I read an article online about the 20 worst foods for you, and I saw (unsurprisingly) that I eat or drink most of things on the list, including diet drinks — both sodas and energy drinks.
One of the things about the list that I found most interesting, however, was that alcohol is no longer bad for me. I would have thought (for instance) that drinking a gallon of, say, Everclear would be worse for me than two 2-liter Diet Pepsis; apparently not, though.
I know that hardly a week goes by in this city that someone doesn’t have one Fresca too many and wrap their car around a telephone pole.
High fructose corn syrup and sugar apparently have lost whatever harmful effects they had, too. As it happens, I like to minimize my sugar intake for mood-related reasons; conditions like that and diabetes apparently aren’t real things now, either, according to health food “experts”.
If you have lived as long as I have, it appears the cycle works as follows:
- “Experts” complain about the baneful effects of some food.
- “Companies” produce food made with some other substance, instead.
- People flock to use this new food, having been convinced by the “Experts” that what they were eating in prior times was the most poisonous substance known to humankind.
- “Experts” change their mind, and decide the new thing is the worst thing ever. This becomes the new step A), and the process repeats to infinity.
The city I live in is home (or the original home) to a number of famous or semi-famous name brand foods; the people who I know from these companies are interested in providing foods
- that people like;
- that people can afford; and
- that are reasonably nutritious.
From a mass production standpoint, however, these three things tend to pull in different directions.
- There’s quite a bit of food out there that is delicious, nutritious, and unaffordable.
- There’s a considerable amount of food out there that is affordable, tastes good, and is not that nutritious.
- There’s also affordable food that is good for you, but that few people find enjoyable. Like beets.
Parents tend to feed their kids food from each of the last two categories: vegetables and other things kids may not like the taste of, along with just enough of what they enjoy to balance out nutritional goals and having some enjoyment at mealtimes. That is what real parents do (and have done) everyday, in the real world.
Nutritional experts, however, like to encourage people to use category 1, or sometimes, an even less popular category 4, where the food is unaffordable, nutritious, and tastes horrible.
Every so often, nutritional “experts” try their new to them (old to us) theories out on school districts. They find, to their surprise, that kids will go hungry for a meal rather than eat food they don’t like. These experiments typically end when they realize the food is ending up in garbage cans.
Like most other things in life, balance turns out to be key in making choices that are both wise and sustainable. I am saying this as a person who has lived an unbalanced life along any number of dimensions. Which sucks, by the way.
I put the “20 Worst Foods” article aside, wondering: will wars soon be fought where opposing sides drop aspartame on each other?
Revenge is supposed to be sweet, after all.