Food is more than just fuel. Food is big money.
As the world’s population is growing consistently, so is the need to supply the planet with enough food. In all fairness, we all know that the quest for equal accessibility to nutrients of all kinds remains a challenge beyond anyone’s imagination.
With more people occupying just below 30% of the Earth’s surface (71% is taken up by water), finding space becomes a challenge on its own. Cities turn into metropolises. Towns are absorbed by cities. New towns are built to cope with the need to give everyone a roof above their head.
Fertile land is sacrificed for commercial gain. Large forest regions are dwindling to overseeable patches of green where natural resources are getting less and less, and the pressure to produce more on less agricultural lands rises.
It makes sense to see that as we grow in numbers, so does our need to get fed. Matching all these facts and figures together, the amount of land available to grow crops is under pressure. And the food industry has moved into a model where it must fabricate food to keep the supermarkets stocked.
And as we all know, it hasn’t been put in quite a positive light.
More than 70% of what we eat and drink is made in factories. In some western countries, this has increased to over 80%. While we lived comfortably from the planet’s produce some 60-70 years ago, much has changed in the last decades. Food conglomerates almost start to dominate completely what you get served when you walk through your grocery store. Marketing their products is one thing, but knowing how your brain and body work has become their forte in subconsciously eating and drinking more of their products.
Food has become an immense source of commercial fuel. And some governments love it, too. More tax money in their pockets and more investments in the economy means more employment. This is largely warmly welcomed.
But one element in this does not reap the benefits from all these developments.
Although the regulations on what you eat are tightening up through proper warnings and labels, we still tend to ignore the true meaning of these prints. Cartons with chemically instilled names and tins with indecipherable definitions all fall under the food industry’s responsibility. But 99% of us do not really pay attention to what we take in.
However, we still buy it, eat it and absorb it.
The same goes for when you scroll down the new terms and conditions of whatever service provider you work together with; we click “I agree” and move on.
The worries are rising when we need to invest in a new wardrobe. Our new collection from last year is ripe for donation as we no longer can see our navel. That favourite dress is now mothball material; closing the zipper is a workout on its own.
New health insurance premiums are going up. So do the thresholds of our own risk on these premiums, when we are in need of medication or being admitted to the hospital. Coincidence? If you put the graph of the rise of the processed food industry against the % increases in the cost of health insurance, you will see the correlation.
Technology is making us more sedentary than ever before. Food ordering is the new normal because time is money. And it is so convenient. Perhaps the word ‘comfort food’ may ring a bell? 50 years ago, nobody had even heard about this!
Food labelling is a fine line between not telling the truth and twisting the words to make you believe you have made a healthy choice. This is not only connected to food but also to the beverage industry.
“No sugar added” is one of these terms we consistently fall for, as we ignore the fact that the ingredients themselves may be loaded with natural sugars.
And I am not even talking about the snacking culture, the sports drink industry, and that your favourite chocolate cereal may contain less than 10% cacao. While it is marketed as chocolate.
Not convinced? Check the brand Milo, as one example, and be amazed.
We fall for the pitfalls thrown in front of us because we love convenience and comfort. We eat and drink whatever we feel is right for the time of the day yet lack all aspects of what real food looks and tastes like.
The expansion drift of our body feels at first under control while we hold in our stomach and tell ourselves, “I’ll work on this tomorrow. It does not look that bad once I pull my navel in.”
And four months, two diets, and one pair of running shoes later, catching dust in our shoe rack, the kilos remain attached to us like a leech to our skin.
That lethargic feeling emerges from the depths. Mentally, we lose some clarity and focus because what we haul with us 24 / 7 is deep down not what we want. Like a ball and chain, we not only carry with us excess weight but also a sense of shame and resentment when the summer season arrives. Your swimming trunks are not as good-looking as they were one summer ago.
But in the end, who cares? Half of the population looks like me so I perfectly blend in with the crowd.
The food industry has achieved what it had planned. You are consuming more with results that do not favour you as a person.
Diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, various forms of cancer, irregular bowel syndrome, and more aren’t called “modern-day diseases” for nothing. Because the linkage between how and what we nowadays eat and drink has a direct correlation with all the above.
Health coaches know what’s going on in the market. They are well aware of how to read labels, and how our intestinal paths work and play when food is passed through the GI tract. And how the industry is playing tricks with you to make you consume more.
And not always make the right choices.
As a former victim myself, sharing the knowledge and wisdom of why health is wealth is what I gladly want to pass on. Sustainably and without flushing money down the toilet through diet plans and hunger strategies.
Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments | Bethenny Frankel