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Interesting Information: “Ingredients” Documentary Looks at the American Food System

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Interesting  Information:  May 24, 2014

 

INGREDIENTS

A New Documentary

Dr. Joseph Mercola posted a blog on the new documentary Ingredients recently.

This blog post of mine is not included under “Books, Documentaries, Reviews” because I have not yet seen this film

Here’s part of what Dr. Mercola’s blog says.  There is more, of course.  I put the url at the bottom of this entry.  Do pay attention to the real costs incurred in “cheap” food.  And note that on average Americans pay less than 7% of their income for their food weekly–yet what you put into your body about three times a day has real and important connections to your well being and health.  Poor health, as is noted below, is expensive.

 

 

The American food system is nearing a state of crisis. Ingredients is a documentary that explores the failings of the industrial food model, and how the local food movement is gaining momentum as a far better alternative. The film presents a refreshing look at food from the standpoint of sustainability, safety, flavor, nutrition, culture, and community.

This documentary takes us across the US from the urban food deserts of Harlem to the biodynamic farms of the Hudson River and Willamette Valleys, and into the kitchens of several celebrated chefs—culinary game-changers who are teaching us all how to eat better.

The current system, focused on cheap convenience foods, is costing Americans dearly. Most Westerners have lost their primal connection to food. Mealtimes used to be savored and shared with others.

Food preparation is now typically viewed as a chore that interferes with other “more important” activities. This detachment from food represents a cultural “disconnect” between humans and the earth, to the detriment of both. It’s time for radical changes to our modern food paradigm, which is the subject of this uplifting documentary.

The Exorbitant Cost of ‘Cheap Food’

Americans have become dependent on cheap convenience foods that can be “prepared” in five minutes or less—or without taking both hands off the steering wheel. More than 17,000 new processed food products are introduced each year. Bright, catchy packaging conceals foods laden with chemicals, unhealthful fats, and high fructose corn syrup, all of which contribute to today’s skyrocketing rates of obesity and illness, especially among our youth.

Americans spend less on food than any other industrialized nation—an average of $151 per week, which amounts to less than seven percent of their income. How can such a low value be placed on something so important for your health and longevity?

The US beef industry has managed to cut its prices in half since 1960. Unfortunately, cheap food contains cheap and toxic ingredients… and you get what you pay for. Food imports have increased four-fold over the past decade, overwhelming the FDA with inspections. Of the 200,000 shipments from China in 2006, less than two percent were sampled for quality and safety.

“Cheap food” isn’t cheap when you consider all of the hidden costs associated with it. You make your first payment at the grocery store—just consider this your down payment, because you may be paying for it FIVE more times!

  1. Subsidies: At tax time, you pay for “cheap food” a second time with your contribution to agricultural subsidies. Processed food is mostly corn, canola, soy, rice, wheat, and sugar. These products (along with cotton) account for 98 percent of subsidies.
  2. Foodborne Illnesses: You may pay for cheap food a third time if you visit your doctor as a result of foodborne illnesses. CDC estimates that foodborne illnesses such as E. coli and salmonella cause 5,200 deaths each year in the US. Mass scale operations are riddled with quality control problems, leading to outbreaks of illness and food recalls.
  3. Chronic Disease: You pay for it a fourth time if you return to your doctor later for a chronic illness—heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cancer—consider these “foodborne” illnesses that just take a little longer to manifest. According to CDC, one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes.
  4. Environment: As soon as the factory farmer files for bankruptcy and leaves, you pay for your food a fifth time. This is what often happens when they are asked to clean up their land—a monumental expense that often results in bankruptcy, sticking the rest of us with the tab.
  5. Energy: The sixth time is when you pay your fuel bill. Processed foods and imported foods have an extremely large energy footprint. One-fifth of US fossil fuel consumption goes to the growing, packaging, and transporting of food.

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/19/ingredients-documentary-american-food.aspx

 

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

May 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

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