Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Are you sick of it yet?

I have said it before and I will say it again, real food is healthier for you than over-processed, additive laden, profit driven food ever thought about being.

I grew up on food we either grew or traded for. Raw, unpasteurized milk, eggs so fresh they were still warm from being under the chicken, veggies you had to wash the garden off of before you could eat it, and the joy(sort of) of spending a weekend putting a pig or a steer in the freezer. And you can't forget the smell of hot wet chicken feathers, no matter how hard you try.

The studies are overwhelmingly in favor of organically grown food. The pesticides and other chemicals used in factory farms can kill you. That is why, just about every year, there are food recalls, and not just on vegetables. Government regulation of our food supply has resulted in marginally nutritional food-like products that only resemble real food in shape and color. If you haven't had a fresh peach that you hand picked, you have no idea just how much fuzz is actually on a peach. The fruit you buy from the store, even fresh peaches, has been processed to the point that there is almost no fuzz left on it. Not only that, it was picked so green that it barely has any color so that it can withstand the processing. When you bite into a peach and the juice drips off of your elbow, now THAT is a peach.

But the people who grow that kind of food these days can't sell it. Government regulation being what it is, if it hasn't been inspected, processed, packaged, and has a paper trail a mile long, it just isn't safe for human consumption. To that, I say, "Bollocks!"

It wasn't until the early 1900's that food went from being good for you to being a major industry. Regulation was mandated to protect the general population from being sold spoiled food products or products that had been adulterated with non-food products. At the time, it was a good thing. But as time went on, more and more small producers were bought out by corporate farms. When the corporate farms got big enough, they were able to enforce legislation to force the little guy to sell out. That was the downfall of real food.

With the rise of suburbia, more people were buying their food from stores than were growing their own. In the 1950's, store bought food was a status symbol. Kids were raised buying their food instead of growing it. These days, the closest most people get to growing their own food is the single bean they grow in 4th grade science. And just about every person in the US has some sort of physical problem, from obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, or asthma. And if you aren't sick now, you probably know someone who is.

Until we can stop the aggressive legislation that is preventing us from eating healthy, real food, we will all be doomed to be sick. Because food is big business. And so is the healthcare industry.

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