It’s Not Our Fault … Mostly

Are you wanting to lose a few pounds and be healthier?
Are you struggling to stay on a diet?
Are you overweight?
Are you obese?

This covers most of us, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not our fault, mostly. Up to now we have been told that it’s all about self-control and poor choices. We are what we eat. Junk food equals junky health.

Here’s my list of why most of us Americans are struggling with our weight:

  • Too much added sugar in the processed foods we eat every day.
  • Too much added fat and salt in those processed foods.
  • Too much modern indigestible wheat in our diets.
  • Too much/many antibiotics in our beef, pork and chicken.
  • Overuse of antibiotics to treat minor diseases, especially in our children.
  • Too many chemicals in our food, from pesticides to plastics.

All of the above are disrupting our lives and leading to weight gain and health problems.

If we’re not at fault, who is?
Who is putting the extra sugar, fat and salt in your food? And, who has teams of food chemists calculating the bliss factor for each different food, leading to food addictions?
Who is putting chemicals into our processed food to make them taste better?
Who is using GMO grains, oil, and sugar in processed and restaurant foods?
Who is putting pesticides on our produce to make it unblemished and pretty?
Who is using plastic in bags and containers that leach chemicals that are banned in Europe?
Who is putting antibiotics into the meat we eat, causing drug resistant bacteria?

We should know the answer: It’s all the agro-chemical and food processing corporate industries. They do it to sell more food-like stuff that looks pretty and tastes good, but it’s not real food and is slowly killing us.

What to do? What to do? I eat fresh and organic foods so I don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals or genetically altered foods. But, they are more expensive. It has been estimated that we would spend an extra $550 per year if we ate organic. But, it’s been estimated that a poor diet of processed and fast foods costs us an extra $1200 in medical bills. Pay now or pay later. Our choice.

Exercise is the part of this equation that is mostly our fault. I understand that we’re often too busy with family, too overworked to exercise enough. But, considering how much time we spend watching TV or Googling, the choice is still ours.

Now the caveat. Now that we know the reasons why, our health and weight from now on, will be our fault, mostly.

Wayne Kessler is the former owner of Shambani Organics, former Peace Corps volunteer, and founding member of Growing Local.

Following his grandfather's advice, "Grow food. People always need food," has led Wayne to a lifetime of cultivating and processing food. He spends much of his time encouraging people to become more food independent by growing their own.
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3 Responses

  1. Another contributing factor is restaurant food – where fresh vegetables are scarce and fat and calorie content is high. Couple that with large portions of cheap carbs and you have a recipe for weight gain.

    At home, we are able to build our meals around fresh produce and lean protein — not so easy to do when dining out.

  2. Avatar Grammy says:

    I know in my heart that I am making a consciencous decision when I put fat food in my shopping basket that I will gain weight from it or at the very least will be responsible for maintaining my over weight frame (wow that was very hard to type on a seven inch screen.) Does this fact help me make healthy fat free decision? OH HECK NO!!

  3. Avatar Magnolia Neighborhood Resident says:

    Oh, come on!
    Be thankful for your wide variety of food choices in this country; and, for not having to go to bed hungry! Choose fresh, good, tasty food! Take a cue from the food culture in Italy……eat moderately in good company, and enjoy!
    Enough of this American food angst & obsession! Forget food guilt.
    Grow & prepare fresh food. Be thankful. And walk a lot. Stay active.