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Shopping Around the Edge

 March, 16 2010

Shop healthy, eat healthy, be healthy.

Life is arranged in a pyramid. At the base are single cell creatures which consume rotting dead creatures and plants of all sizes and in turn create or become food for larger creatures or plants. This continues up the pyramid through ever smaller numbers of ever larger plants and creatures until you get to the largest vertebrates which are not eaten except by small creatures after they die.

In short, we live by consuming other life. Life is the fuel of life. Everything you eat other than salt and a few other important minerals was once a life in itself, which in turn survived by consuming other lives.

   ~~~

How much life is in the food you eat is a good indicator of how healthy it is for you. Foods that were alive just hours ago and prepared in a way that leaves most of the life in them is the best source of nutrition. An example would be eating fresh caught fish and vegetables fresh from your own organic garden, lightly cooked and seasoned with fresh garden herbs. That type of meal is the ideal and the closest we can get to the foods we evolved to survive on. The other extreme would be to eat a box of industrial process cookies and wash them down with an artificially sweetened and colored soft drink. That is the meal with the least life in it you can come up with.

Unfortunately, the second meal is much more likely to be consumed by most of us than the first one. The second meal is also the one that pays for the TV we watch and the magazines we read. When is the last time you saw an ad for healthy natural food? On the other hand we are deluged with advertising for lifeless food. And the lifeless food is scientifically designed to appeal to your desires and to be addicting. Small wonder we eat so much of it.

The truth is, healthy natural foods are expensive to bring to market, perish quickly, and have low profit margins. Unhealthy foods are cheap to manufacture, store without refrigeration for many months, and are highly profitable. It is easy to understand why the large food companies prefer to sell the latter.

Luckily, unless you are totally brainwashed by advertising, you can still buy real live food at your local grocery store, and you can eat it for about the same price as the lifeless junk most of us are eating now.

Grocery stores are all arranged along a similar pattern.

There is an outer rim where all the refrigerated and fresh foods are displayed. Then there is an inner section with all the boxed, bagged, and canned food.

My grocery store is typical, the entrance is at one end of the outer rim and the first thing you encounter is the bakery section. As you proceed around the store you encounter in sequence, vegetables, meats, dairy, and finally frozen foods. After you travel of the way around the store, you exit the frozen pizza section into the main isle through the center section where all the dry goods are displayed. If you want to eat healthy, you should have most of your food in the cart when you enter the center. The foods with the most life in them are fresh vegetables and meat. That is what we are evolved to live on. Second best is the frozen fresh meats and vegetables. Frozen pizza and other ready to go meals do not have much life in them.

The center of the store is where you buy all your non edible products, mostly for cleaning and house maintenance. It is also where all the canned, boxed, and bagged foods are displayed.

Canned foods have far less life in them than fresh. The typical can of vegetables was cooked at temperatures which sterilize the food so it keeps nearly forever, and usually is packaged with salt or sugar you would not add to fresh cooked, and there are always the chemicals you cannot pronounce added to preserve freshness and color. This process cooks the life out of the food.

In the center is also where all the cereals, cookies, crackers, chips, and bars are displayed. These are primarily made of starch and sugar, plus a load of artificial color and flavoring, and in many cases salt. Not only do these things contain little life, they make you fat, and at least in my case, are quite addictive.

In short, the less of your food that comes from the center of the store, the more life will be in the things you eat, the less starch and sugar you will consume, and the healthier you will be. The fresh foods will take longer to prepare, but you will be eating what people always ate until the last 100 years.

As always, I am in no way qualified to offer any advice on health or diet. This is just my undocumented opinion offered for your entertainment only. Before shopping for any foods you should consult with your Physician, Dietician, Lawyer, and Feng Shui Master. You are responsible for what you eat and its consequences.


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