No, I am not an advocate for vegan-ism (as much as I believe it’s a brilliant way of life), matter of fact I’m not even vegan. I’m just a food lover who is noticing a sad truth: as a society, our food choices are killing us. Not that you need them but here are some stats… About 2 billion people worldwide are categorised as overweight and over 400 million people worldwide are struggling with type 2 diabetes.
Our world is increasingly getting faster and every industry is doing its best to make our lives easier and more efficient. We are busier than we have ever been, most of us crammed in big cities with very little space. This presents multiple problems for our diets, and that has led to a lot of changes in our food choices. So much change in fact, that our food habits would be unrecognisable to our great great grandparents.
Let us consider a food table from, say 100 years ago; there would be meat from a local farmer, there would be fruit and vegetables that would be seasonal and locally produced. There were probably no processed snacks, food was cooked in the home and eaten with the family. None of it was processed or manufactured, it was all real natural food. One knew exactly where what came from.
Now let us look at a meal today… breakfast would typically be a bowl of cereal that comes from a box, which would have high fructose syrup loaded into it. A snack is ripped out of a packet, lunch from drive through fast food restaurant, afternoon snack is a candy bar and a fizzy drink, and dinner is something popped in the microwave taking about 5 minutes to serve, thereafter there’s dessert.
The problem here is that all this food is processed and manufactured… None of it is real! The result has been a dramatic increase in lifestyle diseases and a general decline in health. The main culprit in all the processed food we consume regularly is SUGAR. Stepping out of the fresh produce section of any grocery store and into any other food aisle means one is flooded with products filled with sugar. It is not just in sweets and cooldrinks, but in unexpected savoury products like dressings, bread and dairy products. Considering that there are 100 ways brands term ‘sugar’ on their products, it is hard to measure just how much we are eating on a daily basis. What we can agree on is that it is more than we should be eating. It is estimated than in 10 years, about 50% of the world population will be overweight. We are getting sicker as the years go by. Ironic when you consider that most natural food is medicinal. We are just simply eating the wrong things, to our own detriment.
I have a proposal; let us go back to basics and keep it real. Let’s keep our food natural and real. There are thousands of excuses but truth is you are in control of what you buy. Chances are if unhealthy processed food isn’t readily available in your house, you won’t eat it. Making a few positive changes to your shopping list could just save your life, or simply increase the quality of the life you live. Choose to prepare your meals in advance to make life easier, make use of that freezer. A little extra effort goes a long way. Produce your own food if you can, plant a few vegetables and start a little garden. Ask necessary questions, like where is my food coming from and what is it made of? Buy local, organic and seasonal. Make the necessary changes, you will thank yourself for it.