Junk Food (Fast Food)
Fast food can be defined as any food that
contributes little or no nutrient value to the
diet, but i...
Now look at the number of grams of fat. For every five grams of fat in a serving of a food, you are eating
the equivalent ...
be considered "junk food," as they mostly contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and white
flour or milled corn.

Junk foods typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins
or minerals. Foods co...
An emerging body of research suggests that sleep-related hunger and food cravings, which may
contribute to weight gain, ar...
The History of Fast Food
Restaurants have been around in some form for most of human civilization. But they usually
Health effects
A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute in 2008 suggested that
junk food c...
Consuming fish or fish oil supplements supports normal hormone release
after a junk food meal
In the largest study to date...
supplements to some of the prison inmates, and compared their behaviors and thinking patterns
potato chip commercials; "No one can eat just one." In many respects, that's what junk food
does: It is designed to create...
reported. "The CEOs explicitly decided to ignore the evidence and reject a plea for reform, Moss
reports. Instead, they fo...
the arteries. They also found that no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good
fats such as mono-an...
Then he quickly ran off and disappeared without demanding or taking money and merchandise.
There seems to be no trace of h...











To avoid flaccid gut tone one needs a d...
The fix
Restoration of digestive health is not an overnight fix. It is a lifestyle change and a commitment to your
body fo...
Healthy choices need to be made at home as well, but removing junk food from school lunches
and vending machines is a good...
Eating junk food during pregnancy raises newborn's risk of diabetes, obesity
Eating junk food during pregnancy may raise t...
But olive oil and healthier polyunsaturated fats appear to have the opposite effect, helping to
keep people cheerful.
The ...
6. Artificial sweeteners; Artificial sweeteners can cause serious health problems because they can
stimulate brain cells. ...
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by
raising blood cholesterol ...
to be herded into place. In one case, a man is seen punching, kicking and kneeing a pig, then
striking it with a steel stu...
radical changes over the past hundred years, especially in the industrialized West. People who
lived at the turn of the 20...
Throughout the 20th century, the food industry worked to provide not only convenience but also
ostensibly wholesome substi...
But for the majority, convenience remained the hallmark of modern food and nutrition.
Throughout the remainder of the 20th...
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Junk food (fast food)


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Junk food (fast food)

  1. 1. Junk Food (Fast Food) Fast food can be defined as any food that contributes little or no nutrient value to the diet, but instead provides excess calories and fat. Nowadays, there are millions of fast food restaurants in the world that offers their costumers plenty of different meals with a special price. Fast food can be a good way to save time ,but it is not the proper way for nutrition. Researchers found that eating fast food meals more than twice a week was associated with double the risk of abnormal glucose metabolism. Also, those products cause a great gain in weight and may cause many heart diseases. Burgers, French-fries, soft drinks are just a few examples of junk food. Fast food refer to any poor nutrition food that is easily prepared. Fast food may includes chips, hot pies ,pasties, sandwiches, burgers, croissants, kebabs, pizzas, chicken, soups, and salads. It also includes drinks, for instance, milkshakes, and soft drinks. Junk food is a slang word for foods with limited nutritional value. Every person has their own list of foods that they call junk foods. I would include foods that are high in salt, sugar, fat or calories and low nutrient content. Salted snack foods, candy, gum, most sweet desserts, fried fast food and carbonated beverages are some of the major junk foods. Generally, they offer little in terms of protein, vitamins or minerals and lots of calories from sugar or fat. The term "empty calories" reflects the lack of nutrients. Rather than taking a radical approach and banning all but the simplest foods, judge each food based on the list of ingredients and Nutrition Facts label found on packages. When reading the list of ingredients, look for sugar, fat or salt as one of the first three ingredients. If any of these are listed that high in the ingredients, you can probably consider that food to be too high in sugar, fat or salt. A look at the nutritional information on the label will list the number of calories per serving, grams of fat, sodium, cholesterol, fiber and sugar content. This nutritional information will make you more knowledgeable in selecting foods to reduce your nutritional health risk. Calorie content of 300 calories per serving or less is considered to be all right, except whole meals unless you are following a weight loss diet. Be cautious though as to how large a serving size is. If 4 ounces of yogurt is a serving size and you eat an eight-ounce container, you have doubled the calorie content. Sometimes, the package serving size is not how little you serve yourself! Page | 1
  2. 2. Now look at the number of grams of fat. For every five grams of fat in a serving of a food, you are eating the equivalent of one teaspoon of fat. So, if one serving of a food has 23 grams of fat in it, that serving has the equivalent of four and one-half teaspoons of fat. You should limit the fat content in foods you eat daily to 30% of your total calories. Don't try to lower your fat content to below 25%, since fat does play a vital role in carrying fat soluble vitamins and keeping you satisfied between meals. Sodium content per serving should be 2300 milligrams or less per day. Some foods, like ham and other cured meats do have very high sodium content per serving. Limit these foods rather than eliminate them. Cholesterol content should be 300 milligrams or less per day. It is easy to remember that 300 is the same as the number of calories per serving. Fiber content will be listed in grams of dietary fiber. This amount will vary from product to product, but don't necessarily shop for only the highest numbers you can find. Any amount of dietary fiber above two grams per serving is good. Foods with five grams of fiber or more are considered high fiber foods. Sugar content is usually listed on cold cereal packages. A rule of thumb to follow is four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon of sugar. Limit sugars amounts in cereals to four grams, but if the cereal has fruit in it, relax the sugar content to eight grams per serving. Fruits usually contain about 60% fructose and 40% sucrose. If you were to eliminate all sugar, you would be eliminating fruits, which are a valuable source of nutrients and soluble fiber. It's the 21st century and "junk food" has gone global. For better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world. We see it most everywhere we go -- in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television -- usually looking very appealing. But just what are the facts about junk food? "Junk food" generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories but little nutritional value. Of course, what's considered "junk food" depends on whom you ask. Some might say pizza is junk food, for example. But I personally don't think so, since it contributes real food with nutrients, like cheese and tomato sauce. Add whole-wheat or part whole-wheat crust, plus veggies as a topping, and I'd say pizza completely exits the junk food category. One problem with junk foods is that they're low in satiation value -- that is, people don't tend to feel as full when they eat them -- which can lead to overeating. Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods. When people drink lots of soda, for example, they are usually not getting plenty of low-fat dairy or other healthful beverages like green tea or orange juice. When they're snacking on chips and cookies, they're usually not loading up on fruits and vegetables. Most "junk food" falls into the categories of either "snack food" or "fast food." And then there are things like breakfast cereals. They seem innocent enough, but some of them could definitely Page | 2
  3. 3. be considered "junk food," as they mostly contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and white flour or milled corn. Calories From Snack Foods Popular snack foods are usually commercially prepared and packaged, like chips, cheese puffs, candy bars, snack cakes, and cookies. The contribution of snack food to the calories we eat should not be underestimated. Between 1977 and 1996, the contribution of snack calories to total calories for American children between 2 and 5 years old increased by 30%, according to an article published in the Chilean medical journal, Revista Medica de Chile. Fast Food and Overeating Of course, junk food is also readily available at restaurant chains across the country in the form of French fries, chicken nuggets, shakes, soda, etc. Not only are most fast foods not terribly healthy, one study indicates that there may be something about fast food that actually encourages gorging. In the study, from the Children's Hospital in Boston, teens age 13-17 were given three types of fast-food meals (all including chicken nuggets, French fries, and cola). In one meal, the teens were served a lot of food at once. In another, a lot of food was served at the same time, but in smaller portions. And in the third test meal, a lot of food was served, but in smaller portions over 15-minute intervals. The researchers found that it didn't seem to matter how much food was served -- the teens still took in about half of their daily calorie needs in that one meal. The researchers suggested that certain factors inherent to fast food might promote overeating:      It's low in fiber. It's high in palatability (that is, it tastes good). It offers a high number of calories in a small volume. It's high in fat. It's high in sugar in liquid form. Junk food is a derisive slang term for food that is of little nutritional value and often high in fat, sugar, salt, and calories.[1][2][3] It is widely believed that the term was coined by Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, in 1972.[4] Page | 3
  4. 4. Junk foods typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. Foods commonly considered junk foods include salted snack foods, gum, candy, sweet desserts, fried fast food, and sugary carbonated beverages. [5] Many foods such as hamburgers, pizza, and tacos can be considered either healthy or junk food depending on their ingredients and preparation methods.[citation needed] The more highly processed items usually falling under the junk food category. [6] What is and is not junk food can also depend on the person's class and social status, with wealthier people tending to have a broader definition while lowerincome consumers may see fewer foods as junk food, especially certain ethnic foods. Despite being labeled as "junk" consuming such foods usually does not pose any immediate health concerns and is generally safe when integrated into a well balanced diet. Fast Food Risks and complications Submitted by suburamanina on April 28th, 2013 – Flag this news as inappropriate Category: Food Eating a fast food may be so tempting and attractive to eat and there are so many complications while you eat junk food and i came to know that after eating it for long time,it causes more diabetics and gas trouble and also the body flow and blood control gets changed and also the regular metabolism is affected and also while going out for most of the parties ,eating it atleast once a week can affect your lungs a kidney.I came to realise that one of my friend who suffered a heart attack very recently had junk food for most part of the time ,and it was the sole cause for risk in health and body functionalities.Even a good youngster 22 year old,got kidney affected and also he got kidney transplanted at a early age.The pain which he went through was horrible and more over the lack of sleep factor so called insomnia ,and also the blood pressure shoots up.Even though it is so attractive,people fall for the smell,odour and also the flavors attached to it,like for example even the items like noodles has some salty substance which is quite bad and after eating it we face so many complications ,like affecting brain cells and glaucoma. These effects can only be realised in the long run,in the early age ,they are not well known and we tend to keep running for this kind of lifestyle,but fast food is a sillent killer and it can harm your body like anything and even junk food like pani poori, and other chat varieties in the roadside is super to eat but has so much of fatty substance to cause obese and i can see many youngsters unable to even stand up in a young age and the water used for its preparation is unhygienic and even the pollution factor is also quite bad to hear about.Considering all this ,i have decided to put an big end to eating junk food forever. Page | 4
  5. 5. An emerging body of research suggests that sleep-related hunger and food cravings, which may contribute to weight gain, are fueled in part by certain gut hormones involved in appetite. But our brain, and not just our belly, may play a role as well. According to two small studies presented today at a meeting of sleep researchers in Boston, sleep deprivation appears to increase activity in areas of the brain that seek out pleasure—including that provided by junk food. To make matters worse, sleepiness also may dampen activity in other brain regions that usually serve as a brake on this type of craving. In one of the studies, researchers at Columbia University used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which tracks blood flow in the brain, to compare brain activity in 25 volunteers following a normal night’s sleep (about eight hours) and a night in which they were limited to just four hours. In each case, the researchers performed the scans while showing the volunteers images of unhealthy foods interspersed with healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal. Brain networks associated with craving and reward were more active when the participants were sleepdeprived than when they were well-rested—especially when the participants viewed the images of unhealthy foods. ―The pleasure-seeking parts of the brain were stimulated after an individual was sleep-deprived,‖ says lead researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., a research associate at the university’s New York Obesity Research Center. ―People went for foods like pepperoni pizza, cheeseburgers, and cake.‖ St-Onge and other researchers working in this field suspect that tired people gravitate to highcalorie foods because their bodies and brains are seeking an extra energy boost to help them get through the day. ―We hypothesize that the restricted-sleep brain reacts to food stimuli as though it [were] food deprived,‖ St-Onge says. Previous studies have established a link between sleep deprivation and obesity, although it remains unclear how sleep might affect weight gain (or vice versa). In an effort to unravel the relationship, researchers have begun exploring how insufficient sleep influences hormones and appetite. Several recent studies—including one led by St-Onge—have found that people who are sleep deprived tend to snack more and consume more calories. Hunger and cravings may not be the only factors, however. A second study presented today suggests that so-called higher-order brain functions—those that help up us weigh pros and cons and make complex choices, including about what we eat—may be compromised by a lack of sleep. Page | 5
  6. 6. The History of Fast Food Restaurants have been around in some form for most of human civilization. But they usually catered to travelers. As far back as ancient Greece and Rome, inns and taverns generally served food to people who had a reason to be away from home. This trend continued until relatively recently. Although taverns and coffee houses were popular places to gather and share beverages in the 17th century, the idea of eating out for fun didn't take off in Western society until the late 18th century. Although McDonald's was the first restaurant to use the assembly-line system, some people think of White Castle as the first fast-food chain. White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. At the time, most people considered the burgers sold at fairs, circuses, lunch counters and carts to be low-quality. Many people thought hamburger came from slaughterhouse scraps and spoiled meat. White Castle's founders decided to change the public's perception of hamburgers. They built their restaurants so that customers could see the food being prepared. They painted the buildings white and even chose a name that suggested cleanliness. White Castle was most popular in the American East and Midwest, but its success helped give hamburger meat a better reputation nationwide. So, like cars, White Castle played an important part in the development of fast food. The McDonald brothers opened their redesigned restaurant in 1948, and several fast-food chains that exist today opened soon after. Burger King and Taco Bell got their start in the 1950s, and Wendy's opened in 1969. Some chains, like Carl's Jr., KFC and Jack in the Box, existed before the Speedee Service System, but modified their cooking techniques after its debut. McDonald's, which started it all, is now the world's largest fast-food chain. According to the National Restaurant Association, American sales of fast food totaled $163.5 billion in 2005 [ref]. The industry is growing globally as well. Total sales for McDonald's grew 5.6 percent in 2005, and the company now has 30,000 franchised stores in more than 120 countries [ref and ref]. However, McDonald's - and fast food in general - does not always get a welcoming reception around the world. McDonald's restaurants have been attacked in several countries, including the United States, China, Belgium, Holland, India, Russia, Sweden and the U.K. Protestors have accused McDonald's and other chains of selling unhealthy food, marketing aggressively to children and undermining local values and culture. Page | 6
  7. 7. Health effects A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute in 2008 suggested that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin.[9] After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure. After the junk food was taken away and replaced with a healthy diet, the rats starved for two weeks instead of eating nutritious fare.[10] A 2007 British Journal of Nutrition study found that female rats who eat junk food during pregnancy increased the likelihood of unhealthy eating habits in their offspring.[11] A report published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology suggests that babies of mothers with a high-sugar and high-fat diet while pregnant are more prone to junk food themselves. The study was conducted on rats and suggests that pups "whose mothers eat excessive amounts of high-fat, high-sugar junk foods when pregnant or breastfeeding are likely to have a greater preference for these foods later in life Fish oil fats protect brain against damage caused by a junk food diet (NaturalNews) Medical nutrition scientists have written volumes that show how the nutrients from the foods we eat daily alter our genetic structure as well as the metabolism of every one of the trillions of cells in our body. Neurons in the brain are particularly susceptible to an accurately-delivered array of nutrients and critical omega-3 fats to help maintain memory, spatial learning and cognitive function. A number of past studies clearly demonstrate that eating one high-fat junk food meal from the typical fast food restaurant measurably changes the expression of genes that help control the development and spread of cancer, and the retention of critical short term memories as well. In fact, the excessive sugar content and hydrogenated fats from junk foods are known to disrupt insulin levels in the brain and displace essential omega-3 fats needed to construct and maintain cell structure and assist electrical and chemical messaging. A research team from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease has published the result of a study in the British Journal of Nutrition that shows how fish oils could minimize the effects that junk food have on the brain. Over the past decade, researchers have demonstrated that high-fat and high-sugar diets could disrupt neurogenesis, a process that generates new nerve cells. Diets rich in omega3 fats help prevent these negative effects by stimulating an area of the brain that controls feeding, learning and memory. Page | 7
  8. 8. Consuming fish or fish oil supplements supports normal hormone release after a junk food meal In the largest study to date, scientists accumulated data from 185 studies showing that omega-3 fats from the diet play a significant role in stalling refined sugars and saturated fats' ability to inhibit the brain's control on the body's intake of food. The lead study author, Dr. Lucy Pickavance commented "Body weight is influenced by many factors, and some of the most important of these are the nutrients we consume. Excessive intake of certain macronutrients, the refined sugars and saturated fats found in junk food, can lead to weight gain, disrupt metabolism and even affect mental processing." Researchers were able to determine that excess fats and sugars alter the secretion of critical hormones after eating that normally protect neurons and stimulate their growth. These hormones are prevented from passing into the brain by increased circulation of inflammatory molecules and a type of fat called triglycerides. The team found that omega-3 fats restore normal function by interfering with the production of these inflammatory molecules, suppressing triglycerides, and returning nerve growth factors to normal. Dr. Pickavance concluded that fish oils "take the brakes off the detrimental effects of some of the processes triggered in the brain by high-fat diets. They seem to mimic the effects of calorie restrictive diets and including more oily fish or fish oil supplements in our diets could certainly be a positive step forward for those wanting to improve their general health." Eating fish several times per week or daily supplementation (1,200 to 2,400 mg) with a quality fish oil product will help neutralize the damaging effects of over consuming sugar and fat laden foods to preserve brain health. People who eat processed junk food are angry, irritable, say scientists The things you eat have a direct effect on your state of mind, and even have the power to drastically alter your behavioral patterns. These are the findings of a new study out of Oxford University in the U.K., which revealed that processed junk food consumption can lead to aggression, irritability, and even violent tendencies. According to Dr. Drew Ramsey, who led the study, nutrient deficiency is a major cause of behavioral abnormalities. Without the proper nutrients, he says, the body cannot produce the appropriate chemicals and hormones required for clear thinking and healthy mood, which in turn can lead to irrational and even dangerous behaviors. To back up these claims, Dr. Ramsey decided to study how diet affects mood and behavior in a group of prison inmates. According to CBS Boston, Dr. Ramsey gave certain vitamin Page | 8
  9. 9. supplements to some of the prison inmates, and compared their behaviors and thinking patterns to those of prison inmates eating typical junk foods. Upon analysis, it was determined that those inmates who took the vitamin supplements were far less aggressive and angry than those eating primarily processed junk food. According to Dr. Ramsey, the findings indicate that nutrient deficiency, which is becoming increasingly common in the modern world, is directly correlated with erratic and violent behavior. "Deficiencies in nutrients, magnesium or manganese, vitamin C, or some B vitamins may make a person hyperactive towards a stressor, a short fuse so to speak," says Nicolette Pace, a nutritionist, concerning excess consumption of empty carbohydrate junk food. "[Carbohydrates] don't give your body what you need to cope with day-to-day stresses." Several locals interviewed as part of a CBS Boston report on the study agree, having told the news station that specific foods identifiably alter their moods and thoughts. One woman explained that her diet noticeably affects her moods, with junk foods bringing out the worst in her thoughts and perceptions of the world around her. A similar study recently put out by researchers at Penn State came to similar conclusions, having found that individuals already prone to moodiness are even more likely to be in a bad state of mind if they eat junk food. According to that study, negative moods are amplified considerably following junk food consumption. "Cutting back on high-sugar foods such as chocolate, sweets and sugary drinks can help prevent the mood swings," says Amanda Ursell, a nutritionist, as quoted by The Sun back in 2009. "Replace them with foods that have a low glycemic index (GI). These foods are digested slowly, preventing big changes in blood sugar levels that accompany high-sugar food." Junk food is engineered to addict you to chemical ingredients Regular readers of Natural News, as well as scores of others in the U.S. and around the world, have long since known of the health dangers of junk food - foods that can most generally be described as those which contain empty calories and excessive amounts of substances known to cause harm to the body. But why does junk food remain so popular? What makes tens of millions of people consume it daily, even if they are well aware of its health and dietary pitfalls? Well, part of the reason is by design - that is, the way such foods were designed to appeal to our senses. Think of the old Lay's Page | 9
  10. 10. potato chip commercials; "No one can eat just one." In many respects, that's what junk food does: It is designed to create a sort of can't resist mindset, which is a) why junk food makers have thrived, even in a culture of health; and b) why so many Americans (and increasingly, citizens of other countries) are seeing epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other medical conditions. Digest that for a moment and consider the following examples, as laid out by Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us: Ever wonder why so many people can't put down a bag of Cheetos? The answer to that is simple - Cheetos were designed to be consumed by the bag/pound, not eaten slowly, over days, a few at a time. In fact, some food scientists believe the Cheeto is a modern miracle, of sorts, in terms of pure junk food. Writes Moss: "This," Witherly [a food scientist] said, "is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure." He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff's uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. "It's called vanishing caloric density," Witherly said. "If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there's no calories in it...you can just keep eating it forever." The "cheese that goes crunch" now comes in no fewer than 17 flavors. Junk food makers have perfected a process known as subverting "sensory-specific satiety." According to the author, this is a key food industry concept that can create a "tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm the brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more." He writes that the key to avoid that natural tendency is to create junk food recipes that circumvent it: Sensory-specific satiety also became a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits - be they Coca-Cola or Doritos - owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don't have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating. The junk food industry, by the way, knows its products are harming our society. Sadly, but not so surprisingly, the junk food industry has known (at least since 1999, says Moss) that it is contributing to the declining health of society. "Moss' piece opens with a secret meeting that year of the industry's top executives wherein evidence of severe harm from the industry's aggressive marketing of junk food - and a comparison to the tobacco industry - was laid out by concerned mid-level execs," Mother Jones Page | 10
  11. 11. reported. "The CEOs explicitly decided to ignore the evidence and reject a plea for reform, Moss reports. Instead, they focused their companies on more of the same." Like other industries, junk food makers have become good at pitching questionable "solutions" to self-created problems. Consider this example. The industry fills most all of its products with salt, but one of the industry's chief demographics, baby boomers, are aged now and trying to cut back on excessive salt. Is that a problem? No - an opportunity. Rather than genuinely lower salt content, per se, junk food makers are seeking to develop a "designer sodium" which they hope will reduce salt in their products by as much as 40 percent. If that occurs, baby boomers will reason that, hey, salt content is much lower so we can eat more junk food and feel better about it. Other deceptive concepts include: -- Finding a product that sells, then finding the cheapest ingredients you can to make it profitable (think Lunchables, which were developed in the 1980s and initially lost money until Philip Morris, which invented them, began filling them mainly with iterations of corn and soy). -- Your brain, surprisingly, reacts to sugar and cocaine in much the same way, so when you say things like, "This [fill in chocolate bar name here] is like my candy crack!" that is closer to truth than most people realize. -- The breakfast drink Tang was not developed for the U.S. space program but was used by NASA nonetheless because it was the perfect low-fiber drink (General Foods developers only perfected the taste of Tang after removing all the vitamins and minerals normally found in real orange juice). A single junk food meal damages arteries leading to increased risk for heart disease The knowledge that junk foods such as bacon cheeseburgers, fries, shakes, donuts and chips are detrimental to your health is no new revelation. These foods are packed with hydrogenated trans-fats, refined carbohydrates and sugars that boost blood pressure, increase blood glucose and flood cells with dysfunctional advanced glycation end products (AGE's) that lead to suboptimal cellular function, genetic mutations and metabolic havoc. Many people may be surprised to find out just how detrimental eating highly processed foods developed in a factory are to overall health, even when consumed infrequently. A research team from the University of Montreal in Canada has published the result of a study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology that shows how eating a single junk food meal composed mainly of saturated fat is detrimental to the health of Page | 11
  12. 12. the arteries. They also found that no damage occurs after consuming a Mediterranean meal rich in good fats such as mono-and polyunsaturated fatty acids. One junk food meal decreases vessel elasticity by nearly one-quarter to increase heart attack risk Medical researchers have been studying the effects of different foods on the endothelium, the critical inner lining of the arteries that regulates the elasticity of vessels and rushes oxygenated blood to the cardiac muscle. Elevated, oxidized LDL cholesterol and triglycerides from a junk food diet causes the endothelium to become unstable, and elevated blood pressure results in micro cracks that can accumulate foamy plaque that burst leading to a heart attack. Researchers developed a cohort of 28 healthy, non-smoking men who initially ate a Mediterranean-type meal and were then fed a junk food-type meal one week later. At the outset of the study, each participant underwent an ultrasound to determine endothelial function. The men first ate healthy foods including salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil. They were then subjected to a junk food meal including a sandwich made of a sausage, an egg, and a slice of cheese, and three hash browns. Each had an ultrasound at two and four hour intervals after eating to determine endothelial function. The study team found that after eating the junk food meal, the arteries of the study participants dilated 24 percent less than they did when in the fasting state. In contrast, the arteries were found to dilate normally and maintain good blood flow after the Mediterranean-type meal. Study leader, Dr. Anil Nigam concluded "These results will positively alter how we eat on a daily basis. Poor endothelial function is one of the most significant precursors of atherosclerosis. It is now something to think about at every meal." This study represents just one of many research bodies demonstrating that even small dietary indiscretions have potentially lethal consequences and can dramatically increase heart disease risk. Mystery man attacks junk food with machete, then flees Now that government agencies are branding animal rights and ecological activists as "ecoterrorists," what should anyone who attacks junk food with a machete be called - a foodie terrorist? The Yuma Sun of Yuma, AZ recently reported an episode of an unidentified man barging into a gas station with a convenience store wielding a machete. He was wearing dark clothing and had a dark bandana wrapped around his face to conceal his identity. But he was described as somewhat short with a dark complexion and weighing around 160 pounds. His demeanor was menacing, but he attacked no one. Instead he started yelling "your momma" (or yo' momma) and began slashing open junk food items on display. Page | 12
  13. 13. Then he quickly ran off and disappeared without demanding or taking money and merchandise. There seems to be no trace of him or anyone that could be him. There aren't even any suspects. The article in the Yuma Sun newspaper's online edition attracted mostly light-hearted comments, such as: "He may have taken Michelle Obama's campaign against junk food too seriously," or "He was obviously upset that Natures Express closed..." Indeed, a decent low priced natural fast food restaurant had closed just prior to the incident. Nature's Express was founded by practicing oncologist Dr. Carl Meyers in 2008. The Berkley, CA Nature's Express still thrives with the expectation of a new menu. There should be more of the same throughout the country. Yuma is located in the extreme Southwest corner of Arizona, bordering Baja, Mexico, and California. Maybe the mysterious junk food machete attacker was not a foodie terrorist, but merely a Mexican drug cartel wannabe. Or maybe he was a loony vandalizing illegal immigrant. Many border residents aren't buying the Federal government press releases that claim there shouldn't be any concern of violence from the flood of illegal immigrants or Mexican drug cartels. There have been current episodes of unusual theft and vandalism not attributable to locals in Southern Arizona ranches, and local law enforcement officials have been threatened by Mexican drug cartels. But illegal aliens and Mexican drug cartel violence can't be blamed for Yuma's inability to support their only healthy fast food restaurant. Even with a population of around 95,000 and double that number county wide plus winter resident and tourist population spikes, it appears that Yuma is no country for healthy fast food restaurants. Attacking junk food won't change that. Junk food junkies: dying for a fix unk food is over-processed and too easy to digest. Junk food requires very little processing by the body because it is mostly sugar, over-processed grains and empty fillers like hydrolyzed starches, cellulose and maltodextrin. The digestive system is like any other system in the body, if you don't use it, you lose it. Your gut becomes lazy. The more junk food a junky eats, the more flaccid the digestive system becomes. The intestines are a long tube of muscles that contract in a rhythm that pushes food from beginning to end. On a junk food diet there is no significant fiber to exercise the intestines to keep them toned up and they become weak and distended. Digestion slows down, constipation happens and parasites flourish. Pouches of diverticula push Page | 13
  14. 14. through the wall of the weakened intestines causing pain and infection. To avoid flaccid gut tone one needs a decent amount of unprocessed fiber in the diet. Plenty of raw veggies usually do the trick and help with gut tone maintenance. To restore the gut tone it takes extra exercise in the form of supplemental fiber like psyllium husk or flax seed. The bowels push against the bulk which scrubs the intestinal walls and strengthens the peristaltic movement of the muscles. Abdominal crunches, like sit-ups can also help prolapsed and sagging organs to return to better function and positions. Complex digestive juices When a junk food junkie lives off of devitalized and nutrient deficient foods, the digestive tract doesn't require complex enzymes to process the empty nutrition so it eventually quits making them. The body doesn't forget how to make them, it just makes less and less of them. When the repentant junkie changes the diet, the body can't make the required amounts of enzymes to glean the nutrients good food provides. Even on a new pristine diet, the junkie is effectively starving for nutrients. Never satisfied, the junkie turns back to the comfort of the easy food. It can take years to destroy a digestive system and it takes many months of faithful diet and supplementing to restore it. To recover a junk food gut takes time and intervention. Critical digestive enzymes are needed to extract vital nutrients and supplemental enzymes are necessary until the system can make it on its own again. Metal amalgam teeth fillings exude mercury vapor which suppresses our immune systems and destroys our digestive enzymes by upstaging the normal micronutrients that make enzymes work. Amalgams also suppress the thyroid, which further slows down gut function. Heavy metals from our everyday cookware destroy food nutrients and leach into our digestive system to further complicate our digestion (Teflon is the worst and titanium cookware is the best). Complex junk food chemicals Lots of chemicals are required to make unhealthy and devitalized food tasty. As the junk food junkie devours processed foods and their digestive tract becomes lazy, the detoxifying processes in the liver and kidney become overburdened with the plethora of indigestible chemicals being thrown at it. The overburdened liver has to store the excess toxins in fat to keep up with the toxic burden. This is especially true with high fructose corn syrup that is processed 100 percent by the liver. Fat cells contain up to 200 times the toxins than reside in the blood. A conundrum arises when the dedicated junkie changes their ways. The liver is now free to tackle the stored toxins and the reformed junkie feels worse than ever, especially as the fat begins to dissolve and releases all the stored toxins at once. You can eat right, lose weight and feel worse than ever, but this lasts a short while. Activated charcoal can help ease the toxic burden on the digestive tract during acute weight loss but should only be taken short-term. Page | 14
  15. 15. The fix Restoration of digestive health is not an overnight fix. It is a lifestyle change and a commitment to your body for life. It's not easy, but it's easier than a slow death by junk food and disease! Reduce childhood obesity by replacing junk food with organic alternatives According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. Junk food is one of the culprits for the obesity epidemic. Kids are exposed to junk food in many ways, from unhealthy parental role models to marketing geared towards kids and teens that encourages them to make unhealthy food choices. Kids are also offered poor food choices at school. A clean environment is the first step in helping kids make healthier choices. School lunches and vending machines are loaded with extra fat and calories. Replacing these junk foods with organic alternatives gives kids better options. The problem with fast food items and junk food is they lack nutritional value, while also delivering a high dose of fat, calories, sugar, salt and carbs. These foods are robbing kids of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating excessive amounts of these foods leads to obesity and malnutrition. Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 that lets the government set new guidelines for nutrition standards in schools. This bill involves totally revamping the current school lunch program. Healthy organic alternatives are to replace french fries, pizza, fried chicken, nachos and corndogs. School cafeterias are only part of the problem though. 74% of middle schools and 98% of high schools have vending machines and snack bars that offer endless choices of junk food. Its important to give kids healthy options. Some healthy alternatives to junk food include: organic yogurt, gluten-free snacks, nuts, whole grain crackers and whole fruits. Junk food and processed foods are cheap and easy to serve. That has made them easy choices for school lunches until now. Cost has always been a factor in providing a healthier school lunch. The higher cost of school lunches will be offset by an increase in government funding provided by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Federal funds are to increase 6 cents per school lunch thanks to this bill. It is expected to cover the higher cost of whole foods and may include the use of healthy vending machines. Replacing junk food with organic alternatives will ensure that kids get at least one nutritious meal per day. Trimming calories and fat from school lunches alone won't cure childhood obesity. Page | 15
  16. 16. Healthy choices need to be made at home as well, but removing junk food from school lunches and vending machines is a good start. Junk food as addictive as street drugs Scientists are increasingly becoming convinced that junk food can be just as physically addictive as street drugs like heroin. Researchers at Rockefeller University have found that foods high in fat and sugar cause the brain to release many of the same pleasure chemicals that produce drug addiction, including cortisol, dopamine, galanin and serotonin. Over time, regular consumption of junk food can create imbalances in these chemicals, leading us to eat more and more in order to restore normal levels. "They cause us to have more cravings," said Rosa Lopez, of the New York Department of Health. "There are physiological changes." A recent study by researchers from the Scripps Research Institute confirmed this long-term effect by feeding rats either a healthy diet, a healthy diet plus limited amounts of junk food, or a healthy diet plus unlimited amounts of junk food. While rats in the first two groups remained healthy, rats in the third group binged on junk food and quickly became obese. "You lose control. It's the hallmark of addiction," researcher Paul Kenny said. When researchers then directly stimulated the pleasure centers in the rats' brains, they found that the obese rats needed more stimulation than the other rats to achieve the same effect. This suggests that their junk food diet had actually dulled their brain's pleasure centers, creating dependency. "This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neuro-biological foundations," researcher Paul Johnson said. Because ending a junk food addiction may be as difficult as quitting smoking, Lopez recommends tackling just one bad habit at first. Cutting out soda can be a good place to start. "In some ways, you may have to view junk foods the way alcoholics anonymous views alcohol: one bite is too many, and a thousand is not enough," writes Jack Challem in his book The FoodMood Solution. Page | 16
  17. 17. Eating junk food during pregnancy raises newborn's risk of diabetes, obesity Eating junk food during pregnancy may raise the chance of having obese children who are more susceptible to diabetes, according to a Royal Veterinary College, London study. Researchers at RVC fed female rats doughnuts, muffins, chocolate, potato chips, cheese, cookies and candy during pregnancy, and noted that the offspring of these rats were fatter, had more muscle waste, and showed signs of insulin resistance -- a precursor to type 2 diabetes -- when compared to control groups. "In Western society, the proportion of obese children is increasing," said researcher professor Neil Stickland. "Childhood obesity is associated with a range of disorders, including heart disease, arthritis and the increasingly earlier onset of type 2 diabetes, which have important consequences on an individual's quality of life." Stickland added that, while efforts to improve food in schools are positive steps, it is also important to educate mothers on the consequences of indulging in sugary and fatty foods during pregnancy. "Eating large quantities of junk food when pregnant and breastfeeding could be causing irreversible damage to their unborn children and could send their offspring on the road to obesity and early onset of diabetes," he said. The study was published in The Journal of Physiology, and now Stickland and colleague Dr. Stephanie Bayol are studying the long-term effects of poor diet during pregnancy on offspring, as well as the possible effects on promoting hyperactive behavior. "Eating junk food during pregnancy is extremely harmful to a developing fetus," said Mike Adams, author of "Grocery Warning" and proponent of prenatal nutrition. "To optimize the health of the child, all food adulterations and additives must be avoided, including hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, chemical sweeteners and preservatives. Failure to avoid these ingredients will greatly increase the child's future risk of diabetes, heart disease, learning disabilities, cancer and even schizophrenia." Junk food makes you unhappy Eating poor food can put you in a low mood, new research has suggested. Scientists have found a link between consuming harmful trans-fats and an increased risk of depression. Page | 17
  18. 18. But olive oil and healthier polyunsaturated fats appear to have the opposite effect, helping to keep people cheerful. The research may provide a clue to why southern Europeans tend to be less depressed than northerners, say the researchers. Mediterranean diets are rich in healthy ingredients such as fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as olive oil. People in the UK and other northern European countries, on the other hand, are more likely to consume foods laden with saturated and trans-fats. Trans-fats are modified vegetable fats used to improve shelf-life and often found in fast foods, pastries, cakes and biscuits. They are strongly linked to raised levels of "bad" cholesterol and heart disease. The new research was carried out by Spanish scientists who studied more than 12,000 university graduate volunteers over six years, recording details of their diets, lifestyles and illnesses. The effects of junk food to health 1. Dishes were contaminated; Although the use of raw materials of vegetables, eat fast food tend to use vegetables contaminated with pesticides. Most dishes are also fried in oil. Of course fried foods reduces mineral and vitamin content. So think twice before eating a dish of fried foods from the store or restaurant. Fried foods will only attack your body’s ability to fight disease, thus weakening immune to the disease in the long run. So, if you are health conscious then fried food is not good for consumption. 2. High sugar content; Refined sugar widely used fast food restaurants as a spice flavor. Sugar, bad for health. Certain nutrients that are important for our bodies get absorbed and reduced with refined sugar. Refined sugar lowers your immune system and make us susceptible to disease. 3. Contains hydrogenated fats; The restaurant usually using hydrogenated fats for frying food. Hydrogenated fats are commonly used for frying food because it is cheap. When the fat is heated to a high temperature for some time, he had a conversion chemical and a carcinogenic. This means that you are actually eating unhealthy and carcinogenic when eating food fried. 4. Rich in saturated fat; Junk food a lot of fried and high in saturated fat. Eating fried food is bound to increase the risk of heart disease and can lead to stroke. You can also suffer from obesity. 5. Extra calories; Most fast food is high in calories. Usually treated with additional chemicals. To increase the shelf life of food, fast food often injected with chemical additives that can lower nutritional quality. Page | 18
  19. 19. 6. Artificial sweeteners; Artificial sweeteners can cause serious health problems because they can stimulate brain cells. As such, they are classified as a neurotoxin by the researchers. Avoid adding artificial sweetener in your coffee, or even in cooking. Junk food more tempting for anyone, including children. Savory flavor and aroma that invites more interesting than the healthy foods that tend to no aroma and taste more bland. Most fast food is high in calories. Usually treated with additional chemicals. To increase the shelf life of food, fast food seringpula injected with chemical additives that can lower nutritional quality. Fast food nutrition should make up a minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are the facts about how excessive junk food consumption affects your body. Junk Food Affects Your Energy Levels Junk food doesn't contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels. Because fast food and junk food don't contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar. Junk Food Contributes to Poor Performance and Obesity Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you'll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you'll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack. The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease. In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen. Junk Food Can Damage Your Liver and Your Heart Page | 19
  20. 20. The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque build up. The high levels of trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease. Junk Food Can Lead to Diabetes Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels. Because junk food doesn't contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You'll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food. Over time, this stress damages your body's ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancrease. A healthy diet can help maintain your body's insulin sensitivity. Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories. Everyone should think twice before deciding to eat fast food. There are many health risks when it comes to eating food that’s made within a matter of seconds. The food is not properly taken care of, which leads all the way back to where the food is originally produced. Even if it is easy to buy and cheap, the health risks outweigh the five minutes of satisfaction that fast food brings. One should carefully think before they eat fast food. The health risks that come from eating so much fast food are life-threatening. Obesity can come from eating fast food that’s bought often. Fast food is made from a lot of high saturated fats and calories if it isn’t work off, then you can grow to become obese. ―Even a small quantity of fast food contains high calories. People are fooled by the quantity and they tend to eat more. Thus, without knowing, they consume a lot of calories‖ (How). This is a prime example on how people can consume so many calories, and without even knowing. Obesity isn’t the only risk, because heart disease is also a prime factor. ―What you eat can affect your heart’s health and your chances of developing life-threatening heart disease‖ (Robin). When you eat all of the fats, sugars, and salts, your heart can grow weak and it will endanger you. There is no safe risk for your body when it comes to eating fast food. Food-borne illnesses can come from out fast food. What most people don’t know is the conditions the animals are living in before they’re killed. Cows are being hung upside, pigs and chickens are cramped in enclosed spaces. ―Inside the facility, the animals are beaten once more Page | 20
  21. 21. to be herded into place. In one case, a man is seen punching, kicking and kneeing a pig, then striking it with a steel stunning tong at least 20 times, as the animal screams‖ (Gutierrez). What can come from those living conditions? Different bacteria that enters our food. ―A recent study has revealed that a full 48% of soda fountains at fast food restaurants contain coliform bacteria – which grows in feces. 11% containted E. Coli, too‖ (Merchant). It’s extremely sickening to see that even our soft drinks are now infected by food-borne illnesses that usually derive from meat. However, fast food is one of the easiest and cheapest ways of eating. It saves a lot of time and money, especially for people who are coming home from work. ―As illustrated by the success of fast food, being more convenient than the alternative will almost always give you a significant advantage in the marketplace‖ (Myers). It’s obvious that there is no quicker or better way to satisfy your rumbling stomach. But then again, what exactly is the price to pay once you’ve had your fill, and now you have new illnesses from eating at fast food restaurants? ―In the United States, food-borne diseases have been estimated to cause 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year‖ (Mead). Anyone one of these numbers can be from someone’s family. Most of this bacteria is found in the food you eat from your local fast food joint. Eating at one of these places can cost thousands of dollars in hospital bills, all because of a diseased burger. Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Foods Currently most of the people prefer fast foods and foods cooked in microwave oven instead of preparing and cooking homemade foods that takes longer. The trend of having food quickly has advantages and disadvantages either. In my opinion, the only benefit of eating fast foods and foods cooked in microwave oven is to provide to save time. There are many people who live in rush and have loads to do. In this case, it’s hard to find time to cook a meal. Therefore fast foods and foods cooked in microwave oven emerge as a solution for those people. But there are many drawbacks of fast foods that outweigh this advantage. Since fast food restaurants became widespread, people do not eat balanced and nutritious. That causes serious health problems later. Especially for children, to eat balanced, healthy and nutritious is essential for proper growth. To eat so much fast food in childhood might cause permanent growth disorders that might affect on children’s psychology as well. Rates of obesity increases inevitably just as proliferation of eating fast foods. Obesity is not just to be overweight. It results significant health problems. In some countries, obesity rates are so high that the governments of those countries must take measures instantly to prevent this increase. Also the belief that microwave ovens trigger cancer is a noteworthy one, and one that i believe in. There is the same thought about fast foods too. HISTORY Food and nutrition. In concept it seems straightforward enough. Food is what we eat to obtain the nourishment and thus the energy to keep us going from day to day. Yet food has undergone Page | 21
  22. 22. radical changes over the past hundred years, especially in the industrialized West. People who lived at the turn of the 20th century wouldn’t recognize today’s grocery stores, and they certainly wouldn’t recognize much of what fills grocery store shelves as nourishment. It all began with a push toward greater convenience in an increasingly mechanized world. Electricity and then electronics brought with them an endless stream of new gadgets for the home, each promising to make life easier in some way. Many of these time- and labor-saving devices were destined for the kitchen. Factories, too, were retooled to streamline the manufacture of everything, including food. But a growing segment of today’s population is concerned about healthy eating and about the place of heavily processed foods in their diet. Should convenience be the ruler by which we measure food and nutrition?Some convenience foods actually predate the 20th century, among them canned soups, fruits and vegetables; gelatin dessert mixes; ketchup and other prepared condiments; pancake mixes; ready-to-eat breakfast cereals; sweetened condensed milk. After the First World War, these and more found their way into the kitchens of eager young housewives, with manufacturers often promoting their innovative products via free recipe books. There’s no denying that flavor, texture and nutrients suffered, but people began to rely on these conveniences, and their tastes simply changed to accommodate. It was, after all, an era of scientific progress. By 1937, as another world war threatened, the timing was perfect for the arrival of a processed, canned meat product called Spam. Currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, Spam was all but guaranteed to make a name for itself when the U.S. government included it in war rations to be shipped overseas to Allied troops. It was economical, had a long shelf life, needed no refrigeration, and was ready to eat straight from the can. The processed meat product won a place in pantries back home as well, and for all the same reasons. During wartime, women joined the workforce in unprecedented numbers to fill in for all the men-turned-soldiers. This left less time to cook, and many of the newly employed were ready for quick, cheap, modern and convenient time-savers at the end of the day. After the war, women (whether or not they were still employed outside the home) were encouraged to embrace the frozen, dehydrated, canned and boxed foods that promised to save time in the progressive modern era and allow more time for new leisure options—for example, watching television. Of course, food manufacturers capitalized on the new medium, contracting with celebrities such as George Burns and Gracie Allen to promote an ever-growing number of new products on live television shows as well as on radio and in popular magazines; if Gracie liked Spam or evaporated milk, it had to be good!Inevitably people began combining various convenience foods: a package of noodles, a can or two each of condensed mushroom soup, tuna and peas, some crumbled potato chips on top, and voilà—the tuna casserole was born. And for the ultimate side dish, a baked mixture of canned green beans, condensed mushroom soup and dehydrated fried onions. What could be simpler? Page | 22
  23. 23. Throughout the 20th century, the food industry worked to provide not only convenience but also ostensibly wholesome substitutes for natural foods, including butter. In fact, margarine has been around since the late 19th century, but for many years it was white by law. Eventually, however, it came with added artificial flavor and a capsule of yellow artificial food coloring (to be kneaded in after purchase) so it would taste and look more like the real thing. At first countries including Canada, Australia and France, as well as some American states—notably Wisconsin, the Dairy State—outlawed colored margarine to protect their butter trade. As unappealing as hydrogenated oil with a side of chemical yellow color sounds today, ―modern‖ housewives trekked across state lines to procure the factory-made substitute and bring it back to their kitchens. Eventually ―millions of American palates adjusted to artificial flavors and then welcomed them; and consumers started to let the food industry make a great many decisions on matters of taste that people in the past had always made for themselves,‖ writes Laura Shapiro in Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America.Advertising companies and the growing convenience-food industry made sure that eating the modern way became the fashionable way. Real, fresh food in its natural form no longer seemed desirable. With the advent of frozen products in addition to canned, foods were widely and consistently available year-round. There was no need to rely on seasonal or regional crops, and prices remained fairly stable from winter through autumn. In keeping with this revolutionary new approach, a fish dinner— which might once have consisted of fresh, delicate lake perch with a butter sauce and inseason vegetables—now meant reheated frozen fish sticks with instant mashed potatoes, canned peas and Jell-O salad. With the modernization of food came the modernization of agriculture to keep up with the demand. Organic, mixed-crop family farms slowly gave ground to large commercial monoculture operations that depended on chemical fertilizers and pesticides—operations that science and academia dubbed ―agribusiness‖ and promoted as the future of food. Commercial food manufacturers helped ensure the success of the new paradigm through the education system, providing instructional material for home economics teachers to pass on to students. In Something From the Oven, Shapiro cites a 1955 article that sang the praises of convenience foods in the classroom. ―These mixes eliminate much of the tedious, uninteresting part of the work for the students,‖ she quotes; ―mixes are in keeping with our speed era.‖ By the 1960s, cooking with food in its raw, natural state was little more than a quaint novelty and was in fact becoming a lost art. But then Julia Child learned how to cook and went on to help many American women rediscover the joys of cooking. The writings of Adelle Davis and others began to infiltrate the consciousness of a new generation, and ―health food‖ became the latest buzzword. Healthy eating gained more traction after Rachel Carson sounded the alarm about what pesticides were doing to our environment and to us (see ―Rachel Carson: A Voice That Broke the Silence‖). Page | 23
  24. 24. But for the majority, convenience remained the hallmark of modern food and nutrition. Throughout the remainder of the 20th century, convenience foods continued to gain in popularity, and ―fast food‖—the ultimate convenience food— joined the revolution. Fast-food chains reached from coast to coast and then around the world, from Boston to Bahrain. The mass of consumers had by now largely lost the connection between food and nutrition, and few thought much about ingesting foods to keep themselves healthy. After several generations of variations on this theme, however, we are seeing the effects of eating foods that are so far removed from their original state. Not only are many diseases linked to poor diet—from certain cancers to diabetes to heart disease—but obesity affects an unprecedented segment of the Western population. The ideas planted by Childs, Davis, Carson and others are finally taking root and spreading. Although grocery-store shelves attest to the ongoing public demand for the quick and easy, Slow Food and related movements are growing, along with an awareness of the deliciousness and healthfulness of seasonal, local, sustainable fresh food (see ―Time to Eat‖). With the help of time and information, tastes are changing worldwide once again as consumers little by little rediscover the flavors, textures and nutrition of real food and healthy meals. We’ve seen many culinary changes since early-20th-century cookbook author Fannie Farmer declared with infectious optimism, ―I certainly feel that the time is not far distant when a knowledge of the principles of diet will be an essential part of one’s education. Then mankind will eat to live, will be able to do better mental and physical work, and disease will be less frequent.‖ Perhaps the takeaway lesson in all of this is that we shouldn’t rely on agribusiness or the food industry to lead us to better health. Understanding the connections between food and nutrition— the complex relationship between how we produce what we eat and its effect on our personal and environmental health—is an individual responsibility. In the long run, a return to more natural foods can’t help but have a positive effect on health and productivity. Page | 24