The quick answer: The modern American diet (MAD) has been implicated as a risk factor for chronic disease and premature death. Vote with your dollars. Avoid Food Inc’s unhealthy food-like products and eat real food.
The Word of Wisdom
The Word of Wisdom, a scripture important to the LDS faith, is generally known for its prohibitions against tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea. Mormons and others who avoid these substances are blessed with better health. Studies have documented a significantly greater longevity.
But the Word of Wisdom offers counsel of even greater value—though less heeded—the guidance to build one’s diet on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, with a sparing amount of meat. This can be interpreted to mean, “Eat food, mostly plants, as close as practical to the natural form.” If a person had carefully followed this wise advice they would have been protected from the sad consequences of processed factory foods and (most of) the fast foods of the modern American diet (MAD).
The Rise of Food Inc.
We often speak of Food Inc. By this we mean the purveyors of the MAD—the packaged food-like products mainly found in the central, most traveled aisles of the modern supermarket. It also refers to the highly processed foods offered by fast food and even some chain restaurants.
If you will allow me to give a very brief history, the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century in the textile industry. This was a marvelous thing for it freed women from the drudgery of making their own cloth, plus the factory processes allowed more colorful fabrics with designer patterns. In sum, it was a wonderful thing for women.
Then the principles of the Industrial Revolution were applied to every other sector of society. Think of Henry Ford and automobiles, Thomas Edison with his electrical appliances, or Steve Jobs’ computers and digital devices. But there was one sad consequence: Businessmen found a way to profit by altering—better said, adulterating—the very nature of food.
Basically, you took a cheap commodity; used factory processes to make it sweeter, more refined and convenient; launched an advertising campaign to promote the brand; and you had a profitable business that might last several generations. Think of Crisco, Jell-O, Velveeta processed cheese, Wonder Bread, or Kraft Mac & Cheese, to name a few. By doing this, Food Inc has made, and continues to make, a lot of money.
In retrospect, the industrialization of food was an enormous mistake. I have no argument with any particular food processor. I try not to attack any company. But I do think that Food Inc should either join the food reformation, or disappear from the planet. It’s not personal—we’re just trying to make the world a healthier place. Won’t you join us?
I fear that Food Inc is bigger and more powerful than the federal government—their influence over the USDA, for example, has been decried by many. So we shouldn’t look to the government to save us.
But Food Inc has an Achilles’ heel: It lives and dies with the daily decisions of the humblest citizen pushing a shopping cart through the grocery store. If we refuse to buy unhealthy foods, they’ll go the way of the dinosaurs—like Wonder Bread. It’s that simple.
The best way to send a message to Food Inc is to use the power of your purse. So for the good of your family, and of the nation, practice this Healthy Change:
Vote with your dollars: only buy healthy food products.
Please Comment: Please share your ideas for improving on the unhealthy products of Food Inc. Or tell of a bad product you replaced with something healthier.