As if we needed further evidence of modern man’s (really modern America’s) complete and utter cluelessness when it comes to food and nutrition, consider the following:
Would you be more likely to purchase:
- a Mercedes or a Kia?
- Abercrombie & Fitch or Wal-Mart brand?
- iPhone or a flip-phone?
- Grey Goose or Popov?
- Organic or Non-Organic?
If the majority of people were being honest, they’d most likely choose the Mercedes, A&F, iPhone, and Grey Goose. Why is that, considering all are remarkably more expensive? While some would say you are paying for the name only, you could make a very good argument that the quality of the former far exceeds that of the latter.
Why, then, are people who choose to buy organic food considered either hippie-ish or snobby/elite because they choose to not buy the cheaper, non-organic food? Why is quality so important in our stuff, but it is irrelevant when it comes to our food?
A lot of people I know genuinely do not understand why quality food is better for you. Many think that there is little if any difference between a peach in a can and an organic peach straight from the tree. Or they don’t see the difference between a McDonald’s burger made with feed lot beef and a homemade burger from a free range cow.
The ultimate problem is that somewhere people learned to shop for food on the basis of price alone, and have therefore paid literally no attention to the quality. And here is the funniest part of this whole unbalanced equation. When you buy the cheaper, less nutritious food, your body doesn’t stay full as long when you are eating the same amount of food. So you actually end up eating more and spending as much or more money on food than if you would have just bought the more nutritious organic food. As an example, my typical breakfast includes two fried eggs and a piece of toast. About this time last year, I started buying my eggs from a local farmer who raises chickens and sells free range eggs. When I made the switch from store bought to free range and fresh, I noticed that I was able to go much longer before feeling hungry when still just eating the same two eggs and the same piece of toast. In many cases, the eggs from the farmer were even smaller than those from the store. However, the eggs from the farmer are literally packed with nutrients, whereas the store bought eggs have not near as much. So instead of being ravenously hungry after just a couple of hours at work, I have a snack 3-4 hours into my day.
The big food corporations have done a great job keeping the lid on the fact that the more processed a food is, the fewer nutrients it contains. And since there are fewer nutrients, you are going to be hungry again sooner, and therefore eat more. All of which means more profit for big food.
What big food can’t stop, however, is people from stumbling upon the truth on their own, and then hopefully spreading the word.
So that’s what I’m doing. People, we are smack in the middle of a health crises in this country, the likes of which we have never seen before. Yes, we do need to exercise more. We are more sedentary than we have ever been. But, even if you never increase your activity level, you CAN make a drastic change in your health simply by eating better.
So the next time you’re at the grocery store or produce market, look for the organic seal. Yes, you’ll pay more for the higher quality foods, but when is the last time paying more for better quality has stopped you?