The food revolution is all around you!

Have you noticed the food chain stores are increasingly offering alternative foods these days, replete with burgeoning natural food isles, stacks of organic fruits, and freshly washed veggies, hermetically sealed?  Why I even saw locally produced corn for sale this past summer at my local Krogers.

Now don’t think for a minute the box store groceries, a $32 billion enterprise, give a hoot about keeping you healthy.  You can believe that when they stop promoting their sugar drenched sodas, sodium laced dinners, fatty organ meats, and, and….

What they do care about is market share, better known as making a buck. They can read the tea leaves.  A food revolution is underway and they’re wanting their cut.

Some, though not perfect, do a better job at marketing healthy foodstuffs.  Think Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Good Foods.  The long dominating chains have taken notice, except for Walmart, surprisingly, which remains tethered to largely traditional fare, despite its widely hyped transitioning to a green energy infrastructure.

Restaurants remain a problem and constitute virtual feed lots for human slaughter with their huge portions of “ain’t good for you foods”.  What a shocker when you scrutinize the online menus of some of these chains for their nutrition content to learn an average entree like Applebee’s bourbon street steak nets you 1067 calories along with 71.6g in fats.  By the way, you should always study the fat to total calorie ratio of any food you buy at the store or consume in a restaurant, remembering that fat grams are converted to calories by multiplying each gram by 9, unlike carbohydrates which follow a  1g x 4 formula.  The rule-of-thumb is that you should try to minimize your fat calorie ideally to no more than 10% of total calories and at max no more than 20%.   With Applebee’s entree, that comes to around 107-214 calories.  Converting in your head those 71.6 fat grams using the simple conversion formula I gave you gives you more than 630 calories of fat intake, far exceeding the parameters.  Hey, death trap!

Many of us have had enough of the food industry’s manipulating our health by prioritizing profit.  Even their efforts to repackage items under the aegis of “natural”should ruffle your feathers.  Have you taken a look at your Quorn chicken nuggets box lately for its serving content?  Believe me, it’s typical.

You can say no to all this and trade your knife for a fork.  Millions have and the more who do help make that decision easier for the rest of us.  Think Whole Foods, organic, local produce via farmer markets, growing your own veggies.  Healthy alternatives are sprouting like spring grass everywhere.

By the way, the neatest eating tip I ever got comes from just maybe the best book on nutrition out there, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008):  “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly Plants.”

The food revolution’s begun.  Don’t miss it!

Be well,

Author: RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.

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