Are We Making Food A “Four-Letter Word”?

By K.P. Sander

Eastvale – They say, ‘You Are What You Eat’, but what if I don’t want to be Potassium Bromate? What if Butylated Hydroxyanisol gives me the creeps (after all, “butylated” sounds like “mutilated”)? In today’s world of high technology and instant gratification, have we microwaved ourselves into a toxic nightmare of diseases, obesity and unhappiness? These are questions I’m willing to find the answers to.

The artificial sweeteners, preservatives, dyes and flavor enhancers that have been added to our foods for decades have fattened not only corporate pocket books through prolonged shelf lives and disguising cheaper, sub-standard products, but they have fattened us up as well. They have created maladies in our bodies including Alzheimer’s, cancers, diabetes and heart disease, and have contributed to emotional disorders in our children – even health concerns for our pets. A hundred years ago, when you grew your own food and fast food was a chicken on the run from the chopping block, these diseases were rare, and even non-existent. But with the initiation of processed foods in the second half of the 20th Century, the health of people everywhere has taken a turn for the worse.

And, are the poisons ingested in our bodies the only cause for concern? Is there more social anxiety prevalent because of social media? By involving more people into our lives via technology, are we becoming more anti-social by hiding behind it? Look around you. The majority of people walking around (and yes, even driving around) aren’t paying attention to where they are going because they are completely focused on their phones: texting, Facebooking, Instagramming.

I’m guilty of all of it, but I can’t remember the last time I truly felt full of health and vitality and just plain old GOOD. I wake up to caffeine, drive-thru when I’m rushed, crack open a can of high-fructose corn syrup for energy, and text instead of call. But I, for one, don’t want to find myself looking a heart attack (or worse) right smack in the face, knowing I contributed directly to it. I’m going to educate myself, read more labels, and avoid ingredients I can’t pronounce or know to be toxic. I’m going to buy more organic foods and less processed foods. I’m going to consider an apple and a handful of almonds as “fast food”. And I’m going to contribute to my general well-being by participating in some actual face time with those I love. I’m guessing my fitness routines will be enhanced, my body and mind will feel better, and my relationships will benefit.

I don’t want “food” to become a four-letter word to me, like “sodium nitrite”. I want it to be a source of joy and nourishment. I want to associate food in the ilk of other four-letter words that I used to describe things that contribute to my well being. Words like good, glad, hale, well, wise…and love.