Healthy Food That Isn't: I came across this... - Weight Loss NHS

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Healthy Food That Isn't

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador

I came across this yesterday and thought it was worth sharing. The speaker is not a crank trying to sell you a new food religion or a diet plan: he's an insider in the food industry. It's quite hard to summarize his theme and still do it justice, so do watch. It's only 12 minutes. If you find your curiosity piqued, you can go as far down this rabbithole as you like - a lot has been written and said about it.

He's referring to the American food landscape, but the UK isn't radically different.

If there's any single takeaway from the video it's this: the food giants simply want to sell you stuff. They don't care if it makes you fat and ill, as long as you buy lots of their products before you die. They'll tell you their products are healthy and wholesome in order to achieve this, but mostly they're not. So cook for yourself. Make stuff yourself. Grow your own if you're up to it. You'll feel better for it.

20 Replies
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lucigret
lucigretAdministrator

Thank you for sharing this TAT. I think many people know this is going on, but it really brings it home to see it in black and white - it's quite depressing.

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to lucigret

Yes, I think we all know it's happening, but it bears repeating, because it's so completely entrenched ... and accepted as normal. We just shrug and say, well, yeah, what ya gonna do? But there are things you can do. We don't have to be held captive to this sort of thing.

It's worth adding that the handful of food conglomerates he alludes to are not just US-based. They literally control the global food supply (and all the inputs and the logistics), including the EU and the UK.

I just liked the way this guy spells it out, without being overly sensationalist or pushing a radical agenda - other than "let's all eat proper food".

lucigret
lucigretAdministrator
in reply to TheAwfulToad

I couldn't agree more with what you are saying and it should be something that every body is aware off. We have to hope that enough people make the changes necessary for it to have an affect.

jubbly1955
jubbly19551st 7lbs

Thanks for sharing this TheAwfulToad. It is scary to see how the giants have taken away our choice. Luckily, thanks to the internet, we are now being given access to information that enables to make better decisions about what we eat we just have to be prepared to pay a bit more for quality food. Or grow it ourselves. Unfortunately for us in the UK we very often don’t have suitable gardens as houses are built so closely together with very little outside space so we rely on others to supply our fruits and veggies. We need to be able to find local sources that we can trust. Since signing up to HU I have been cooking from scratch and I’ve really enjoyed getting back to basics but I now need to up my game a bit and become more fussy with my Ingredients. 😊

moreless
morelessAdministrator

Great video, TAT. I wish I could find a similar one that was UK based, as the assumption, a lot of the time, is that this only happens in the US, which we know isn't accurate.

pamela22
pamela221st 7lbs

Thank you for sharing this video it's an eye opener for sure, it's true we all think we know what is going on in the food industry and the smart packaging entices us in to think products are healthy but the truth is that not all products are equal.

While watching this I compared the images on the screen to my local farm where the chickens can be seen running free in a field and the cows likewise are free to graze in the lush green fields.

The working farm has a play barn for children where I regularly take my toddler grandson, it's set up with toys and space for little ones to play safely, they have a cafe serving mainly healthy home cooked meals and snacks, a farm shop selling the eggs, milk, meat and fresh non packaged veg from the farm.

We now always buy our eggs here and have just started to buy our meat and veg here too, I think after viewing the video I will be doing my main shop here and only shopping in the supermarkets for tins and toiletries.

I know I'm lucky to have such fresh food close to me so I'm going to support them as much as I can.

If we are all able to support the healthy local businesses perhaps we can make a difference.

Thank you for sharing this.

XxX

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to pamela22

Yes, the small guys selling real food are actually hiding in plain sight - fortunately, more and more people are realising that they exist!

pamela22
pamela221st 7lbs
in reply to TheAwfulToad

Yes indeed we are drawn into the belief that the supermarkets are providing healthy food for us all, but in reality it's mass produced and not always as healthy as they would have us believe.

So many people are getting all het up about single use plastic being used to package meat and veg ect but if you go to a local farm the vegetable produce is all in boxes straight from the fields, no plastic

As with local butchers and fishmongers they are happy to weigh out the meat/fish using paper then if you come prepared they will pop it in a reuseable bag or tupperware box for you to take home.

As you say they are all there hidden in plain site,

Just think ... if we all moved away from the big supermarkets and the convenience of shopping for everything under one roof and started returning to the old way of shopping visiting dedicated, butchers, fishmongers, bakers and greengrocers / farms we could be eating much healthier food and support the local small businesses. Win win

XxX

BridgeGirl
BridgeGirlAdministrator

That's so upsetting, the conditions for the cows and chickens. And not surprising that many are turning to vegetarianism and veganism (as long as they know how their crops are raised). That won't be my direction but it prompts me to be far more alert to what I'm buying

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to BridgeGirl

While I can understand why people become vegetarian or vegan, I don't think they realise that it doesn't help. For example the cows in the video were dairy cows; as much mistreatment of animals goes in in the dairy industry as in the beef industry. But the solution isn't veganism either - a hypothetical vegan farm would either be completely hydroponic, or it would involve killing of boring, ugly animals on a large scale and rapid environmental destruction.

Big Ag has actually latched on to the vegan/vegetarian movements and has cornered those markets too ... mostly via gross misrepresentation of "ethical" products.

There are people doing it right, and selling their products at a fair price, but they tend to operate on the fringes of society, and beneath the radar.

BridgeGirl
BridgeGirlAdministrator
in reply to TheAwfulToad

Is there anything I could read, or people I could be watching, to get a better grip on this? Particularly to balance/refute vegan claims about the environmental benefits of their approach. Thanks

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to BridgeGirl

One of the most readable books for the non-farmer would be "Cows Save The Planet". I can't think of any single book that includes all of the arguments needed to refute the vegan position, but that one covers maybe 70-80% of it, and it's pretty entertaining. Considering the author is a journalist, not a scientist or agronomist, she has an excellent grasp of the science - much better than most who attempt to cover this subject.

Realistically, even with all the technical data on hand, you can't refute veganism because it isn't based on any rational argument. I've tried :) . Of course people are entitled to eat however they like, but it scares me that politicians are exploiting the rise of veganism for their own nefarious ends, and the banner-wavers think they're winning. They're not. They're being taken for a ride.

BridgeGirl
BridgeGirlAdministrator
in reply to TheAwfulToad

Thanks, I will seek that out 😊 I like to think of 🐄 🐄 🐄 saving the planet

Yes, TheAwfulToad.

If we (in the UK) choose to go to the trouble and expense to find and buy "good food" we can do so... if we know what we are looking for.

I think that world agriculture could not feed the human world population without "factory farms".

In the UK some zero-grazed cattle are, at least, fed grass (some of it fermented grass aka silage).

I was brought up on a farm, and I went to agricultural college... so I like to think I know more than most people.

In the USA the Fibberatie do not have to try too hard to avoid legislation, as the FEDaratie have been "influenced" by King Corn and Big Pharma.

I head somewhere that seven out of ten foods in US supermarkets contain maise or maise-fed ingredients.

50% of the carbs in maise are fructose, which we can only process in our liver. Fruit contains fructose - but, for most of us, it is "good food" if eaten as part of a balanced diet.

...and, in the USA, a large proportion of the food sold in "Farmers' Markets" are produced in the same factory farms as the food in the supermarkets.

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to S11m

>> I think that world agriculture could not feed the human world population without "factory farms".

If that were true, we'd have to resign ourselves to a human future of ill-health, accelerating environmental destruction, and miserable, maltreated animals.

"We need factory farms to feed the world" is precisely the sort of lie the speaker is addressing. It is critical for the status quo that everyone should believe this. Because if it isn't true, then one has to ask: why on earth is this happening? Are the people running the show mad, stupid, or just evil? If there's no logical reason for doing it, then those are the only remaining explanations.

And the thing is, it isn't true. It's fairly easy to demonstrate that putting a cow or a chicken out on pasture is vastly more efficient than bringing food to it from elsewhere, and disposing of its waste elsewhere. It's not just theoretically possible to do this: there are people out there making it work in practice. They are held back by legislation that favours the Big Ag model, and by lack of access to markets (which are kept in a tight stranglehold by the incumbents ... partly because they have the ear of governments and can tilt the legislation in their favour).

Ultimately people can make their own choices, of course. As you say, it's there if you want it. But the job of the PR guys working for the supermarkets etc. is to make sure people chose their products in the firm belief that there is no alternative.

S11m
S11m
in reply to TheAwfulToad

I was brought up on a traditional farm, where the pigs were reared on grass, and fertilized the poor soil.

The chicken were "in a shed" but they were free-range for egg-laying for breeding.

There are "shades of grey" between "factory farms" where everything is largely maize fed, and "traditional" (organic) agriculture.

Organic farming is only viable as organic food sells at a premium. I think most supermarkets sell some organic food, and food which is not all "processed".

TheAwfulToad
TheAwfulToadAmbassador
in reply to S11m

Certainly there are shades of grey. What is currently called "organic" agriculture (as certified by the gubmint) is often just an inefficient version of factory-farming. Your mixed farm, though, isn't exactly a shade of grey - it's the genuinely efficient way of doing things. Such things were aggressively shut down in the 1980s to make way for manure lagoons and CAFOs.

HappyBeee
HappyBeee3 stone

There are some fantastic documentaries on Netflix on this subject if you are interested. I've changed a lot of my diet based on what I've found out about the dairy and meat production industry. It's a tricky line to tread when you eat lc but being a responsible, moral consumer is worth the effort 💕

StillConcerned
StillConcernedAmbassador
in reply to HappyBeee

These idealistic views have been going on for decades now.

Several doctrines focus on eating plants, and outlaw eating animal products. However, this is at odds with our physiology. Compared to other great apes, our guts don't have the capacity to eat a high proportion of vegetation. If you believe in evolution, our brains grew as our guts shrank, necessitating a more calorie dense food source. If you believe in creation, the same holds true; our guts are designed to eat higher calorie foods in addition to plants, yet not large amounts of carbohydrates because excess de novo lipogenesis is underpinning insulin-resistance and many of the chronic ill-health conditions. Interestingly, the ancient Egyptians suffered these too because of a heavily grain-based diet.

LCHF is causing a resurgence in the Mediterranean diet because it provides the monounsaturates that there is general agreement are healthy (though they disagree on the amount), as well as being plant based, but does not exclude carbohydrates nor animal products.

Even within this there are variations therefore; some focus on lowering red meat and saturated fat for example, whereas the ICS-NHS DPP version focusses on having similar amounts of carbohydrate to natural fat, portion for portion, and generally unprocessed/minimally processed foods.

HappyBeee
HappyBeee3 stone
in reply to StillConcerned

Totally agree.. Im a lchf eater after reaearch led me to conclude basically what you've said. I eat a modified mediterrannean diet with very low carb and no meat. No matter what we eat its important to choose as wisely as possible in terms of environment, animal welfare, health, economy, even politics. I don't think many people really grasp their role as a consumer and the impact our choices make. It would make it hella easier if the food industry operated with transparency and integrity. As it stands we need to do our own investigation as far as possible.

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