“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” ― Orson Welles
The Standard American Diet is about 2,200 calories per day, with 50% of calories from carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 35% fat. It is very different from those of our forefathers.
Since the start of the industrial revolution, the everyday lifestyle of mankind has changed in many ways. When the United States was founded in 1776, the vast majority of its citizens lived in an agrarian society. We farmed and grew our own food, or worked for those that did. Once industry took hold, and large cities began to spring up, we shifted to a largely metropolitan society. In 1870, almost 50 percent of the U.S. population was employed in agriculture, today it is less than 2%. Farming is neither glamorous, nor easy.
This shift has resulted in a two-fold negative lifestyle impact on the people in our nation:
One – We must buy processed and preserved food from supermarkets.
Two– We no longer endure the physical labor needed to burn off the calories in the food we eat.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”– words of Jesus Christ from Matthew 7:9-11 NIV
We in the USA may take it for granted because our nation has never known long-term widespread famine, or food shortages, but food is perhaps the greatest way to control a country. Laws ,economics, and education may restrict your life in a myriad of ways, but cut off your food and water long enough and you’ll die. Poison the food supply, and you slowly sicken, weaken and given enough time, kill the people who eat it. All food is made of up to three components: Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates (carbs for short). Carbohydrates are just the scientific word for sugar, and comes in two forms, complex and simple. Simple carbohydrates are made up of just one or two sugar molecules. As such, it doesn’t take much for your body to break them down and absorb them (as glucose) into the bloodstream. For this reason, simple carbohydrates raise blood sugar much faster and usually higher than complex carbohydrates.
According to a study printed in The BMJ (formally called The British Medical Journal) in an average American diet, about 57.9% of the daily caloric intake of about 2200 kcals is coming from ultra-processed foods, 9.4% from processed foods, 2.9% from processed culinary ingredients. Only a mere 29.6% (less than a third) of our food intake is from unprocessed or minimally processed foods.
There are more than 38,000 processed food products on grocery shelves in the US. This includes the so-called ultra -processed foods which accounts for 90% of the added sugar in the Standard American Diet . Additionally the majority of these items contain chemical additives, dyes, and preservatives that are unhealthy to say the least. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) often takes the place of refined sugar, but is far worse. The human body can’t process this artificial sugar made by converting starch into fructose. HFCS has been added to many products to ‘make them taste better’. Whenever you see ‘new improved’ on a box, automatically think added sugars and fat. Any calories you consume that you don’t burn off daily are stored in your body as fat.
The Standard American Diet is SAD indeed.
Feed The World?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock your entire life, it should come as no surprise to you that billionaires (and to a lesser extent multi-millionaires) control the world. They are the modern day equivalents of kings, and world domination is a game of kings. As such, these contemporary would-be rulers reign over almost every aspect of our lives. They may not officially own the country, but they do control either the food supply, or the distribution chains for it. (I’m not even going to get into restaurant chains. Americans may be eating-out more than ever, but restaurants are still just a luxury, not a necessity.)
Of the 38,000 processed foods on the shelves in food stores, more often than not we go for a trusted name-brand. All of the major supermarket chains have an in-house brand that’s comparable or sometimes superior to the national brand. They may even have similar packaging and be placed side-by-side on the shelf. Many of these knock-offs or, no-frills alternatives are manufactured by the same exact factories as the recognized brand. All of the official brands in the world are owned by just ten corporations as shown in this infographic from Oxfam.
Additionally most supermarkets stock all major brands. There are few exceptions such as the Trader Joe chain which stocks nearly 95% of their store brand instead. Trader Joe is an American company which specializes in organic health foods. Their groceries are top-notch, and cost a few pennies more. You get what you pay for. The top-selling supermarket company in the world is Kroger.
Top 10 Supermarket Companies in 2018
(Sales in billions)
- The Kroger Co., $105.10
- Albertsons, $57.39
- Royal Ahold Delhaize USA, $43.20
- Publix Super Markets, $34.56
- Aldi, $25.86
- H-E-B Grocery, $21.94
- Neighborhood Market/Marketside (Walmart), $17.04
- Wakefen/ShopRite, $16.30
- Whole Foods Market (Amazon), $15.40
- Southeastern Grocers, $10.63
We are what we eat!
There are countless diet cooks, cook books, and health books in print and on line, yet two out of three Americans are overweight. This is senseless! Food is necessary for life, but not everything we are able to eat is good for us. Sometimes it’s a matter of the ingredients, other times it is portion size. The times of day and the frequency of which we eat can also play a part. Some people eat to live while others live to eat. Of all the addictions in the world, food addiction is the worst because you need to eat to live. Junkfood may taste wonderful, but all things in moderation. The quality of life of a morbidly obese person is far diminished from that of a person leading a healthy, active lifestyle. The bottom line is that health is far more important than wealth if you want to live a successful and happy life. No one can force you the eat healthier, that decision rest sole with you. As always I wish you success and happiness!