Pocket Full of Mumbles

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Location: South East, United States

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Two Tales and a Point....

Set up: Tony is a co-worker. For the purpose of the first tale, Tony is a student preparing to graduate with a medical degree. The second tale is from Tony's recent trip to Disney World.

1- A young German woman in one of Tony's classes commented that she didn't understand why she was gaining weight, and complained that she couldn't find any fresh food here [in S.E. Alabama].

2- An employee at Disney World, a young Norwegian woman, commented that she didn't understand why she was gaining weight, and complained that she couldn't find any fresh food "here" [in central Florida].

Point- Though neither phrased it this way, two European women, independent of each other, have the same exact complaint about living in the United States: They are both gaining weight despite changing little about their diet, and neither can find what they consider "fresh food".

As to diet, both women are used to-- as are we all --the diets they were raised with; food choices, eating patterns, etc. Recognizing that certain favorites are undoubtedly unavailable to them here in the U.S., they would naturally make substitutions they felt were compatible with what they were used to, but they are gaining weight, and neither understands why. So this begs the question, what is it about food in the United States that it differs from foods in Europe-- and the rest of the world? Also, why is it the French and Italians can eat high fatty foods and, for the most part, still remain svelte?

I think the answer lies in each of these women's complaint; They can't find fresh food. But let's take it a step further. They can't find food untampered with. For example...

Food in the U.S. is loaded with chemicals, additives, hormones, and steroids. Even meat fresh from the market is loaded with growth hormones and steroids. It's in our beef, pork, chickens, and consequently eggs, milk, cheese, and just about everything else we buy and eat. Boxed meals are loaded with preservatives, natural flavorings, chemicals, and God only knows what else.

Are Americans the fattest people on the planet because of bad eating habits? That's perhaps part of it, but could the food we eat also be contributing to the growing obesity trend-- I hesitate to call it an epidemic, but strictly speaking it is epidemic in that it is confined, for the most part, to a geographical location; the United States.

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