Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another All-Natural Blog Post.

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is dropping the phrase "all natural" from all labels after a request from a health advocacy group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the company confirmed the move Monday. The CSPI told the company last month it should not use "all natural" if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

So there you go. Another killjoy gang of do-gooders trying to make the world safe from corn syrup. The bigger problem is that companies like Ben and Jerry's kowtow to people like this because they're afraid of some bad publicity. What their marketing people don't understand is that people like – no, they want junk in their food. We like hydrogenated oil, salt, sugar and other additives that make food taste good to us. Otherwise, they would figure out a way to make tree bark flavored ice cream and replace sugar with beach sand.

It's pretty obvious that almost everything we enjoy eating is in some way bad for our health. Fats, sugars, salt and every combination of them makes us fat, clogs our arteries, give us some disease or a combination of all three. The bigger question is, why? Why is it necessary for us to eat vegetables, lean meat and other non-fat foods in order to keep our waistline narrower than our hips?

And not only do we have to watch what we eat, but we also have to get more exercise than ever, to the extent that we "need" heart rate monitors to insure that our pulse rate doesn't drop too low so that we wouldn't derive the maximum benefit. God forbid. It's difficult enough to work, earn a living and pay our bills without having to agonize over how much exercise we're getting and whether what we are getting is enough. It's exhausting, and the process should count toward our cardio-vascular work.

It's some sort of human trial or curse sent by whatever deity you believe in that we can't indulge in a bag of potato chips or a milk shake without making our scale spin around a few extra times. Have we genetically trained ourselves to enjoy foods that are bad for us or is it something that humans have struggled with over the centuries? Did 7th century man persecute himself for enjoying a nice steak, or were they ignorant to the fact that the foods they liked were slowly killing them? I'd guess the latter, which makes it even more baffling that we enjoy those kinds of food to begin with. Why isn't there a trigger in our genetics someplace that tells us what we should and shouldn't consume? Or maybe there is and we have a death wish?

I don't know. I do know that almost everything that tastes good to us will eventually lead to our untimely death. I also know that we will live a lot longer than our ancestors, and I suppose it's because we know that cigarettes, excessive alcohol and certain foods contribute to our longevity – or lack of it. Perhaps we'd be happier if we didn't know?


Anonymous said...

There is a reason we enjoy fatty, sugary food. Through most of our history these types of food were scarce. Humans existed as hunter-gatherers and death from starvation in a time of scarcity was a real threat. Consequently, when we did find and eat sugary, fatty calorie-laden foods (such as fruits, nuts, fatty meat) our brains rewarded us with a pleasurable feeling to make sure we ate as much as possible, thereby building up some fat deposits and increasing our chance of survival the next time there was a famine.

In modern western societies where food is plentiful we still have that desire for sugary, fatty food built into our brains as a mode of survival, but this type of food is no longer rare and we don't have to walk miles to find it. Hence our huge obesity problem.

junior alien said...

Why are Americans so obsessed with how the food they eat could HARM them? Why don't they concentrate on how the food they eat could do them GOOD?

Appetite. Enjoyment. How wonderful to indulge in sensual delights!

Maybe it's the puritan tradition.
What use is there in being "healthy" at all cost? Healthy in inverted commas. What is health anyway?
Can there be health when we deny ourselves enjoyment?
Isn't it more important to be sound, intact on a greater scale, than to be "healthy"?
Isn't the compulsive craving for "health" simply a masked fear of death?

I think we should apire to be sound rather than healthy in inverted commas.

Would you care to think about that?

Kcoz said...

Very good and informative post anonymous 7:42 PM, and I’d like to add that ancient man was always active and not eating such foods while living a stagnant life, such as sitting at a desk all day than laying around the house all night…they kept active.

Fact is if one keeps relatively active each and every day, they can eat pretty much anything they want and still maintain a healthy weight. I had a friend who lived a stagnant life and developed diabetes at a fairly young age…the doctor told him to get up and move, work out until you sweat…everyday!