After reading, “Why ‘Everything in Moderation’ Doesn’t Work”, it wasn’t very surprising to me the way people perceive eating in moderation actually isn’t good for them. I’m pretty guilty that I used to think like this, I made myself think that eating a bowl of fruit or salad could “cancel” out the gummy worms I ate that day. But I recently changed that mindset after realizing it was not helping with my weight and I was still consuming the sugar, fats, and calories that junk food has. Something else I learned was that even if you eat healthy, having a treat regularly creates an imbalance. I admit that I do at times eat what feels like “moderation,” but I am trying to work on that by cancelling out sugary, fatty, high-caloric foods. Since I am trying to be more physically active by doing weight training and cardio more often, I noticed that what I eat can impact my energy level while working out that day. Eating unhealthy foods made me tired more easily than when I ate something nutritious before working out. I appreciated that the article brought up, “We need to stop self-judging our morals based on our food choices…If you eat a healthful food, you are getting more healthful – you are neither a good nor bad person.” I believe the whole point of this article is to teach people that eating in moderation isn’t what they think it is. That by having some ice cream every day after eating healthy foods can affect you, and people need to start understanding that. However, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we have a treat once in a while.
While writing a report on organic farming, I ran into a big issue, organic was typically defined by what it was not, rather than what it was. When something is defined almost exclusively by what it is not, the term loses sight of its true nature. We see organic as a product or label, but it originally emerged from a multi-disciplinary perspective on our food system, including philosophers, ecologists, consumer groups, and agriculturalists. Organic, at its core, is a food system philosophy which emphasizes human health and clean environmental practices.
The main form of food production today is conventional farming or industrial agriculture. Where organic farming is concerned with stability, the safety of the environment and human health. Conventional farming is about producing things faster and cheaper, without paying attention to negative consequences. Conventional farming utilizes large amounts of chemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and intensive agriculture practices, all of which have been shown to harm human and/or environmental health.
Pesticides are a key aspect of conventional farming, they kill bugs and other vermin that would otherwise harm the crops. In 2007, the EPA found that the US generated 1 billion tons of pesticides, 80% of this was from conventional farming. Pesticides are incredibly harmful to both human and environmental health. Pesticides have been linked with the declining bee population, without bee’s many crops humans rely on for survival will die out. Some countries are making great strides in saving the bees, today the UK announced that it is banning all insect harming pesticides.
Organic Farming: A substance practice focused on stability, enhancement of biodiversity, soil fertility, environmental conservation and improving human health. It does not allow the use of pesticides, synthetic chemicals, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or growth hormones.
Conventical Farming: A substance strangury that uses pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified organicism’s, monocropping, antibiotics, growth hormones, heavy irrigation and heavy tillage as a means of food production.
Pesticide: A chemical designed to kill or control plant and animal life. These include herbicides (to kill plants), insecticides (to kill insects), fungicides (prevent mold/mildew) and disinfectants (control bacteria).
Sugar is incredibly addictive, in fact, it has been found to be more addictive than cocaine. A study using 43 cocaine-addicted rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar-laced water over a 15-day period, by the end 40 of the 43 rats chose the sugar water over the cocaine. Not only is sugar addictive, it is harmful to our health. Sugar is a leading cause of obesity and shown to contribute largely to chronic metabolic diseases such as diseases, cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides and hypertension (Goldman, Carlson, Bailin, Fong & Phartiyal, 2014). Yet somehow, added sugar is in 74% of packaged foods (University of California San Fransico [UCSF], n.d.) Not only is it hard to avoid, it is hard to tell what has added sugar in the first place, as there are 61 different names added sugars can be listed under (UCSF, n.d.)
Children are at particularly high risk of developing obesity. Since 1970 childhood obesity has increased from 7-18% in 6-11-year-olds and 5%-21% in ages 12-19 (Centers for Disease Control, 2015.) One long-term study looking at the soda consumption in 11-12-year-olds found that with each additional serving of soda there was a 60% increase in the odds of becoming overweight.
With childhood obesity on the rise, the Obama administration tried to improve the nutritional standards of school lunches. Due to large pushback from large food companies like Swan, Congress introduced a bill that let the tomato paste found on pizza to be counted as a vegetable. We saw from our reading that as a country, we tend to undermine vegetables by serving them with or in unhealthy foods. I don’t think that things like pizza toppings, tomato paste, fires or potato chips count as a vegetable serving. We need better guidelines and policies on what truly constitutes meeting the nutritional standards.
I think people would be surprised and disgusted by some of this information. It makes me angry how dishonest our food industry. We have so little regulation in place to protect consumers and there are many products sold in the US which are banned in other countries due to health concerns. The consumer needs to push for more better more guidelines, transparent labeling and harsher regulations on the food industry in order to protect our nation from health risks.
Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html
Goldman, G., Carlson, C., Bailin, D., Fong, L., Phartiyal, P. (2014). Added Sugar, Subtracted Science: How Industry Obscures Science and Undermines Public Health Policy on Sugar. Retrieved from https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/added-sugar-subtracted-sciencecsducsreport.pdf
University of California San Fransico. (n.d.) Hidden in Plain Sight. Retrieved from http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WP_-HI5Jmjh