“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
– Ann Wigmore
History of Processed Food
Because processed food is inexpensive, it’s a perfect fit for your busy and hectic lifestyle.
After its introduction in the early 1900s, process food soared after World War I.
With new methods of processing food and storing them in cans or as frozen food made it extremely attractive for housewives to save time on meal preparation.
During World War II, processed food was the primary food source for the soldiers fighting oversea.
Shortly after the war, convenience foods such as dehydrated juice, instant coffee, and cake mix were introduced.
To increase crop yield, farmers used fertilizer and irrigation.
But the negative effect was the decrease of mineral and vitamin in the crops.
As a result, the U.S. government issued guidelines for adding minerals (riboflavin, iron, vitamin B, and thiamine) that are lost during processing back to foods such as bread and other grain products.
Why Processed Food Is Unhealthy
Fueled by government subsidies in corn and soy, the highly processed food industry produced foods containing high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fat, and modified corn starches.
By the late 1950s, processed food was in every supermarket and fast food restaurants were everywhere.
Additionally, microwaves made it easier and faster for busy housewives to prepare meals for their families.
Processed foods contain tons of chemicals and additives that are harmful to your body.
Some chemicals not only hinder sending neurological signals to the brain that you’re satiated, but they also cause you to want more food!
Have you ever eaten Pringles with just a few chips in the beginning but ended eating a lot more than you intended to?
It’s not an accident that it happened because food companies designed it that way!
The chemical additives act as a hook for your taste receptors to make you want more, which will increase more sales.
Other additives prolong the food’s shelf life and they have no business being in your body.
Nutrition labels don’t show some harmful chemicals because they don’t exceed a certain level required by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Worse yet, analytical instruments can’t detect some chemicals because of their trace levels that are in parts per billion (PPB).
Processed Food Is Affordable
The cost of processed food is relatively inexpensive because the production cost is mostly utility consumption instead of human labor.
When the continuous food-processing plants run all year round with only a few days of shutdown for maintenance purposes, they produce a large amount of food inexpensively.
Because of this reason, food companies can still make large profits on their products selling at a low price.
This is extremely appealing to people who are on a budget.
It’s also convenient if you’re too busy to prepare your own meals.
The price that you pay for your convenience is your health.
That lifestyle of eating processed food will save time in the short run, but the price to pay could be diseases later in your life.
Making your health a priority definitely requires time and effort.
The benefits include having more energy and an increased quality of life!
An easy way to quickly improve your health is to simply eat real food!
The type of food that was abundantly available before any food processing equipment.
Combined with medical equipment advancements, widely processed food consumption, and the culture’s sedentary lifestyle, new types of diseases have been on the rise.
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If you have any questions and/or comments about processed food, please leave a comment below or send me an email.
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Sources: CDC.gov – Heart Disease Facts American Heart Association – 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Update, compiled by AHA, CDC, NIH and other governmental sources.