Thursday, March 26, 2009

Butter, Bacon, And Eggs: Real Foods Take On Fake Foods
A few days ago, I was served a quiche at work, but instead of being made with eggs, it was made with half eggs and half Egg Beaters. As the person that made it proclaimed, she “did everything she could to make it low-fat.” So I started thinking about all of the fake foods we use to replace real, wholesome foods. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the length of time the foods I’m about to talk about have been in our diets.The Food TimelineLet’s look at an interesting site that I came across quite awhile back…The Food Timeline. Now, since we know that the foods that humans have been eating the longest are the very foods that we’re the best adapted for, this site could prove beneficial in helping sort through this mess.

Real Food
Butter - 3000BC
Pork - 7000BC
Eggs - Pre-dates civilization

Industrial Food
Margarine - 1870
Turkey Bacon - Unknown
Egg Beaters - 1972

So let’s note that butter existed nearly 5000 years before man-made margarine. While there’s no entry for bacon specifically, pork was domesticated around 9000 years ago, so I’m betting bacon followed within the next century or two. Unsurprisingly, turkey bacon isn’t on the timeline, but I’m betting it only came about in the last decade or two, three at most. Yet, we’re consistently told these new foods are better for us. Why?

Butter Vs. Margarine

The butter vs. margarine debate has been around pretty much since 1870 when margarine was first created in a lab. The easiest way to market a fake food is to demonize the product that you want to replace. This might be the first (and is probably the most obvious) example of a fake, industrial food replacing a real food that has been in use in healthy cultures for millenia. So let’s look at what is in these two foods:Butter - Cream, saltMargarine - Liquid Canola Oil, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Plant Stanol Esters, Salt, Emulsifiers, (Vegetable Mono- and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin), Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA to Preserve Freshness, Artificial Flavor, DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Colored with Beta Carotene.

Okay, so what’s ingredient number three in the list of margarine’s ingredients? Partially hydrogenated soybean oil! Trans fats. For kicks, note the third ingredient in butter… Anyone want to know what kind of margarine you’re looking at there? I didn’t seek one out that was particularly bad. In fact, this one is called Benecol and is one of the brands that the American Heart Association suggests you use to replace your butter.

Yes, that’s right…the AHA is suggesting you eat trans fats to replace butter! Do you still think they’re interested in protecting your health? For Pete’s sake, they’re sacrificing your health and accepting payments from the companies that reap the rewards of your trade from butter to fake food.And now, I’ll send it over to Stephen at Whole Health Source to tell us more about this amazing Benecol.Are you kidding me? Partially hydrogenated soybean oil for cardiac patients? A nice big dose of omega-6 linoleic acid? A mega-dose of “heart-healthy” plant stanols? This stuff is like a molotov cocktail for your coronary arteries!Decreasing Consumption And Recognizing InferiorityAlso, I should note that when margarine was first invented, up until the early 20th century, laws prohibited it from being marketed as butter. Laws prevented it from looking like butter. It was considered what it really is: an inferior product. Unfortunately, by the turn of the century (that’s the 2000s, not the 1900s), Americans were eating only 4lbs of butter, but 8lbs of margarine per year, down from 18lbs and 2lbs, respectively, in 1930. It’s a good thing getting rid of all that animal fat improved our health so vastly…oh wait…

Pork Bacon Vs. Turkey Bacon

Back to that quiche I was served…the bacon had been replaced with turkey bacon so the dish would be healthier. Heh heh heh!If you want to know the source of your pork bacon, it’s either the belly, sides, or back (or the cheeks if it’s jowl bacon) of the pig. Close your eyes and you can imagine slicing into a pig and finding some uncured bacon right there for the taking. Now imagine cutting into a turkey and finding anything resembling a strip of bacon. In fact, just try to imagine which part of the turkey your meat is coming from. Yeah, I’m still trying to imagine it too.Let’s just jump to the ingredients…Bacon - pork, sugar, salt, spicesTurkey Bacon - Turkey,mechanically separated turkey, water, sugar, salt, contains less than 2% of sodium lactate, canola oil, sodium diacetate, sodium phosphates, smoke flavor, sodium erythorbate (made from sugar), autolyzed yeast extract, sodium nitriteHmmm….mechanically separated turkey. By golly, that sounds scrumptious. What is it?!??!“a paste-like meat product produced by forcing beef, pork or chicken bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.”Have you had your autolyzed yeast extract today?

Eggs Vs. Egg Beaters

Now that we’ve made it through the undercard matches, let’s have a look at the main event. In this corner, we have the lowly egg, ever dissed and dismissed as the cause of your heart’s every ill. And in the other, with such beautiful packaging, Egg Beaters…”The Real Thing. Only Better.”Of course, there’s no ingredient list for an egg. It is simply an egg. There’s a white and a yolk.But boy oh boy do those Egg Beaters come out swinging with a nice ingredient list:Egg whites (99%), less than 1%: Natural flavor, color (includes beta carotene), spices, salt, onion powder, vegetable gums (xanthan gum, guar gum).Okay, so I see what ConAgra is doing here. They’re removing the yolks and adding some flavoring. Seriously, if for some strange reason you feel the need to remove the yolk, the healthiest part of the egg, at least do it in your own kitchen for much less money and many fewer additives. Oh yeah, and those Egg Beaters are pasteurized too, just to make sure they’re extra dead for you.Speaking of ill health and death, there was a study I saw, which I unfortunately cannot find (feel free to post it in the comments if you know where to find it), in which two groups of rats were fed either fresh eggs or Egg Beaters. The rats fed fresh eggs thrived. The rats fed Egg Beaters were something less than thriving, significantly smaller than the rats fed the real food and covered in mangy fur. Here’s a picture for some visual evidence. Can you guess which rat is which?

Humans Vs. Mother Nature

Let’s get real here…mankind has yet to outdo the foods that Mother Nature has provided. Meat, eggs, seafood, fruits and vegetables of all types, nuts and seeds have all been found in some shape or form for millions of years. Of course, no one can guarantee that man will never create the perfect food, but the odds-on bet is that it won’t happen.Stick to the real stuff and you won’t have to worry about whether you should be eating this margarine or that margarine. These companies are playing on your confusion to sell you products that have been stripped down to what nutritionism has determined are the nutrients of the week. If one were inclined to throw such accusations, one could say that the American Heart Association and other such organizations were in cahoots with these death peddlers.The bottom line is that humans have been eating eggs, meat, and butter for a really long time without heart disease and cancer. Yet somehow, now heart disease and cancer run rampant and the food industry is always there to protect us from eating these wholesome foods.What other man-made “healthy” foods can you think of that replace the wholesome traditional foods that humans have been eating for anywhere from 5,000 to a couple million years? Come up with some good ones and I’ll do some more comparisons.

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