catering to us.
So who IS feeding YOU?
Would you like your food to be prepared by loving hands that think about nourishing you or by an efficient mechanical production line using long lasting and highly processed ingredients packed and marketed to you by sophisticated advertising agencies? Do you really trust a big corporate factory to feed your baby?
So what CAN we do about it?
First, let’s make ourselves knowledgeable about what goes into our bodies. Find out who is the farmer that grows our food, and yes, it is possible to a large extent if you shop in local farmer’s markets. Focus on fresh produce (one ingredient products like: tomato contains only tomato, olive oil contains only olive oil and so on…) and read carefully ingredient lists ( I use the ‘the chemical maze’ booklet as my bible when I go shopping) when you buy the necessary condiments and other processed products. If you’re not preparing the food you’re about to eat yourself then make sure that who ever does, uses fresh ingredients and loving attention.
If we shop locally, according to the season and opt for fresh produce, the industry will follow us rather then us being led by it. As consumers we have so much more power than we think, so let’s make good use of it.