How Our Food Has Changed and the Impact of Those Changes

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How Our Food Has Changed and the Impact of those Changes
What do we eat? Food. Sounds simple enough, but is it? It used to be that food was all you could eat, but today there is a plethora of “edible food like substances” in our grocery store (Pollan). In today’s world, the fact that it is sold in a grocery store doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s nutritious or healthful. I’m going to step back into the past and show how food has changed in the last 50 years and the impact that it‘s having on us. It’s not just what we eat or how we eat, but how it affects us in everything from our physical health to our mental health to our pocket books.

Food that was available 50 years ago was vastly different from what is available today. There was more “real” food available. There was certainly the beginning of junk food back then, but it was different. The fast food places were almost non-existent. We had a limited amount of junk that we could buy. Homemakers were actually homemakers back then. They cooked from scratch a lot of the time and dinner was meat and potatoes, and a vegetable or two. Dessert was homemade. Only certain fruits and vegetables were available at any given time. It depended on what was in season at the time. Then came the era of “fast.” Everything was fast, including food. Fast food places were popping up on every corner. We were in such a time crunch all of the time that we starting rushing through not only the eating, but also the preparation of our meals. Housewives thought that all the convenience foods were a great idea. It now took half the time to prepare a meal compared to making it from scratch. Surely the food was good and nutritious. Ah, the time it saved. It was thought to be wonderful; but at what price? Food today is not as nutritious as it used to be. This is a contributing factor and, quite possibly, a major cause of the rapid rise in degenerative diseases. The fresh fruits and vegetables that are eaten now contain up to 50% less minerals than they did in the 1930’s. This, along with the widespread use of pesticides, is slowly poisoning the human population. Due to the fact that our bodies aren’t getting the optimum nutrition that they should, they are less able to detoxify effectively. Pesticides are poisons that the body has to deal with, even though the doses are minute. Their use has also increased and this is likely to have toxic effects on the system. Even the water we drink contains additives from farming and pharmaceuticals that puts a strain on our systems (Draper). People now have less energy but also have less to do physically. People are so tired all the time. Energy drinks are consumed in massive amounts. Even children as young as 10 years old seem to need the boost that stimulants give people to keep them going. That in itself is a problem. As a result of ingesting the high fructose corn syrup present in many, if not most, of these drinks, sugar consumption is way up. In the past 50 years there has been a 19% reduction in calorie intake for boys, and 29% reduction for girls, but increased sugar consumption! As a result, children are getting fatter and fatter. Computers, diet, TV and less exercise are some of the causes. These are big changes from 50 years ago (Draper). In elementary schools in the 1960's, the "lunch ladies" actually cooked lunch every day. Food such as meatloaf, macaroni and cheese (not from a box!), or soup and sandwiches were served, always with a vegetable, milk, and small dessert (Dolson). In 1989, it was shown that school meals had major deficiencies. Today, many school lunch menus are more similar to fast food restaurants, making healthy choices more difficult. In many schools, Middle/Jr. High students can also buy sports drinks, and high school students are allowed carbonated beverages (Dolson). Physical exercise is no longer as important as it used to be. It has been reduced by a full 50%! Potential major...
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