The Problem With Food

You may or may not be aware that America has quite a few problems both politically and health wise. Our political issues seem to be never ending as no matter which side gets elected and the change that needs to take place never will. I believe the South Park episode Douche and Turd nails the political satire in this country. No matter who you plan to vote for come November I assure you that it will be between a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich, and for the record those terms are interchangeable no matter who gets the nomination or who you are voting for.

But I am not here to talk about this country’s political issues, what I am going to talk about today is the countries health epidemic. Healthcare is certainly broken, and I am not going to get into a political debate about it. I have read on more than one occasion that something like 40% of Americans are obese. That is not just a little overweight, I need to lose 10 pounds, that is obese which is described as a condition where excess body fat begins to cause other health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

That is certainly alarming in every sense of the word and there is no shortage of blame to go around. However there is one thing that often gets over looked and that is how the human body has evolved. This article outlines the details of millions of year of evolution and how our modern society is counterintuitive, in every sense of the word, to that design.

Back in the cave man days our bodies did something amazing, it was able to store fat, not only that but our palate evolved to crave fat. Meaning, we crave fat and fatty foods which is usually eating meat from animals. Fruits and vegetables are all fine and good and our bodies certainly need them, but fat and the crave of fat is what led to our brains growing bigger and bigger. Which made us smarter and smarter which made us able to get more and more protein. In doing do we were able to crack open bones and get the marrow out of a carcass that had no meat left on it. There is an extraordinary amount of fat and protein in the marrow of animal bones. This is a circle that kept feeding itself, pun intended.

Our bodies are able to store energy in the form of fat, over time and then the body could use it later when the body needed it. This was something amazing, and certainly helped when food was scarce, which in the caveman days was quite often. Believe it or not there were no grocery stores way back then, so if you wanted to eat you either had to catch and kill something or find a plant for sustenance. If you could not find anything to eat hopefully your body would have enough fat stored to give you energy in-between meals, which could be a long time.

This is certainly great that our bodies were able to do this, but now that food is readily available we do not necessarily need this adaptation. In fact this adaptation is contributing to our current health pandemic. I am not saying that this adaptation is the only reason we have this problem, certainly not, and a reasonable person would see that there are a million other issues that are fueling this situation.

In my opinion one of the worst jobs that our new technological age has created are food scientist, those people who sit in a lab and create chemicals, natural or otherwise, that enhance flavors or reduce calories. To me these individuals are one of the leading or the leading cause of the obesity issue. Creating chemicals to put in our bodies is not a good idea, why do we need a substitute for sugar, especially ones that are linked to cancer? If you Google artificial sweeteners there are a ton of articles out there that point to this link, although there is not definitive proof, I think there is enough of a question to me. Why even take the chance of eating this? It may be safe, but if I had to say, I will try at all cost not to ingest any of this if I am able to.

So why then, if this substance is not 100% safe would the FDA approve it. MONEY, duh! The sugar industry is huge, a billion dollar market, so if I can come to that market and create a cheaper alternative that taste just as good, why not. There is plenty of money to be made. What is interesting is that for every article that says Splenda is bad there is one that say that it is perfectly safe. I would argue that we do not know for sure, but again, why would you take the chance.

It may sound like I am on my soapbox but I try not to buy any food that has ingredients that I cannot pronounce. Those chemicals are not good for you and are basically in foods to preserve them longer, which is affecting our biology on levels we have never seen before. Not only that but it is playing into our problems of storing fat. Our bodies have trouble figuring out what to do with a lot of these chemicals. One thing that I have read over and over again, is that not all calories are created equal. A 100 calorie package of cookies is not the same as eating a 100 calorie apple. Our bodies have a much tougher time breaking down the cookies because of all the processing and additives. So while in theory you are eating 100 calories by choosing the cookies or the apple, our bodies have not had time to adapt to the influx of the chemical concoction that are the cookies. The apple is the better choice, by far the better choice.

Looking for the future you have to wonder what will happen first. Will our bodies evolve fast enough to deal with all the chemicals that are being created and added to food. Or will we be able to genetically alter our bodies artificially, undoing millions of years of evolution. I doubt either will happen anytime soon, so until then we are left with our current health crisis. If I had to speculate I would say that we could develop some sort of technology that will block the ability to store fat. Which this could help the obesity issue, but it is difficult to say what long term effect this will have on us as a species. For all our knowledge of the human body there is still much more we have to learn.

Manik

 

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