Monday, January 29, 2007

Everyone's Getting Healthy

Thanks to Prof. Matson for a great article in the New York Times, "Unhappy Meals." Here, Michael Pollan explores what's wrong with the American Diet. It's definitely worth a read if you want to take a hard, critical look at your diet. In a word: processed foods, processed foods, processed foods are evil, evil, evil. Here's an excerpt:

From Complexity to Simplicity. If there is one word that covers nearly all the changes industrialization has made to the food chain, it would be simplification. Chemical fertilizers simplify the chemistry of the soil, which in turn appears to simplify the chemistry of the food grown in that soil. Since the widespread adoption of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in the 1950s, the nutritional quality of produce in America has, according to U.S.D.A. figures, declined significantly. Some researchers blame the quality of the soil for the decline; others cite the tendency of modern plant breeding to select for industrial qualities like yield rather than nutritional quality. Whichever it is, the trend toward simplification of our food continues on up the chain. Processing foods depletes them of many nutrients, a few of which are then added back in through “fortification”: folic acid in refined flour, vitamins and minerals in breakfast cereal. But food scientists can add back only the nutrients food scientists recognize as important. What are they overlooking?

Again, I'm loving Trader Joe's. They provide great natural foods at a much better price than many of the upscale grocery stores, which often offer organic and natural foods. Also, check out your local grocery store. Shaw's, Hannaford's and Stop and Shop all have their own brand of organic and all natural foods.

On another blog, Diet Fat Tips, there are some great tips and basic guidelines for healthy aging -- and healthy living. Check it out.

It's also worth noting, West Virginia is offering to send its citizens to Weight Watchers for free. More and more, we're realizing the need for losing weight and getting in shape if we all want to be living large at 80.


Mikel said...

I'm all about Trader Joes. I wish that people would realize that it is not more expensive than the normal grocery store for most items. Sure the recycled toilet peper might cost more than Charmin but if you look at the cost of a comprable product in a Stop and Shop I bet it is cheaper at TJs. They have great single serving healthy dishes which are perfect to bring for lunch.


Mikel said...

Processed foods are evil but don't forget the evil high fructose corn syrup

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