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Fake foods vs real food

A while back I saw a Facebook post that stated that a Mom who cares about her family shouldn’t deny them ‘real foods’ such as Twinkies and florescent green jello.

It got me thinking about how we define ‘real foods’. Originally my thinking was that anything was real if it came directly from a plant or animal. Now with GMO plants and CAFO animals even that definition doesn’t work. If we truly want ‘real’ foods we are going to have to define them as anything that was grown the way nature intended. Even that has some wiggle room, but it is the best I have come up with so far.

What are some of the fake foods that we take for granted as being real?

Artificial sugars are a no brainer. Even the category says it is artificial. The problem is that many of us have been taught that this fake food is safer than the real thing, if we can really call white sugar real any more. There have been enough studies that show that artificial sweeteners cause some serious long term problems. They also show that they don’t have the weight loss effects they were meant for.

Along the lines of other CAFO meats comes GMO and factory farmed fish. These fish sound like the real thing, but are far from it. Apart from the pesticides and other contaminants these fish contain they are also creating hazards for the wild fish they are supposed to be ‘saving’ from being over harvested. Diseases once only known to fish farms are now appearing in the wild. If one of these fish escapes from the farm it won’t be long before their genetic modification show up in the wild as well. The scary part is that they don’t have to be labelled as being farmed. They can sit side by side in the meat case with wild caught. Other than the higher prices of the wild fish there may be no way to visually tell them apart.

Processed foods automatically don’t make our ‘real’ list, but they keep trying. Labels say that they are made from ‘all natural’ ingredients, but there isn’t a legal definition for that phrase. Even ones made from ‘organic’ foods are legally allowed to include a certain percentage of non-organically grown ingredients, as well as chemicals and even GMO’s.

What about products whose names and labels make you think it should only come from a health food store and not a grocery store?

One type that fits this group are things labelled ‘vitamin water’ or other such similar names. What about company names that include the word ‘Organic’, there is no law that any of the ingredients in their foods have to contain any organically grown products at all.

We have all heard about the powdered eggs they used to serve to the military. At least those were made from real eggs that came from real chickens. Now they are developing egg products that come from plants and animal by-products. There are claims that some companies that are already including them in their processed foods and mixes. This is while they are still trying to get just the right ‘bounce’ for baked goods so that we the consumer can’t tell the difference.

So far the ingredients in those ‘eggs’ somewhat come from nature. Now we are finding out that the same chemicals they make yoga mats from are being found in baked goods and ‘meats’. They claim these chemicals are needed to improve quality and shelf life. The trouble is that they are anti-nutrients. They rob us of health and wellbeing, while making us crave the products all the more.

‘Obesity epidemic’ anyone?

It used to be that our early morning cup of coffee was sacred, but not anymore. They have found that the convenient non-dairy creamer isn’t anywhere near a ‘real’ food, and is actually harmful to your health. One ingredient is Dipotassium Phosphate. They put this in so that is stays a powder and doesn’t clump in your cup. It is also used in fertilizers and cosmetics. If you get enough it causes vomiting and diarrhea. These are signs the body considers them harmful. This is only one of the many chemicals in the creamers. Some of the others are even worse.

The ultimate in fake foods comes from the space industry. Cornell University is developing printable ‘foods’ for astronauts to eat in space. They may taste like the real things, but what about the nutritional value? The only value they will carry will be what is included in the gel-like ink they are printed from. Does anybody remember the ‘food replicators’ from the old Star Trek series? The absolute best solution to preventing fake foods from your diet is to grow your own. If you can’t do that then the second best is to know your sources and be very diligent about only purchasing real foods. This will mean a lot more time in the kitchen as we make things from scratch. It may also mean a lot less time in the sick bed, now and especially in the future.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author(s). Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the authors. You are encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.