“The big issue is ultra-processing,” wrote Carlos Monteiro of the University of São Paulo in Brazil.
Ultra-processed foods are high in calories with extra fat, sweeteners and salt, but are low in vitamins, minerals and fiber. He charges these foods as the primary cause of the rapid rise in obesity and associated diseases throughout the world.
With persistence, food corporations have eroded our barriers to the concoctions they sell. Over the past fifty years they’ve become normalised within patterns of eating.
Thirsty? Fancy a glass of carbonated purified water, flavour, colour (caramel 150d), food acid (338, 330), sweeteners (951,950), preservative 211 and caffeine?
Peckish? How about some corn, vegetable oil, rice, whey powder, cheese powder, salt, flavour enhancer (621), hydrolysed vegetable protein, flavour, yeast extract, cream powder, milk powder, natural colours (160a, 160c) and food acid (270)?
Just how did they end up in our collective trolleys, kitchens and stomachs?
Some of us have been brought up with Real Food, and have always seen Faux Food for what it is.
For others, the penny dropped when awakened by friends. Moving away from home and living with flatmates is often a catalyst.
As is bringing a new human into the world.
We're lucky, healthy and our tastebuds are delighted!
So the next few posts are about Being that Friend. Can you help me help others find better alternatives? And make things from scratch. First up, bread. Any recipes, blog posts or photos? Please share.
The New York Times: Dinita Smith, When Flour Power Invaded the Kitchen, April 14, 2004.
Island Press: Kitchen literacy: How we lost knowledge of where food comes from and why we need to get it back, Ann Vileisis, October 24, 2007.
University of Pennsylvania Press: Larry Samuel, Freud on Madison Avenue, 2010.
Gourmet: Brie Schwartz, The History of the TV Dinner, November 19, 2011.
University of California Press: Marion Nestle, Food politics: how the food industry influences nutrition and health, 2007.
CC photos by Ben Husmann, muffy and adrigu