Processed Foods

A poor diet can lead to stress and health related physical issues. This article isnt meant to scare you or disgust you. This is to make you think. There are those that think Americans are more obese because we are eating things that are not what we envisioned. Therefore we are not providing the proper nutrition that our bodies need. Subsequently we overeat because our bodies need something it isnt getting. With cheap food based off of byproducts we may not be getting a rounded diet that our bodies need to fuel it and repair it daily.

Processed foods in America started to take a strong foothold after the second World War. The economy was better and people wanted to enjoy more free time after such long time of rationing. The television came along in the 50s, and subsequently the ever famous TV dinner. Frozen and ready to go they consisted of real food that was ready to be put in the oven and heated.

Fast forward 60 years and we have a whole different level of convenience food. Now this convenience food is a mainstay. Americans eat a large portion of their meals at home as processed ready to go foods. The big difference now is that they are manufactured with a lion’s share of ingredients being by products from making other foods or products.

Soy meal is in a very big percentage of foods available today that come prepackaged. Soy meal is what is left after the oil is pressed out of the beans. Soybeans are not edible unless they are roasted or fermented. After they are pressed of oil to make mayonnaise and salad dressing, the solids are made into flour. This flour is cheap and put into everything from baby formula to boxed dinner meals.

Soybean is consumed in Asia however it is processed in a manner that ferments it, not roasts it. This difference in preparation has a lot to di with its healthiness. Fermentation is what is being referred to when comparing it to the health of certain areas in Asia. They do not roast it, they ferment it.

Soybean meal isn’t the only byproduct we are eating. Brewers grains are made into snack bars, cereals, and dog food and treats after they are ran through the mash process. They are also fed to cattle along with corn that was fermented to make ethanol, this is corn fed beef.

In addition to being a byproduct laden food, it is often irradiated to extend shelf life and to protect us from E Coli and other pathogens. Irradiation uses forms of radiation to kill certain pathogens. Irradiation decreases the presence of vitamins, proteins, fatty acids, and other nutrients The practice of irradiation changes the taste and nutritional value of our foods. It leaves chemical byproducts that are potentially dangerous to those that eat it. It also can contribute to tumor growth and genetic damage.

Meat is another one of those things we take for granted. A chicken nugget for instance, isnt really a nugget all the time. Chicken nuggets look like one piece of meat but often are scrapings or grindings that are held together with thrombian, also called meat glue. These pieces are battered and fried into your oven ready frozen nuggets.

Thrombian is a meat glue made to form meat scraps into one piece. Crab sticks in the packages in the seafood area of your grocers do not grow in sticks. The crab sticks are often made from a paste of white fish meat mixed with artificial flavoring and formed into shape using the meat glue thrombian.

Take a few minutes to think about what you are eating and question its origins. If it is no longer in its original form, what is the likelihood that it is as healthy as you thought it was.

Staple ingredients and cooking from scratch is much healthier than eating processed foods that often contain higher amounts of carbohydrates and fats. Todays foods contains corn, soy, irradiation, ammonia, and many other additives. These integrated ingredients save the manufacturer money but are causing health concerns. Two thirds of the population is overweight and one third is obese. Diabetes is on the rise. Cancer and heart disease has shown no decline even with the great leaps in medical advancements since the 1940s.

Much of our diet now is mostly carbs and fat that contains questionable ingredients. A wide array of processed foods are very dense in calories. Eating a more balanced diet may help you feel better and stave off expensive health related costs in the end. You can pay for it at the grocery store, or you can pay for it at the pharmacy.

Sean O’Connor and DIY Seattle

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