There are so many things out there to watch out for these days. I read a lot online and in print about the dangers of this food or the perils of that drink. My spam filter gets loaded up with dire warnings about how avoiding this one test will decrease my chances of cancer 10-fold with another message telling me that the same test will add 20 years to my life.
Being of the analytical mindset like I am, I spent a great deal of time trying to tease the truth out of all these pronouncements of impending doom. I thought that maybe if I just understood everything, I'd...well...understand everything.
Now that I've typed it out, that sounds a bit foolish. If I had only done that a year ago, I would have saved myself a lot of time, work and heartache.
Besides, nobody can understand everything and nobody has ever been able to tell me anything without me verifying it on my own. So I spent all that time trying to figure stuff out really pulling my hair out and worrying over the bits and pieces not lining up.
One day I sat on my bed surrounded by notes and notebooks and slips of paper and Internet printouts with tears of frustration in my eyes. I had sorted out the articles and emails and websites. I had broken the over-riding theme down to the very essence of truth in the middle. That truth is this: They're lying to us.
The food companies who come out with a new and improved product every other day designed and destined to improve our health, make our teeth white, shrink our backsides and ensure our sexual virility don't have our best interests at heart. In spite of the hype and the advertising and the shiny, fancy packaging that says they care, they don't. It's all about making a buck and not worrying about the consumer in the end. Corporations are, in a word, evil. As I came to this realisation, my tears of frustration became tears of rage.
I sort of lost it.
I tore up the notes and slips of paper. I threw away the scraps and the notebooks. I even broke a pencil. It was cathartic and exhilarating. This is what I got out of it and believe me, I've read it 100 times online and in print but it hadn't sunk in until now:
Eat real food. Eat food that your great grandmother would recognise. Eat food with ingredients you can pronounce and ingredients that sound like actual food in and of themselves. Eat the stuff with a short enough history that you can trace right back to the farm.
Products with artificial this and modified that aren't actually food because they didn't come from a farmer's field. They came from a laboratory. And, as much as I love my lab job, I know it's not a place that I want to cook my dinner. After all, we have signs everywhere telling us that food and drink aren't allowed the lab. Is it just me, or is that a bit ironic?
Did you know that the artificial colors in some fruity sport drinks are actually derived from petrochemicals? How the hell is that food? And how the hell did that get approved by the powers that be?
So, yeah. Here I am with another epiphany that roughly 100,000,000 people have already had. I'm stepping up on the bandwagon. I don't expect it to be painless, but here I go.