Americans have lost their value menu eating minds! Have we been tricked into believing that only foods containing excess amounts of sugar, sodium and fat taste “good”? Unfortunately, flavor matters and this is why it plays a recurring role in most Americans’ everyday diet. Even as a young adult, my taste buds have not fully adjusted to the blandness of eating particular vegetables.
Consequentially after pigging out over drunken goat cheese and bottles of white wine and sea salt crackers one evening, I rubbed long and guiltily over my tummy’s newly felt disposition later in the wee hours. What I was feeling was not of any particular pain, but instead a feeling of heaviness. And this heaviness reminded me of being extremely tied down, or when I’ve overeaten for the sake of accessibility. We’ve all been here. It’s times like these when one considers gobbling down a month’s supply of Pressed Juicery, or switching to good ol’ Veganism. It is sad however that even the most standard portion sizes of our own pleasurable finger sandwich joys can leave us feeling screwed! And we’re talking about THE APPETIZERS!
Foods that are considered “healthy” are not as tasty as let’s say a juicy hamburger or a piece of fried chicken, it is neurologically proven. “Tasty” foods release more dopamine and at a faster rate than wholesome and healthy foods. “It’s that rush. This is why a salad doesn’t taste as good as say, ice cream”, a professor once noted to me. Part of this is triggered by years of conditioning, familiarity, and codependency on the American fast food landscape. Eating kale chips is not like having a traditional bag of Doritos and a cut of cod is not as flavorfully fulfilling as a strip of salty bacon. What has happened in the last century is a shift from organic, modest meals (i.e. home cooked) to a commercial emphases on eating convenient and cheap!
As cliché as it sounds, all humans are made differently and so we have different needs. Yes! A vegetarian-like diet does not meet the survival needs of every person, but a more plant-based diet should be adapted. One doesn’t have to exclude the animal entirely from their diet, but if we cannot afford quality animal products then we shouldn’t be consuming them (in my opinion).
Heart disease and other life threatening illnesses can all be traced back to what? That’s right, diet! There is nothing wrong with restructuring the way we were intended to think, let alone eat. It is often claimed that because of evolutionary adaption, our teeth and digestive system is designed mainly for carnivorous consumption (a case usually made by those who are opposed to the notion of a plant-based lifestyle). When seeking medical consultation, most medical professionals will suggest a change in diet. And because of that, I am lead to believe that if we are meant to eat according to an evolutionary bias than why is a diet even necessary? Just because something is genetically inherent in us doesn’t necessarily make it healthy. The last three generations have become accustomed to fast food luxuries. This does not make us anymore immune to the processed properties of modern day food. All that does is further produce a race of unhealthy Americans, or for lack of a better phrase, a nation of fat asses. By adapting to non-wholesome and processed diets, who is to say that in years to come we are not creating human beings that are pre-disposed to diseases, viruses, and other health-related illnesses? If we can medicinally and corporeally train ourselves to fight off internal dispositions then we cannot only train ourselves to eat properly, but trick our perception of healthy foods.
Well, why don’t the food chains just sell healthier food options? This can be done if they use some sort of smart marketable tactic and by the farms lowering the cost of their livestock. That sounds reasonable, BUT if the farms lower the cost of their livestock, then they will drive up the demand for production, which in return leads to more traffic (business). There is something fundamentally missing here though! Part of driving up production means both killing more animals and leaving behind more carbon footprints. How the fast food companies maximize full production and profits is by minimizing on the inventory and cost of whole goods bought. The fast food companies are not in the business of going out of their way to obtain wholesome foods because it drives up their prices and drives their customers…AWAY! So, even if there was a massive dietary shift to more wholesome eating this would mean the expelling of jobs and bankrupting the economic financial contributions of the fast food companies and health-related medical professions.
Without out a doubt, eating healthier and wholesome foods of animal or plant origin will come at that much of a higher expense. If this is the case then this national wide message of everyone needs to eat healthier is deceitful because this message is not truly intended for the general to live by; if anything, healthier living is really for general upper middle to upper class folks. If everyone did take part in healthier living then we would lose oodles of jobs and money, thus giving Americans an unhappy and unstable economy. And if we all decidedly shifted to healthier lifestyles then there would need to be a radical redesign of certain job markets or the innovation of new ones.