Read the labels, check the facts, look for healthier alternatives

Food market in Assam 3
Image by Michael Foley Photography via Flickr

Have we become too dependent on mass-produced foods and the chemicals they contain? Our modern lifestyle seems to push us more into an unhealthy diet and very inactive if not stagnant daily routine. Our body requires activity of mind and body as well as a healthy and natural diet. Our body was not designed to consume artificial sweeteners, preservatives and chemicals. Anything our body sees as unnatural is classified as a type of toxin so it tries to filter it out via the liver which causes the liver to become overworked which eventually leads to many liver dysfunctions and health issues. Our digestive track becomes clogged with processed flour along with the toxins and other by products of the processed foods we consume.

The solution to the problem is to either grow our own food and or purchase organic foods along with becoming more active. Will eating healthier actually cure-all the ailments of the modern man? No. But it can sure make a big difference in the overall health of an individual. The idea of wholesome foods is not a new one,  Sylvester Graham the creator of Graham flour is one of the earlier reformers of the American diet.

Wikipedia Excerpt.

<Link to Wikipedia Page>

The Reverend Sylvester Graham (July 5, 1794 – September 11, 1851) was an American dietary reformer. He was born in Suffield, Connecticut as the 17th child of Reverend John Graham. Sylvester Graham was ordained in 1826 as a Presbyterian minister. He entered Amherst College in 1823 but did not graduate. He was an early advocate of dietary reform in the United States and was most notable for his emphasis on vegetarianism and the temperance movement, as well as dietary habits.

In 1829 he invented Graham bread, and the recipe first appeared in The New Hydropathic Cookbook (New York, 1855). It showed that Graham bread was made from un-sifted flour and free from chemical additives such as alum and chlorine. Graham argued that chemical additives in bread made it unwholesome. The use of additives by bakeries was a common practice during the Industrial Revolution to make breadwhiter in color, and more commercially appealing. Darker wheat bread was considered the fare of country rubes. Refined bread was a status symbol of the middle class because of its “purity and refinement” in its color and was purchased, rather than home-made. Graham believed that a firm bread made of coarsely ground whole-wheat flour was more nutritious and healthy.

Graham was also inspired by the temperance movement and preached that a vegetarian diet was a cure for alcoholism, and, more importantly, sexual urges. The main thrust of his teachings was to curb lust. While alcohol had useful medicinal qualities, it should never be abused by social drinking. For Graham, an unhealthy diet stimulated excessive sexual desire which irritated the body and caused disease. While Graham developed a significant following known as Grahamites, he was also ridiculed by the media and the public for his unwavering zealotry. According to newspaper records, many women fainted at his lectures when he aired opinions both on sexual relations and the wearing of corsets.

As you can see he was definitely a controversial character but he had the right idea on the wholesome food diet. Thanks to him we all had the opportunity to enjoy graham crackers.  I love my convenient foods as much as next person and see no harm in occasional consumption of junk food or fast food as long as it is in moderation. We do not have to totally give up the foods we enjoy, we just need to either use healthier ingredients and eat the less healthy foods in smaller quantities and less frequently. The major downside to going organic / healthy and self grown foods is it will affect the economy since we would be buying less of the mass grown / manufactured foods from the grocery stores which will affect the profit earnings of commercial farming and the grocery stores as well. Guess there is always a downside to every good idea. Though now days the majority of our so-called fish produce, fish and even some meat and poultry comes from other countries and that makes me ask the question how safe is the food we are consuming? What kind of regulations do these foreign countries have on their agriculture production?

I think the saddest part is most people do not even know what they are putting into their bodies when they eat or drink. Most people do not even know the country of origin of the food they eat. Read the labels, check the facts, look for healthier alternatives as well as local sources if not grow / raise your own. Choose wisely what you put into your body and the body will perform better and last longer.

Well enough of my ranting and raving for today.

Peace and Happiness be yours
Raymond Barbier

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