We are what we eat, what are you eating?

Ok, so all of us have heard it, used it, scoffed at it.  But how much truth is there in the phrase, “You are what you eat?”  How much thought do we even give the food that we take in?  This is about as involved as my thought process went for most of my life:

“Does it taste good?”

“Will I die if I eat it?”

If the answer combination there was “Yes, No” then I ate it.  Little did I know what I was putting in my body.  Have you ever sat down and looked at what your food intake consists of?  Have you ever looked into how nutritious your food is?  Have you ever looked the farmer in the eye that grew your food earlier that week or even that day?

This is a topic that I have been unable to get off of for the past year or so.  Mainly because when I read an article or watch a documentary that illuminates some otherwise unknown factoid about my food, it’s production, it’s source, it’s contents, I get worked up over what I’m learning.  I don’t mean like, “Oh man, that kinda sucks.”  I mean like, “Dude, that’s messed up!  I’ve been putting that garbage in my body for years!”

In this post I want to share some of the things that I have been learning that I think people should know.

First of all, we eat WAY TOO MUCH MEAT!  Did you know that health professionals including raw food experts, superfood nuts, nutritionists and MD’s alike have determined that more than 50% of our diet should be raw, unprocessed foods including vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.  This does not include MEAT.  Not only do we eat way too much meat,  but the meat that you eat from any fast food place, casual restaurant, the grocery store, and even many upper tier, sit-down restaurants is all meat that comes from cows raised in confinement feedlot operations.  This means that the cows are kept in confinement, not allowed to move much, at all.  These cows are raised on a diet that consists of a vast majority CORN!  Corn meal is the main ingredient in most of the feed in these types of feedlot operations.  Cows are herbivores and, granted, corn is a plant, their stomachs are not designed to sustain on corn.  Corn is made up of complex starches that the cows are not designed to digest properly.  Cows are supposed to eat grass.  Hence the term “grazers”.  They are supposed to graze on grass.  Grasses have all of the fiber that help cows digest and pass everything.  Also, grass is way lower in caloric count.  As grazers, cows naturally move around all day eating because all they eat is low-calorie, high-fiber grass.  They HAVE to eat all day to provide their bodies with ample sustenance.  Take that grass out of the equation and substitute corn, and take the moving around all day and keep the cows in one spot, the result is severely obese cows that literally are so fat they cannot even walk onto the truck to be taken to the slaughterhouse on their own power, they have to be fork-lifted into the truck.  Now that we have severely obese cows, lets put them in close quarters confinement, let them crap all over themselves and each other, and make them live in this toxic sludge of their own feces and excrement.  This is what you eat when you eat a fast-food burger.  Oh, and to paint an even more beautiful picture, cows that die because of disease from their atrocious living conditions are often ground up and thrown into their corn feed to increase caloric intake; this gets them to market weight faster allowing the rancher to decrease turn-around time and increase profits.  YUMMY!

Now, let’s talk about that corn.  Did you know that 90% of the corn on the market today is grown by an increasingly tiny fraction of our population?  That’s because the government has so heavily subsidized corn production in America, that our corn farmers produce more corn than we as a nation could ever eat.  So what do we do with all this corn?  Well, let’s just chemically screw with it and turn it into other things to use as fillers for practically every other food in your grocery store!  Just how many ingredients are there REALLY in your food?  Here are all of the corn products and derivatives that go into our food:

Acetic acid
Alpha tocopherol
Ascorbic acid
Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
Calcium citrate
Calcium fumarate
Calcium gluconate
Calcium lactate
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
Calcium stearate
Calcium stearoyl lactylate
Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
Cellulose microcrystalline
Cellulose, methyl
Cellulose, powdered
Cetearyl glucoside
Choline chloride
Citric acid
Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
Crosscarmellose sodium
Crystalline dextrose
Crystalline fructose
DATUM (a dough conditioner)
Decyl glucoside
Decyl polyglucose
Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
d-Gluconic acid
Erythorbic acid
Ethocel 20
Ethyl acetate
Ethyl alcohol
Ethyl lactate
Ethyl maltol
Fumaric acid
Gluconic acid
Glucono delta-lactone
Glucose syrup (also found in IV solutions)
Gluten feed/meal
High fructose corn syrup
Hydrolyzed corn protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
Invert syrup or sugar
Lactic acid
Lauryl glucoside
Linoleic acid
Magnesium fumarate
Malic acid
Malonic acid
Methyl gluceth
Methyl glucose
Methyl glucoside
Microcrystaline cellulose
Modified cellulose gum
Modified corn starch
Modified food starch
Mono and di glycerides
Monosodium glutamate
Polylactic acid (PLA)
Polysorbates (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
Polyvinyl acetate
Potassium citrate
Potassium fumarate
Potassium gluconate
Pregelatinized starch
Propionic acid
Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol monostearate
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
Sodium citrate
Sodium erythorbate
Sodium fumarate
Sodium lactate
Sodium starch glycolate
Sodium stearoyl fumarate
Sorbic acid
Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
Stearic acid
Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
Tocopherol (vitamin E)
Treacle (aka golden syrup)
Triethyl citrate
Vegetable anything that’s not specific
Vinyl acetate
Xanthan gum

As you can see, our government has so heavily subsidized corn, that it is practically in EVERYTHING!  Look on the label of anything at the supermarket and you will find at least a few of these here.  How sad is this:  the American government has subsidized corn to such a level, that Mexico now imports corn from the US!  The country where corn was domesticated is now importing corn from the US because we pay our farmers to grow so freaking much of this crap.  And now we are feeding it to our animals as well.  Cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, they are all being fed corn or a corn product when raised in commercial feedlot settings.

Now that we have grown all this corn to feed our hugely obese animals, they are getting sick because of a combination  of the poor diet they are being fed along with the confinement they are living in.  This is a viruses playground.  On top of feeding them crap food, now we have to feed them antibiotics to keep them from all dying on us because they are forced to tromp around in their own (and each others) feces!  Now we are giving them a food they are not naturally supposed to eat and pumping them full of chemicals and antibiotics to keep them alive just so we can get them fat enough quick enough to ship them off to the market to sell to you and me!  Thanks!

These are just a few things that I have learned while learning about my food.  Here are a couple documentaries that expose some of the truths I have learned and shared with you:

King Corn

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead


Food, Inc.


There will be more posts to follow sharing more that I have come to know.  I could literally fill a large book with the things that I have learned…and maybe I will someday, but for now these posts will have to do.  I will have at least a few more installments, each with a list of either books, articles, websites, or documentaries where you can learn more about whatever that topic is.  In the meantime, go to a farmers market and talk to a farmer about how he raises his pigs or go to the grocery store and read some labels.  I’m not telling you you can’t shop at Albertsons anymore, I’m just trying to get you to think about what you are putting in your body.  Our bodies need a heck of a lot more than most of us have been giving them till now, so think about it.  If we are what we eat, let’s stop eating garbage.