I have heard countless times people talk about how healthy food has a direct correlation to taste, and it is always a negative connotation. However, I also hear people that are older talk about how food today does not taste the same as it did 40 years ago, that food lacks flavor and all tastes the same. This is a very interesting dynamic, what has changed over this period of time and why does healthy food taste so bad?
Let's go back forty years to 1971, a time before high fructose corn syrup, before hot pockets, when energy
drinks were not even a consideration, water was not bottled, Mcdonald's only had about 1000 stores
worldwide (compared to over 32,000 today), before the cell phone, ipod, laptop, even before the apple Ile desktop computer. Life was dramatically different than it is today. You had to be on a phone attached to a cord to talk with someone which usually relegated you to the kitchen, there was only one TV in the house, most people ate dinner at home with their family (today that special occasion is reserved for holidays).
Food was very different as well. This time is two years before the advent of one of the best/worst items to enter our world. Roundup, developed by Monsanto and -marketed in 1973 it has created a crushing grip on the farming industry in the United States and the world. You may be thinking, why is this weed killer such a bad thing? Where to begin, this chemical has lead to the development of superweeds that have taken over some crop areas and destroyed income for many farmers, it has been proven to be an endocrine disrupter in humans meaning it will alter the hormones your body produces leading to increased risk of chronic diseases including cancer, the company was found guilty of lying to consumers telling them that their product was safer and less risky, the development of round up has lead to the furthering of genetically modified foods that are called round up ready, they are spliced with bacteria to make them round up resistant. This last part creates a unique situation where farmers have now become dependent on these products and basically have created a monopoly. Farmers
buy round up ready seed, farmers by round up, regular crops create seeds to plant for next year, but not round up ready seeds. Every year the farmer has to go back and buy more seed and more round up and the cost goes up every year. The government subsidizes this process and the person who loses out the most is the farmer.
Back to the point, forty years ago food was very different. It was not this genetically modified, laden with preservatives, food dyes, and chemicals like it is today. When you look at labels of foods you will be just as likely to find industrial products on the label as you will food ingredients. It is funny that we regulate cigarettes to adults because of all of the bad things cigarettes do; they are extremely addictive, they have toxic chemicals in them, they only cause harm to the body, and are marketed to children in order to develop brand recognition to choose brands they like before they smoke. Sadly this is not much different that the food that many people put in their mouths on a daily basis. These "foods" are filled with toxic chemicals, they disrupt your hormones making people obese, there is about as much advertising for food as there is for "legal" drugs, and lastly they are very
Food companies pay a great deal of money to researchers and people in marketing to figure out what will get you to buy the most of a product to maximize their dollars out of their current customer base and how to increase that customer base. It is fact that humans are programmed to crave sugar, fat, and salt. The reason being is due to their lack of presence in nature. Where do you find lots of sugar, salt, and fat in nature? You do not find it anywhere. However, in a grocery store you can find those items in every aisle, in every section of the store. These companies play on our weaknesses and exploit them to generate more revenue for their companies. These companies have been taking hits lately because people want to be healthier. What they have done to combat this is come out with 100 calorie packs, GENIUS! This way people will not feel guilty about eating 100 calories of anything because it is such a small amount, they spent months figuring out what was the most calories that they could get away with that people would not think twice about eating.
The success of this product has now lead to these same companies changing their candy products, they just had commercials on for the world's smallest Reese's cups that come conveniently in a bag with them all unwrapped. Now you just pop one in your mouth, or ten, or twenty, or the whole bag because they are already unwrapped and just sitting right there next to you. The small nature of the product inherently decreases the guilt associated with the consumption of the product. Because 20 little Reese's look so much better and less unhealthy than two large Reese cups even though they are almost exactly the same in their calories and content.
Healthy food tastes bad to people because they stuff their faces with sugar all day. This face stuffing leads to a decreased taste for anything but sugar. People want more and more sugar; pour some sugar on your Frosted Flakes with milk, Pop Tarts and Mountain Dew, a triple triple coffee (for those who do not know this is three creams and three sugars a nice and easy 450 calories of sugar!), pizza and wings with blue cheese, whopper with fries and a coke, are you starting to see a pattern.
If you were to eliminate these foods from your diet (the foods you eat on a regular basis not a short term change in eating patterns) I promise you two things will happen. You will find that foods do not taste like what you thought. Celery will become salty, grapefruits will be sweet, foods will take on new and complex flavors that you had not known they had. This will lead to some new culinary feats for you in the kitchen where you will take on items you never knew you could becoming the Iron Chef of your home. The second is this, those foods above will make you sick. If you eliminate the garbage, and eat real whole foods for a few weeks and then go and eat something off the plan you will get downright sick. These foods are literally poisoning your body however you are used to these feelings and accept them as normal, plus you are addicted to the chemicals within them.
I love food, I will not eat food that tastes bad. However I used to be in the same boat as many of you in fact I probably ate worse than all of you. I used to go to sub places and order two whole subs at one time. I used to eat and entire Wegmans sub without a problem and have room for more food. When I first started dating my wife, her mother had to start making more food when I came over because of how much I would eat. The worst I ever ate in one sitting was three triple cheeseburgers, a fried chicken sandwich, a large fry with ketchup, and a supersize diet coke (I was watching my figure). The point of telling you this is not to gross you out but to show you that I understand what it is like to think the change is to hard to make or impossible to sustain. I was in your shoes, denying how important eating was to my health, denying that I was making myself sick with what I was eating. I was convinced that all the working out I did would counteract any bad eating I did. It is much easier than you think. Every person that changes their eating habits tells me that they cannot believe how good they feel!
This is one of those few situations where the grass really is greener on the other side.
Try some of the foods we have made, ask for help, come in and make an appointment make today the start of a new you. What a better day than FAT Tuesday! The help is here are you ready for it!