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Section A: General News


Editorial: Which is best? Fast food, farm fresh, or pharmaceuticals?




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About politics and other things
April 3, 2013 | 1,759 views | Post a comment

(A version of this ran in the March 21 issue of the La Vernia News.)

Locally grown farm fresh foods are much healthier than the processed packaged stuff passed off as “food” on the supermarket shelves. Often these products are hardly identifiable as being in any one of the recognized food groups.

This problem was discussed by Dr. Mark Hyman in a recent newsletter. He bemoaned the “slow, insidious displacement” of home cooking and shared family meals. We eat on the run using the drive-through, or rely on packaged and processed foods. There is little interest in cooking from scratch.

The older generation will remember when the family gathered around the dinner table. Meals consisted of a meat, a starch, and a green and yellow vegetable. Today’s busy schedules make that the exception rather than the rule, as Junior is off to band and football practice, and Sissy has volleyball and dance lessons after they both finish karate class. There’s a different schedule each day, and this is in addition to homework. Who has time for real food?

Hyman writes that this lack of home cooking is one of the leading contributors to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. Hyman, like a doctor friend of mine who studied in Europe, criticizes the way most American doctors medicate patients. Hyman practices “functional medicine,” which is similar to other alternative or holistic methods that combine science with natural healing.

Instead of focusing on the disease, they look for underlying causes, and recognize that food is your best medicine -- or it can be your worst enemy.

Rather than medicating, natural healing treats the whole person -- body, mind, spirit, and emotions -- instead of just the physical. Food is key. Often, even chronic diseases can be improved or even reversed, and it begins with the right foods and the right nutrition.

Eating right is easier said than done, as cooking with fresh foods takes time. If you must buy packaged food, study the labels. Do not buy anything with foreign-sounding chemicals and ingredients that you don’t recognize. If there are more than five ingredients listed, be very skeptical.

Instead, shop the local farmers markets, which soon will be open locally. Fresh food does not require long lists of ingredients or bar codes.

A rule of thumb by a San Antonio doctor friend is not to eat anything from a can, box, or package. Eat as close to nature as possible. Even meat is pumped full of antibiotics that become part of the human food chain. He recommends grass-fed beef, or even better, buffalo or axis deer as the healthiest choices.

Another friend, who is originally from Switzerland, laments that Americans eat in such a rush as opposed to gently savoring food and conversation during a sit-down meal.

Most Americans don’t know how to cook without opening cans or popping a package in the microwave. Many cannot recognize even a single vegetable or fruit.

But the processed food industry knows what it is doing. They intentionally add mysterious ingredients to enhance the “natural” flavor and preserve food, sometimes indefinitely. These additives can wreak havoc on the human body. They make you want to eat more, so the food industry sells more product, while we have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

Too many doctors appease patients by prescribing medications because patients expect a quick and easy cure.

Americans do not realize that food is special and should be treated as such; it’s not always what’s least expensive, but what provides the best nourishment for your body. It’s always healthier to go with “farm fresh” rather than with “pharmaceuticals.”
 

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