Think back to the last time you watched television. How often did a commercial involving food come on? Approximately 1/5 of all commercials are for food items – usually processed or fast-food items. The incidence is much higher as the meal hours are approached. Statistics show that 80% of those food commercials are for highly processed “foods” – the real, whole food producers simply don’t have the budget to advertise in such a way.
So how does this affect me? Good question. Let’s explore.
Those of you who are children of the 50’s and 60’s will most certainly remember the Marlboro Man. He of rugged good looks and manly lifestyle of the modern day cowboy – was cool…and he smoked. His name was Wayne McLaren and he died of lung cancer at the age of 51. Google it. It’s true. And due to the passing of the law banning tobacco sales-related commercials in 1970, many people have found the prospect less attractive and either quit or never started to begin with.
So what does this have to do with food? Nothing…and everything. We can do the very same thing with highly processed and fast foods that we did with tobacco products.
We are living in a culture surrounded by fast, plentiful, inexpensive food. We are also living in a culture struggling with obesity because we have forgotten how to eat real food.
Author Michael Pollan has an excellent book – it’s called ‘Food Rules’. It’s a simple book and a quick read and I highly recommend it to everyone. Here are a few of Michael’s rules…
- Eat food
- Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food (hello yogurt tubes)
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry (pass me the azodicarbonamide please)
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce (see above)
- Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle (aka processed foods)
There are many more but the one I chose to focus on today is this: “Don’t eat foods that are advertised on TV.”
“But,” you say, “Prunes are advertised on TV!” True. Go ahead and eat prunes but read the label first – see what’s been added to them.
Bottom line – eat whatever you’d like. Make it yourself. Use whole ingredients.
Take that Swanson.