Don’t be a SAD Consumer
Dr. Weston A. Price is important for his research/documentation of diet and physical implications. His philosophy that processing and preserving foods damaged their nutritional value is a message worth heeding today.
Let’s start with SAD – “Standard American Diet”.
The acronym is appropriate in my humble opinion because the standard diet I see people eating is sad.
For lunch I see people having microwaved, processed, all in one “dinners”. They think they are being healthy because there are a few veggies sprinkled with the mystery meat over white rice. And the label claims low fat, or low calorie. OK. Lunch dissection 101: This is a poor lunch if for no other reason, microwaving is dangerous (more on that later). As to the “food” content, it’s mostly poor quality carbohydrates. White rice is not a whole grain, but processed, refined carb with a high glycemic index. The 6 snow peas, or tablespoon of diced carrot, or smattering of mashed potatoes only add to the carb content. And then there’s a couple ounces of mystery meat basking in MSG/HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) sauce.
Lunch #2: also microwaved, usually in plastic of some variety, is leftovers from home. Potatoes and corn, grilled pork steak from Sunday’s dinner. The pork is CAFO pork so there are hormones and antibiotics in it. Often the meat has been seasoned with a commercial rub, so there is likely MSG present. Potatoes and corn are a great flavor combo but pure carb in content. Variation on this meal: grilled hamburger, also CAFO origin, and bun or bread to go with the potatoes and corn.
Healthier choice sometimes observed: Green salad with chopped ham, bacon, and/or egg/cheese (all commercially produced). May have other vegies also (broccoli, pepper, tomato). Top with commercial salad dressing and you add soy, HFCS, and preservatives.
Wash it all down with a sugary soft drink, and don’t forget the ‘death by chocolate’ dessert. Perhaps should be called ‘death by sugar’.
How can we improve these meals?
The biggest issue is educating yourself regarding ingredients and then read labels. Generally, avoid processed and preserved, and obvious contents like corn syrup of any kind, corn syrup solids, MSG (search online to learn the hundreds of ways this monster can be listed on a label) and soy. I have read that if there are more than 5 ingredients, or if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you don’t want to eat it. It’s amazing how many processed and preserved foods this one rule will save you from.
With planning you can provide lunch for yourself and your family that has real food value and a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. Leftovers from last night’s dinner are perfect. Pack the remaining grassfed burger, pastured chicken or pork, along with green vegetable/salad and seasonal fruit and you have an appetizing, nutritious lunch. Salad dressing (dijon mustard, olive oil, balsamic or wine vinegar, garlic, and salt/pepper) whisked together takes moments to prepare and tastes great on salad greens. Avoid the free radical producing treatment of microwaving and you’re on the right road.
So, the takeaway for this discussion is educate yourself regarding ingredients, start reading labels, and avoid processed/preserved packages that have ingredients too numerous to count, most of which are unpronounceable. Also avoid using microwaves. They are contraptions that were unleashed on the public without any real testing. For decades we’ve been “nuking” our food because it was fast. Often times that food was in styrofoam or some other form of plastic (yikes!) but even in a glass container it ends up full of free radicals due to the action of the microwaves.