You might know by now - but if this is the first thing you read about or by me: I love fresh raw food.
So today an invitation to think about it a bit.
It - as in the title - processed food versus fresh.
And all the "food" in-between.. I actually do not believe that a lot of it should be named "food" but I know I would insult like 95% of humanity by saying that so I will stop here:-)
I will give you my categories, though, because in this world of all kinds of info and commercials, it is useful to try to make things simple.. And although I write / talk a lot in these articles (a lot more than the "basics", anyway), I believe that sometimes I can make things simple:
Shining Mama's list of preferences:
If you want to do a simple experiment, put a peeled lemon (or orange, or grapefruit) in the fridge over night, together with non-organic strawberries and make sure the white skin of the lemon touches the strawberries. The next morning I can almost guarantee that there will be (artificial) color on the peel of the lemon. I do not know how they do that – but they put color in the strawberries.. :-(
1. fresh raw food.
I am going to get a bit "adam&eve" on you, sorry. Humanity since A&E had apples and fresh stuff found in the bushes. Had leaves and bananas. That is what they had for millions of years..
Even if you do not believe in this God that made your body and the fruits for a reason, I think it could be fare to say that the human body's most logical food is the fresh raw things that we could find in nature..
Scientifically seen, (and not so known because of dark reasons that I am not going to get in here) have the raw foods that are good for the body enzymes that match amazingly good with your stomach juices and that help your body extract maximum nutrition from what you eat - and use that nutrition to promote health and youth.
two modern variants of this are (also in order of my preferences):
2. fresh raw frozen food - especially the fruits, cause the leaves are getting much too mushy to be used raw (for me!). The vitamins, minerals, enzymes, the taste and the structure of the fruit stays pretty much the same and the losses are minimal. Great smoothies and ice made with this one..
3. raw dried food..
These would be the:
The loss of goddies in this kind of food is also super minimal.
Maybe another category (1-2-3) would be the combination of all the above or of two of them, like the raw gourmet food that can be found in raw restaurants and cafes (like Cafe Gratitude in LA, never been but saw some vids about it) or some stuff I make at home (:-P)
Coming back to Adam and his Eve, after some millions of years of developing the human race, they discovered fire and the weapons and started cooking stuff that they could or would not eat raw..
And here is where it gets all messed up and complicated but as I said I am going to attempt to make it simple.
I will say only that modernity went further and further and invented all kind of stuff - up to the supermarket, the trans-fats and the hydrogenations....
So on my scale the next ones in line are:
4. cooked foods that come from fresh foods:
if you know the basic ingredients (like, you can name them and can see their original shape, being it meat, fish or vegetables, etc) - that is the so called "whole foods".. In this a subcategory of our times would be.
Some manners of "cooking" or PROCESSING METHODS least harmful for food are BLANCHING, BOILING and STEAMING. Nutrient loss - enzymes, probiotics and some amino acids - takes place in all these processes.
Once again, if I can choose, I go with 4a.
If you can combine all the above, even if you also eat the "B"s from time to time or regularly, you will probably promote your health and your body will be happy with you...
Next in line:
5. refined wheat and sugar
Refining and processing (cane) sugar and whole grains has had far-ranging detrimental effects on the health of the entire western civilization.
This has resulted in losses of minerals, vitamins, enzymes, fiber, antioxidants, probiotics, proteins, essential fats and phytonutrients. It renders the food into an "empty calorie" source with little or no nutritional value.
These things are here for some two hundred years and yes, they save(d) some lives but they also take lots.. They did it slower, though, than big diseases from the distant past, so it's less obvious..
Plus that by planting these crops for thousands of years, the grains and sugar sources of today have little to no resemblance to the original molecule structure so in fact they are far from the initial nutrient rich grains and cane..
Starting with this category there is actually not much difference A (organic) and B (not organic).. Just that the bad stuff does not get better with cooking or processing, as the good stuff gets bad.. (it does not make sense and still..)
6. bleached, deodorized foods..
Refining, bleaching and deodorizing processes applied to seeds, nuts and bean crops - usually to produce commercial cooking oils - are extremely harsh and render the final product almost void of any food value but with more taste than ever.
Besides a major loss of nutrients, food molecules are permanently damaged, rendering the foods toxic on a cellular body level, and increasing risks of cancer, inflammation and permanent degenerative changes.
7. Browned or baked foods (. especially the commercial ones!!)
BROWNING foods in the oven, over a grille or in a barbeque causes basic chemical changes to the food that pose dangers to health.
Very recently, compounds called "acrylamides" - formed in starches during high-temperature cooking have proven to increase cancer and inflammation, and damage to the central nervous system.
Damaged food molecules are toxic to humans.
In the same category would come for me the magnetron, the beautiful invention of the last years, that recent studies have shown it modifies the basic core of the molecule.
I am not very scientific about it but that is all I have to know, if it modifies the cell of the stuff I am eating - I don't wanna bring it into my body (or my child's body, or anybody loved).
8. Fried foods
These are well-known to be a toxic health hazard.
I say well-known but I had no idea until a few years ago when I started researching.
Most people do not know and / or do not care.
Research has proven that increases in rates of cardiovascular disease and other degenerative disorders were rising due to increases in consumption of fried foods and "fast foods".
Dangers include toxicity from damaged molecules and increased cancer, inflammation, and degenerative changes, as well as increased cardiovascular disease.
Plus that the commercial food in this category has all kind of other processes done to it, like the next one in line:
9. Hydrogenated foods.
These one are really the worse you can consume in the family of processed foods.
In the hydrogenation process, oils are superheated and exposed to hydrogen in attempts to "saturate" the unsaturated molecular bonds (in order to transform the shell keeping from a few weeks to "forever young").
Besides saturation it creates TRANS FATTY ACIDS which have been tied to increases in cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, compromised immune and reproductive function.
King of modified cells. These are recently invented and a few weeks ago the biggest manufacturer of GMO's (Monsanto) got free hand in USA from Obama.
A sad sad moment in the history of humanity and I really hope we will survive this as a species.
Somewhere here and not related to food but related to what we put into our bodies are the vaccines. I am not going to talk about it here but if you are surprised about me saying it, please research this subject a bit more in depth before you subject yourself and your children to vaccines.
And maybe a word of caution about using just any kind of plastic stuff to keep your food and drinks in - as there are some categories of plastic that are really bad.. I am also not going to get into it right now but you can read more about it here. Avoid if possible the really bad ones.
Some phrases of this article are not my words exactly..
I would only say "bad stuff"..:-)
I have friends who eat all this bad stuff and more - because this is the society where we live in, most of us.
And I get it, we have less and less time to cook and prepare our family's foods.
As with everything, do the best you can at the moment and improve in time (we do better when we know better).
The financial side of things must also be considered but please look at your possibilities and change what you can in your diet, to promote health and wellbeing.
And if you are still reading, a big thank you!!!
So when you want to give your body a break, as a principle, all that is already prepared is less digestible. And if cooking is more difficult, try to eat more (organic) green smoothies and fresh fruit, honey and natural produce.
Now that it is almost summer for most of us reading (as far as I know), give your body a break by eating fresh stuff - try it for 21 days - and then try to keep the "after 5's" maybe under 5% of what you eat..