10/18/2010

Time for another blog about the food industry. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the food industry, especially fast food (I’ve devoted hundreds of conversations, hours of research, at least 2 school projects, at least 1 – if not 2- blog posts, a couple of books and uncountable hours of my friend’s, family’s and colleague’s time that they will never get back to discussing and learning about it). Today, something about the fast food industry caught my eye.

With the help of Rainn Wilson’s Twitter (www.twitter.com/rainnwilson), I came across this article from the Huffinton Post about “food addiction” and how it could account for the 70 percent of Americans (myself included) are overweight.

Now, in a previous post, I talked about how the fast food industry was under attack because it was theorized that McDonald’s (among other fast food chains) putting cheap, plastic, terrible toys into their Happy Meals is the reason our children are fat. While I stated that the fast food industry markets its products to us even before we’re old enough to form a complete thought (if you want to read my blog about this, go here and come back, I’ll still be here), my opinion is that it’s actually the science behind that marketing that has been perfected to an unbelievably powerful, useful and terrifying science that snags you before you and talk, then keeps you until you’re asleep in a grave. My exact ending quote is here:

“McDonald’s has us, folks. Deal with it. They’ve had you since before you were born and they’ve already got your great grand kids. Toys aren’t making your kids fat. Science knowing how the human mind works and not burning off what you take in are what make you fat.I think I’m going to go get an apple pie now.”

Now, a different science, one that is still trying to bring the fast food industry down, has not only assisted in proving my point, but has glorified the industry in some ways and made me like them even more!

The article asks us why cigarette smokers keep smoking, drinkers keep drinking, users keep using, and quitting caffeine can lead to irritability and headaches and answers by saying it’s “because these substances are biologically addictive.” It then goes on to ask the same question of fat people…Why do folks who are overweight continue to not diet, continue to not exercise, continue to not CARE even though it’s been proven time and time again that such a lifestyle can lead to some pretty terrible health issues, including, but not limited to, “high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and even cancer”. Their reasoning? Some foods are simply addictive, especially those with high levels of sugar, fat and salt, all items that are extremely high when it comes to restaurant food and other processed food that you bought at the store and didn’t grow in your own garden or kill on your own farm.

The article makes some killer points when comparing addictive food habits to those of folks who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine. Items such as continuing use even though they have knowledge of the adverse consequences, increased tolerance of the substance, withdrawal symptoms, and the biggest on the list, “Persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to quit,” this includes how Justin has gone on fierce diet and work out routines 3 times this year, that eventually lead to a Lindsay Lohan quality relapse.

How many people do you know, aside from Bugs Bunny, that can sit in front of a bowl of carrots and eat the whole thing. Now think of how many people you know that could sit down in front of a bowl of Doritos and eat the whole thing. I don’t have to think too long or too hard on that to know that that guy is ME and there’s a good chance that it’s you, too.

The science goes on to describe how levels of dopamine in the brain are stimulated by sugar, much like other addictive drugs and that the obese are just like drug addicts in that they have a smaller number of dopamine receptors in their brain, making them the most likely to crave the very things that boost that dopamine.

It’s said that the food industry refuses to answer questions about the ingredients in their products that overtake us in this manner, but honestly, does it really matter? We’re not all fat, but skinny doesn’t necessarily mean healthy (or pretty, for that matter, ladies), and healthy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not addicted. As long as the colors red and yellow exist, we will be mindless, zombie-like slaves to the food industry. And we will love every…last…drop.

Enjoy today’s haiku:

I would like to know
What carpal tunnel feels like
I think it has me

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