The industrial food system is an invasive product and it's managing to sneak into our house. More on that in a sec...

When I say industrial food I'm not talking about a home cooked meal using quality basic food ingredient - you know, ingredients that you can hold in your hand and say things like 'this is a banana, this is a pea, this is oatmeal' - I'm talking about the industrial junk produced in a chemical complex in an industrial zone outside of Chicago (or wherever). If it comes in a can and has more than 12 ingredients it's probably not good. If half the ingredients don't sound food-like or you don't recognize them like you would 'pea' or 'oatmeal' it's probably not good. If the second ingredient is fructose it's probably not good.

So why do people eat (too much) food that they know is bad for them? The two most common reasons I find are 'They simply don't know it's bad' and 'The everything in moderation excuse'. But before those two things come into play the poor choice food has to be made available and that's where Marketing comes in.

Marketing 101 via Georges St-Pierre and Gatorade in this case. I'm a big fan of mixed martial arts and I'm a big fan of GSP, and I sometimes watch mixed martial arts with the boys. They've both seen GSP fight and recently they saw GSP featured in some Gatorade commercials for their new 'G Series' products. Naturally if it's good enough for GSP it's good enough for Evan who likes GSP, and that's how Evan ended up coming home with a bottle of Fruit Punch G Series Thirst Quencher while I was out somewhere riding my bike in the woods. When I got back in from my bike ride he looked at the bottle in his hand and looked at me and he knew I wasn't pleased. First ingredient, water. Second ingredient, fructose. 150 calories from glucose/fructose.

For the record, neither boy is allowed to drink soda. We never have it in the house and I never let them have big sugar drinks when we are out (if it's in my control). I see lots of kids that are Evan's age drinking cans of Coke and Pepsi and such and I wonder if that's how it starts - the start of the Marketing. Regardless of the wondering on how it starts it's the outcome that causes the problems. For a guy like GSP who is burning a pile of calories per day in training and probably making healthy food choices during the rest of the day, it's not a huge problem. For the average person pounding back a Coke or G Series Thirst Quencher because they are thirsty... think again.

What's the big deal about a Coke, Pepsi or (insert sugary drink title here) on occasion?

Put aside some time to watch this video. If you can't do the whole thing (because it gets all science-y towards the end) you should plan for about 30mins to get the slap in the head wake-up call from Robert Lustig:

If you don't like moving pictures and sound, and instead prefer to read, you can sit back and get this 10min literary slap in the head wake-up call from Gary Taubes:

New York Times - Is Sugar Toxic?

Whether you watched the vid or read the article the evidence suggests you think carefully about what you put in your body. It's crazy how obvious that is and yet a lot of people give it little to no thought. Half a bag of cookies chased back with a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi is an obvious disaster waiting to happen. Marketing 101 does its best to get into your home, don't let Marketing win.


CavemanGreg said...

Caveman diet is supreme! I saw that video when it first came out. Crazy stuff. I've been preaching it all along though. Don't know if you heard, I've got a new website up and running about the Paleo Diet Check it out and share the love if you don't mind.

Shaun Taylor said...

Yeah I watched that vid a long time ago as well and combined with 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' I began to do some preaching myself. Problem is, people only want to hear what they want to hear.

Antonio said...

I'm a foodie but agree with what you say about processed foods. I don't even bother worrying about these "sugar is evil" "sodium is evil" "fat is evil" "carbs are evil" fads. Lots of shaky research. Like Mr. Miyagi said, "keep balance all life." I had the pleasure of working in France for 2 weeks and what was dramatic was how little (if at all) soft drinks they drink (or drank back in 1999). Wine is cheaper than Coke volume for volume. Yet I also noticed in northern France they don't eat a lot of vegetables, ate a lot of fat, cream, etc. In southern France they eat more fresh food, etc. So the answer must be fresh ingredients, and a balanced diet...that's what I determined 12 years ago. Works for me! (which is what's important)

Shaun Taylor said...

Yeah I agree with your comments, Antonio. Though I would say the balanced diet approach isn't as simple to achieve as it used to be... when fresh ingredients were commonly used.

Here in N. America the typical diet is faaaaar from fresh and faaaaaar from balanced.