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Food Idolatry: Why Our Lust for Cheap Food Will Kill Us

Going to McDonalds for a salad is like going to a brothel for a hug.

Rhonda Robinson


May 26, 2013 - 1:02 pm
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It’s complicated.

Blame it on advertising. Blame it on the industry. It really doesn’t matter who or what you point to. The evidence is everywhere: the vast majority of Americans have a fantasy relationship with food.

What we eat is an extremely intimate, personal relationship with ourselves. It is precisely how we maintain the partnership between the soul that we are, and the body we live in.

It took half a century for me to grasp the fact that the stability of my mind, vitality, and longevity all depend heavily on what I eat.

It’s the same for you. Although our diets vary vastly, that statement still holds true.

However, like most people, I always thought of my diet, only in the narrow terms of “dieting.” Rather than the food we routinely eat, let alone its nutritional value.

Our weight and overall health is, more often than not, a direct reflection of our high expectations and extremely low standards of the food we eat.

Without realizing it, the manufactured food we crave, even desire, is carefully designed to reach our “bliss spot.”

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The answer to obesity and poor food choice is simple, learn to cook. I grew up in a household where the evening meal was always made from scratch, even though both parents worked, and usually consisted of whatever was fresh and in season. No soda, no snacks, no convenience foods and sweets were a treat and not an every day occurrence. My father's mantra was "All things in moderation" and I've lived by those words. I've always been thin and healthy because I've always cooked my own food, avoided convenience foods (have never owned a microwave) and rarely eat in restaurants or have fast food. Eating healthy is also very economical - and cooking is a gratifying way to spend your time - dreative and fun.
A study was done of a group of children back in the '70s in which they were allowed to eat whatever they wanted from an assortment of foods, including desserts of all kinds, salty snacks and dishes using meats and vegetables and fruit. At first they gorged on the sweets but after awhile - I'm not sure how long - they gravitated to the veggies and fruit. Their natural instincts caused them to make the healthy choices on their own. But then they weren't exposed to a TV constantly sending snappy messages about unhealthy foods, either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Long term breast feeding has been shown to prevent obesity because the baby learns to stop when he or she is full. McDonald's marketing is no match for "I'm sorry, I'm full. Does anyone want the rest of my fries?"

And as a busy mom of two teens who travels a lot for sports and has to eat on the road, McDonald's salads are pretty good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is another aspect to this: social eating. Many TV shows feature the characters eating together (discounting the "working lunches" and such, a concept I find revolting and time consuming). Some studies show that social eating causes people to eat more than they normally would and not necessarily the best things.

Something else to consider is the similarity of how food and toys are marketed. Bliss angle aside, except for certain candies, like the peppermint patties and the highly naughty/sexual imagery in them, people are always seen eating the foods with others. Likewise with toys, the kids playing with them are never alone. The implication: use our product and you will have friends. You won't be alone anymore. You will be popular.

Lastly, wanting cheap food isn't the problem. People have always wanted cheap food, particularly if one has a family or limited income, or both. The problem these days is that so much cheap food is highly processed and nutritionally barren. Also, because of questionable government mandates, most food is also stripped of the fats the body needs. It's wonder that few people have made the connection between the low-fat craze and rising obesity rates and increasing mental illness particularly in children.

At the same time, commodity prices are so low BECAUSE there is so much food being produced, that small and medium farmers are being wiped out by operating costs. The big producers are raising increasingly doubtful produce on increasingly dead land supported by dying water sources. Indeed the US food supply has been so gutted that we are a net food importer now. If labor and other costs weren't so high (mostly due to government) it might be possible to have more food at lower costs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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