#3: The Rise of Industrialized Foods

In this episode, Three ways Big Food is destroying the health of our nation!

In this training I’m going to talk about the Rise of Industrialization and the impact it had on our food. I’m going to explain three things that changed food and why it’s not smart to let food experts tell us how to eat.

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I discuss:

  • The root cause of Western Diseases is Industrialization
  • Three things that changed food: Vegetable/Seed oils, Factory Farmed animals, Refined Sugar/Flour (The Great White Shark)
  • Five additional things: Whole food to Refined food, Complexity to Simplicity Soil Microbiome, quality versus quantity, from leaves to seeds, shifted from a food culture to a food science
  • Why food science has taken over the show, arrogance of formula versus breast milk

I am really excited to start you on this journey and I hope to add a lot of value to your life as a whole.

Show Transcript:

INDUSTRIAL FACTORY FOODS
Dynamic people understand that eating fewer processed foods means eating fewer industrial foods. Industrial foods are made using industrial methods, in laboratories with laced chemical ingredients. Factory farms provide a perfect example of such a method; in contrast, foods from the Agricultural Age are grown on a farm or herded on a ranch- just like when our ancestors hunted and gathered in the wild. We have used fire to cook for millions of years, and pounded our meat to tenderize the product; that is all well and good. In truth, industrial food (Twinkies and Wonder Bread) is the real problem, which no nutritionist denies.

Dynamic people view foods that do not rot as a poison to avoid. These include preservatives that are added to the food. These types of chemicals are added to the food product to kill off bacteria or fungus that would shorten the life of the product. The food industry calls them preservatives, but they are really antibiotics. Other chemicals used to enhance texture, color, odor, and flavor also make it difficult for good bacteria to thrive. If the food is at an American gas station, it is highly processed; stay away from it. Simply put, the longer the shelf life of what you are eating, the shorter yours will be.

Dr. David Perlmutter often gives lectures about nutrition to members of the medical community.  He shows the four most common Western staple foods:

1.    Slice of whole wheat bread
2.    Snickers Bar
3.    Tablespoons of white sugar
4.    A banana

He then asks the medical doctors in the audience about what they think which food holds the greatest surge in blood sugar or which has the highest glycemic index. Nine out of ten, the medical doctors pick the wrong food. The slice of whole wheat bread has the highest glycemic index, followed by the table sugar, the Snickers bar, and the banana, respectively. Alarmingly, we have known for more than 30 years that a slice of whole wheat bread increases blood sugar more than table sugar, but we still somehow think that it is impossible.

Therefore, the availability of sugar must diminish. There are remarkable case studies in the literature, involving people transforming their lives and promoting health through the total elimination of gluten from their diets, along with a new appreciation for good fats instead of carbohydrates. They involve people recovering from depression, chronic fatigue, type-II diabetes, obsessive compulsive behavior, brain fog and bipolar disorder.

The question remains for the human genome, and not the rat genome, as to whether or not carbohydrates are a dietary requirement for humans. Surprisingly, we can survive on a minimal amount of carbohydrates; virtually zero, in fact.  Our liver can furnish it as needed, but we cannot go long without fat. Our culture believes that if you eat fat, you will be fat. It has been the prevailing belief system for the last 50 years, and it is wrong. In fact, obesity has nothing to do with dietary fat consumption. The metabolic consequences of obesity have everything to do with our addiction to carbohydrates. In fact, that addiction may very well cause a stress response as you read these words, due to pop culture, rat science, and misconception the past 50 or so years.

Not only is this true for fat, but it is also true for cholesterol.  I won’t get too deep into the myth of cholesterol. For now, just know that eating high cholesterol has no impact on our actual cholesterol levels. In fact, Dr. Mark Hyman, one of the world’s leading functional medicine doctors, and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books would tell you that the alleged correlation between high cholesterol and higher cardiac risk is an absolute fallacy.

The advice you may be receiving from your doctor may very well be putting you at an increasing cardiac risk.
Of all the lessons from this book, I hope you understand that there is a difference between species; the blueprint written on the genome of a species is unique for that species. Extrapolating data from one species to another may work in a lab, but not in reality.

Respect the human genome.  Respect your genome. Fat- not carbohydrates- is the preferred fuel for human metabolism, and has been for all of the human evolution. What a lab rat scientist may attempt to extrapolate for humanity matters not.

Regarding health-promotion, we have consumed a high-fat diet for the past two million years, and it is only since the advent of agriculture roughly ten millennia ago that carbohydrates have become abundant in our food supply.  We still have a hunter-gatherer genome. Our current science and methodology are stuck in 17th-century rat science, even though we have discovered the genome, proving that each species have differing genetic requirements.

Each protein which makes up the building blocks at a molecular level of each species differs remarkably. It is a mistake to focus our attention on the minuscule percentage of biomolecular pathways that seem to be similar between differing genomes- just as it was a mistake to label everything with the cliché that something is genetic. In fact, most everything we are talking about has environmental or epigenetic switches, which you and I get to control with our conscious choices about how well we use our Five Pillars of a Dynamic Health.
Therefore, it is not a golden standard to determine human nutrition from rats or any other animal. I propose and highly recommend that we as a human civilization shift our thinking into human health promotion, based on how our human genome has evolved and adapted for millions of years (despite what someone thinks they have proven on a rat).  At this point, it is the only viable and evidence-based solution. The big idea of this book sets out to prove that statement.

RISE OF INDUSTRIALIZED FOODS
The rise of Industrialization leads to our second facet of the Eat driver. The Western diet is generally the cause of chronic disease. The root cause of the problem is industrialization when you step back and look at everything really going on here. You can debate vegan, or paleo, or what we ate one hundred thousand years ago; rather, what we think we ate one hundred thousand years ago. We can question what happened ten thousand years ago when we introduced agriculture and grains. Those are interesting and (I think) important things to discuss, but what is most powerful is the fact that our diet has changed more in the last one hundred years than it had in the prior hundred thousand years. Why? Industrialization.

We take it for granted. We walk into the store, and we have immediate access to sugar, flour, and all these other ultra-processed foods. But, those things didn’t exist one hundred years ago.  If all we did were rewind to what our great-great-great grandmothers ate, we would be doing really well. Can we rewind to that inner Aborigine without having to leave civilization, though? Dynamic people understand that we do not need to go back to the outback and hunt and gather food.  We want to live in the modern world and do so with a body that resembles an ancient.

THREE THINGS THAT CHANGED FOOD
Three things changed in the industrialization of our food in the last one hundred years.

1.    Vegetable oils and seed oils did not exist.
2.    Factory farmed animals.
3.    We introduced sugar ‘The Great White Shark’: white flour and other refined carbohydrates.

Vegetable oils and seed oils did not exist. Truth be told, we have had olive oil for centuries, but we did not know how to get oil out of soybeans until the Industrial Revolution had the power to do so; we thought that was a good idea. It turns out it proved otherwise. In current American society, the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy reports that we eat 20% of our calories from soybean oil alone, a substance that did not exist 100 years ago.

Factory farmed animals did not exist. Factory farmed animals are horrific for many reasons. There are the ethical and the environmental concerns, but for now, we are going to focus on the nutritional concerns. When you bring an animal into a factory farm environment, you introduce three things that are not healthful:

When we put all this together, we can compare a factory animal with an industrialized human (you and me).   Do you see the correlation?

It seems relatively easy- stop living like a factory animal and live like a wild animal!

When you put all that together, you have a nutritional nightmare. We have our ‘Great White Shark,’ the refined sugar and flour. We have our vegetable and seed oils, and we have our factory farmed animals. The whole discussion around animals is a longer, more sensitive discussion; however, there is no debate about the fact that factory-farmed animal products and grain-fed meat are not a smart thing for us to consume.

These three things changed with industrialization, and they are not debatable. It does not matter what science camp you come from; those are significant variables that have changed in the human diet. Again our diet has changed more in the last hundred years than it has over the prior hundred thousand years.

There are five additional things that Michael Pollan tells us we need to think about, regarding the industrialization of our food.

1.    Whole food to refined food.  We went from a whole food to refined food. We went from complexity to simplicity. Pollan tells us to look at our soil, once rich and complex. Now, we have learned how to engineer soil scientifically. Making it easier is not a good thing; it impacts the soil microbiome, the ecosystem microbiome and our gut microbiome in a very negative sick way.

2.    A complex array of food to simpler.  We have also gone from a super complex array of foods to only a few selections. Thomas Jefferson had hundreds of different types of vegetables and hundreds of the various types of fruit trees on his estate at Monticello. Now, 66% of our calories come from only four seeds: rice, corn, soy, and wheat. We went from complexity to simplicity, and it is making us chronically sicker.

3.    The food quality to food quantity. When you introduce industrialization, it concerns more volume; you stop thinking about quality.  In Europe, where the same level of issues that we have currently is not present, they spend 20% of their total take-home income on their food!  Here in the States, we pay 10%; it is wise to focus on quality more than the quantity.

4.    From leaves to seeds. We used to eat a ton of leaves.  Today, we eat almost exclusively seeds and no leaves- not a smart transition. If you can recall, earlier in the section of the Eat driver, I already mentioned that we did not eat seeds until very recently. Again, you can define recently, as 100 years ago, or ten thousand years, if you look at the big picture.

5.    Shifted from a food culture perspective to a food science perspective. We used to trust our food culture; Michael Pollan often jokes saying, “Mom used to know what was good for us eat.” Now we ask our food scientists who have a deep financial interest in what is good for us. That is a significant shift you might take it for granted, but 100 years ago, no one was asking anybody else what we should eat.

We had a culture that knew what was best for us and we had evolved on that over a long period. Now we look at science and say, “Hey what’s good for us?” Weird things can happen when you have food scientists taking over the show.  One example of this is breast milk; scientists actually thought they were going to make an artificial breast milk, formula, healthier than natural breast milk. That is the height of food science hubris to think that one can take the most natural, vital source of nutrition that nature has ever created- breastmilk- and you are going to make it better!

Well, that was the story food scientists shared- absolutely insane. Science is unequivocally clear: breast milk will never be recreated in a bottle. Again, the subject breeds a whole different conversation, but we want to realize how often we look at food scientists when we need to learn to trust ourselves more. That leads us to our third facet of the Eat driver:  you have to be willing to experiment.

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