Friday, November 1, 2013
The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth - The REAL Story And History Behind The Whole Food Craze
Well to put it simply - whole foods are just that - no - I don't mean you get a "whole" cheeseburger instead of sharing it with your friend, Nope - I also don't mean that all of the food you eat will be made primarily with whole grains. You are not even warm. Let me enlighten you. Whole foods means - the whole enchilada - or more appropriately the whole potato, the whole apple the whole peach the whole (well almost) orange. You see, the reason why the Whole Food craze seems "new" to us is because it is been so long since we had a real potato - or a real orange. When was the last time you even SAW the white membrane of an orange? Or when was the last time you took a bite into the skin of a potato? We have just become too accustomed to eating our food, skinned, peeled, pasteurized, homogenized, boiled, freeze dried, mashed, or whatever other way we can think to alter the natural state of our food. Of course, this article does not address meats of any kind. We know that the only people who ate meat in their "whole food" state probably didn't live very long. We are talking about fruits, grains and vegetables. Now, lets talk about how we go so far away from eating food in its natural state, and why it seems like whole foods is a new craze.A History Lesson:We have forgotten how to eat whole foods, or should I just say it like it is - REAL food - so that is part of the reason why bookstores - online or down the street - advertise like crazy the benefits of eating whole foods, like it was a new thing. Well of course it isn't! Think back to the first siblings - Cain and Abel - Abel was by all accounts the first recorded whole food producer (human that is) that ever lived. He of course even garnered the favor of Our Creator due to the high standards he must have held to. But since that time, whole foods, have been slipping in the ratings. Well, what is the best way to eat the food that comes from the ground, just like we do? It makes perfect sense that we should eat our fruits and veggies as close to their natural state as possible - they grow from the same soil we are made of - yes! that is right. Our bodies are made of the same components that the soil in your back yard is made of - amazing right? But true. So by filling our tummies with more natural forms of food, means that our bodies will tolerate it better, will digest it better, and will use it as fuel in a more efficient way - in other words - we will be healthier beings.Whole food eating really took a decline during the 50's - now here goes the history lesson:1950s: Remember, Leave it to Beaver? And how envious we all were when "The Beav's" mom would call them in to a succulent dinner? Well don't be so envious. Because that meal probably tasted great - but it was by no means "real" food - or even close to whole foods - no way! In the 50's food on the shelf was a great thing. The more canned food that was purchased, the longer shelf life and the more efficiently all of the at home mothers could run their domain - the kitchen.One little problem with canned food though - Canned fruits and vegetables come with high levels of sugars and calories - watered down, and loses a lot of its nutritional value. You know that other buzz word - antioxidants? Well your canned foods don't have nearly what you need and you need to take supplements along with those canned veggies to stay on top of your health. However, in its natural state, or "whole" state, vegetables and fruits provide you with what is called Phytonutrients . These are nutrients found in the skins of several fruits and vegetables, which give the food color as well as flavor and scent. Phytonutrients are simply put the best types of antioxidant foods that you can find anywhere. The other thing about canned foods is that with the skins cut off, and the high heat that is needed to process the food before canning, quite a bit of the fiber and bulk of the vegetable is lost, thus you feel that you need to eat more to get full. That is another great thing about whole foods - you get more per serving, which means you can eat less - and stay healthy and trim. With foods that are nutrient and fiber deficient, you have to eat more to get full and you don't even get nearly as much nutritional value.1960's and 70's: The 1960's brought in the first "wave" of technology to the kitchen. The microwave oven. Now you will have those who state that the ease and speed of cooking outweighs any nutritional value lost. I beg to differ. Studies have shown that due to the way microwave ovens heat food, this causes the creation of molecular friction, This molecular friction destroys molecules of vitamins and phytonutrients that are naturally found in whole foods. One study showed the loss of vital nutrients to be up to 97% of the nutritional content that prevents disease, including cancer, and that boosts our immune system and keeps us healthy. Heart disease, cancer and other diseases have been linked to the use of microwave ovens. Another link is to obesity, which is a vicious cycle. Microwaves are convenient mostly to cook items that are pre-packaged and made to be cooked in the microwave. Those packaged foods have high concentrations of sugar, salt and are by far over processed and usually also have a high fat, low nutritional value content. So someone eating a lot of microwaved food, would not get that full feeling that he or she would receive from eating whole foods with high fiber and nutrient content. And even if that person decided that they wanted to eat healthier, and bought whole foods but still cooked them in the microwave, the microwave kills a lot of the nutrients in the food, and thus, the vicious cycle starts all over again.80's and 90's: were the years of "you can never be too rich or too thin" - again - I beg to differ. Many people, really were more interested in fitting into their size 2 Calvin Kleins than they were about the nutritional value of what they ate. They would primarily eat to not feel light headed and pass out, but a lot of thought was not put into what foods people were eating. Though those were the "Me" years, a lot of people were not really thinking of themselves in the right way - in other words they were not thinking of how they should best take care of their bodies - they were more interested in how the outer shell looked to the opposite sex than what was going on inside where no one could see.And so we arrive in the 21st century - with new "waves" in technology - called microwave and convection cooking, fast food establishments popping up on every corner, during the first part of this century at least, we really didn't start to "get it" . But between the pesticides, the reoccurring epidemics, bird flu, mad cow disease and heaven knows what else - someone finally said "lets stop the madness" - let's start eating the way our bodies were designed. We are basically like furnaces, right? our bodies work best with a certain type of "fuel" that doesn't gunk up the works - whole food eating is the way to keep our furnace running at optimum efficiency and assures that we will add years to the warranty.Well years of bouncing in and out of good health, I am convinced. I have converted. I of all people never thought I would. The reason? Not because I was really against it - but I have four junk food loving kids and a meat and potatoes loving husband- need I say more? But alas! They surprised me - well at first it was a major conspiracy rivaling watergate - when they heard strange noises coming from the kitchen (my new VitaMix!) and saw me putting into it strange combinations of things - like grapes and wheatgrass and carrots and strawberries - has Mom lost it? So for a while, each time they heard the whirring sound of the new mechanical addition to the family (seriously, I am drawing up adoption papers for VitaMix Daniels) they would sneak into the kitchen to see exactly what concoction I was brewing for them. But after a week or so - I heard words from one of my son's mouths that I never thought I would hear - other than in a drug induced dream - he said unto me - "Mom, I think the smoothie needs more carrots" - Yes, you ask - I am willing to take the oath and swear with my right hand on the Bible, he said it, and eagerly watched me as I added more - dare I say it - carrots!Needless to say - after that spine tingling moment - my motivation to succeed in the Whole Food world became almost superhuman - I was Whole Food Woman hear me roar (or turn on my VitaMix). But I couldn't stop at smoothies - I made soups with whole vegetables - and ice cream with whole fruits and no sugar - and when I made my first loaf of whole grain bread after grinding my own wheat berries - it was like giving birth without the stretch marks - well not quite - but darn close! Yes, I am a little "zealous" should I say about the whole thing - you may say I am a little over the edge when I search the trash bags for potato peels and other food skins and as I wave the brown peels in the air like a flag and repeat the mantra - "no peels go uneaten in this house" - but I can't help it - it is like a drug without the side effects and corny commercials - I have arrived into the whole food world! Come and join us - we are a growing group - a little "nutty" but we mean well, and we sleep much better too! By the way - speaking of nutty - I am running out of peanut butter - VitaMix here I come! click, click - Whirr Whirr! - Ahhhh!!!