Happy Memorial Day!
Memorial Day. A day most of us PLAY and celebrate the arrival of summer! Others of us retreat, in memory of loved ones we’ve lost.
And PROJECTS! Oh, yes! Projects galore on a three-day weekend.
Regardless of what you’re doing—or did—on Memorial Day weekend, we ALL had food available. (Those of you reading this are that wealthy. You have food routinely. Many others don’t. Food is a basic necessity we take for granted.)
Most of us have forgotten what “real” food even is. (Yep. I’ve done this, too.) We eat what we want, when we want, how we want without much thought about our choices.
We really ARE what we consume. (That goes SO much deeper than food choices. We consume media: news, social feeds, music, movies… What we hear, see, speak, breathe all combines with what we eat, drink, smell to make us who we are.)
And we’ve really gotten far, far away from understanding the sources of our foods.
What if we started eating “real” again?
(What does that even mean?!)
Ok. When I moved across the country, I gave away a LOT of stuff. One of the things I gave away was done so very intentionally….
I gave my 10-year-old McDonald Happy Meal to a beloved colleague who had taught “Health” with me in the local high school throughout her naturopathic medical education.
Right! We used that “prop” to show the students that what they *think* is food isn’t real.
Sure, it’s “there”, it “exists”, so it must be “real”…
But if you made bread at home and left it on the counter for just a few days, it would mold.
The bun didn’t mold.
If you cooked a burger at home and left it sitting in the pan a few days, it would rot.
The patty didn’t rot.
If you fried up some potato sticks and left them sitting out a few days, you wouldn’t want to eat them.
The fries looked like I’d purchased them earlier in the day. (And more than one Shorewood Freshman asked to eat them.)
But the entire Happy Meal was many years old. And I had never refrigerated it. The paper bag is torn and worn. The paper wrapped around the burger and that which holds the fries—as well as the napkin and bottom portion of the bag holding it all—is yellowed and oddly textured now.
Not from age so much as the fats eeking out from the product into the surroundings.
In other words, the packaging is decomposing while the stuff inside it remains “fresh” after a decade of service in teaching.
So, my question to you is…. Is that food?
If it’s food, why won’t it decompose?
If it’s NOT food, what is it?
I’d say it’s “food flavored chemicals”. Meaning, there are so many non-foods added into what looks like, smells like, feels like, tastes like food as to make us *think* it’s “food”, but it’s really pretty far removed from “real” food.
And if I were to overlay the timeline of food manipulation—30+ nutrients being stripped out of flours (1940s) with only 3-4 of the least expensive, lab-created versions of the same added back in (1960s-1980s), along with removing calories from sweeteners (1970s) and fat grams from food (1980s) and adding in genetically modified organisms (1980s) and high fructose corn syrup (1970s) and CAFOs for chickens and cows (which dominated the market by the mid-2000s) —with a timeline of disease trends, we’d see a correlation of increased rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol abnormalities, infertility, dementia, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, asthma…
If you read anything about our current coronavirus situation, you’ll immediately note that “correlation does not equal causation”, and certainly there are more variables at work in our poor health outcomes than JUST our food.
Remember at the beginning I stated we’re ALL the things we consume? A WHOLE lot of things have changed in the past 80 years!
But that’s more conversation for a later time. Let’s get back to eating REAL FOOD…
What if we ditched the chemicals and only ate “real”?
More in the next email…
Wishing you WELL,
Christie Fleetwood, ND, RPh, VNMI
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