With only my grandparents and I home and our fridge stocked with perishable fresh vegetables, I need to somehow cook everything before they spoil. Our family generally only buys real food, not edible food, but real food. What is the difference between real food and edible food you ask? Real food is food that should spoil after a week or two of sitting in your fridge. Real food is living, and so it dies. They get exposed to light, oxygen, and microorganisms that are interested in devouring them. Real foods do not usually have a 3 or 4 year lifespan as processed foods (edible food) often do.
Most of the times processed foods have high levels of sodium, sugars, food coloring, and other additives to give them longer shelf life, make them taste more appealing to the average consumer, and even be more addicting. These packaged processed foods that line the shelves of every grocery store and convenience store in our nation are also heavily ladened with chemicals and preservatives to inhibit microorganisms from breaking them down for food. Does that sound like something we should be putting into our bodies on a daily basis?
These edible processed foods are even packaged to seem healthier than they really are. Take a look at that Clif bar pictured above. The top five ingredients in that bar are soya protein isolate, concentrated red beet juice (sugar), brown rice syrup (sugar), evaporated sugar cane juice (sugar), and palm kernel oil. As I’m sure there are worst processed foods for you, this one isn’t necessarily as healthy as it is made out to seem. With so many artificial flavoring and sweeteners, it’s not ideal for your body and it doesn’t actually come naturally with vitamins.
When food is being processed, nutrients are actually stripped from them, and then food companies add the nutrients back in so that they can label that their food contains vitamins and other nutrients. So when you see a cereal box that has “Good Source of Calcium” or “Organic” etched across the front, understand that that does not automatically make it healthy for you or your children. That cereal still contains chemicals and an obscene amount of sugar that most likely exceeds a person’s daily recommended intake. In a way, food companies are bamboozling consumers into believing that their food is healthier than they truly are.
Processed foods often come with labels; however, the best foods for you are the ones that don’t come in packaging. Real foods such as fruits and vegetables don’t need nutritional labels because we know that they provide our bodies with many health benefits and aren’t loaded with artificial ‘junk’. Pick up an apple instead of a cookie (unless it’s homemade or a black bean chocolate chip cookie of course). If the food was grown, picked, and will only last a few days to a few weeks, they’ll be much better for your bodies than anything that has gone through an extensive amount of processing.
So, processed foods or real food, what should you eat? What do you think?