No trespassing allowed
I was on a bike ride the other day and couldn't help but notice the number of "No Trespassing" signs on land in the area. From farmers to residences, folks have put up signs wanting to protect their property from unwanted activity.
This got me thinking about our most sacred personal property — our bodies. How well do we protect our bodies from trespassers?
Trespassers are chemicals and processed foods that our bodies are not able to recognize. Trespassers have the potential of causing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity — the diseases caused from the American diet, a diet that is loaded with sugar, salt, fat and chemicals.
I find it disheartening that much of the so-called "food" on shelves being sold in our area supermarkets has been engineered and manufactured with chemicals to fit a certain taste or look — at arguably the expense of our long term health.
Some of the chemicals are in such small amounts, as in artificial favors and artificial colors, that the US Food and Drug Administration deems it not necessary for food companies to disclose what these colors and flavors really are. What they really are is fake and most are petroleum based.
Given this fact, why do we take any chances with our health by even considering putting these products in our bodies, let alone our children's bodies? It's as if not knowing makes it OK and safe to eat.
Knowing what is best for us to eat does not have to be rocket science, either.
Use common sense when buying food for your family. Eat food with ingredients that you can recognize and can pronounce. Eat foods with the fewest ingredients. Fewer ingredients usually means less processing. Less processing usually means fewer chemicals.
An extreme example of processing is the Twinkie, which has 37 ingredients. That is sure a lot of chemistry! No wonder they last forever ...
For me, eating anything artificial is absolute nonsense.
Next time you are out shopping in the supermarket, check out how much of the food being sold has artificial colors and artificial flavors in them. For fun, see how many foods you can find that have the popular artificial color Red 40.
Red 40 is made from oil — yes, the same oil we put in our cars. It is often found in cereal and "kid-friendly" snacks, chewing gum, flavored drinks and in medicine. That's a little irony in and of itself. It's everywhere.
So why do we need it in the first place? Its cheap and and makes processed food look more appealing. Real food costs more — but clearly getting sick costs much much more.
Do we really understand what eating this stuff day in and day out really does to our health? Why should we even worry about it in the first place — just don't eat it.
Protect your health as you would your land. No trespassers allowed. Artificial flavors and artificial colors keep out!
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at locally owned New Earth Market in Yuba City.