Processed People, You Really Are What You Eat

processedfoods Processed People, You Really Are What You Eat

Lets all come clean here, for most of us, eating processed foods is a way of life. Practically from day one, we are fed something which has made it’s way through the factory food shaping machines. For most of us, it started innocently enough with our baby formula and then spontaneously moves on to weekly happy meals, which we chase down with gallons of Coke Cola. It’s so universally excepted, we never think twice about it and that is always when something goes wrong. When we stop asking questions and just take what is given us. This is what the new documentary Processed People is all about. The film takes an in-depth look at the history of the industry and the health crisis it has produced in billions of people around the world.

Some of the shocking facts from the film: Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese. More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. 24 million people are diabetic. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers. Obesity has overtaken tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable deaths in the United States. Over 50% of bankruptcies are caused by what has become known as “medical debt.”

Processed People features interviews from nine preeminent health and environmental experts/advocates. They discuss how and why Americans got into this mess, and what we can do to break the “processed people” cycle. You see more about the film and even buy a dvd at the movies site, processedpeople.com

More video interviews after the jump

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Is Gluten Like the Wicked Witch Of The West and Out To Get Me and My Little Doggy Too?

gluten free cookies Is Gluten Like the Wicked Witch Of The West and Out To Get Me and My Little Doggy Too?

It’s always possible there’s a corporate conspiracy at work, but all of a sudden it seems like everyone is avoiding gluten. And while the wheat industry may be stocking up on tissues, the rest of the food industry has forged ahead. If you look around, you’ll find the marketplace is flooded with thousands of gluten-free goodies — everything from gluten-free breads to gluten-free cake mix to gluten-free salad dressings. Retailers have dedicated entire sections of their stores to “gluten-free zones,” and according to the marketing research firm Packaged Facts, sales of gluten-free products have increased from $210 million in 2001 to just shy of $700 million in 2006. That’s a lot of not-gluten.

But here’s my question: why are we supposed to avoid gluten?

By definition, gluten is just a fancy name for a protein mixture found in wheat. It’s used very broadly in foods because it acts like a thickening agent or glue to help ingredients stick together (like in bread dough). Gluten occurs naturally in all forms of wheat, and can be found in trace elements in other grains like barley and rye due to the grains being processed on the same machines as their gluten-ridden counterparts. In the processed food world especially, gluten is ubiquitous: cereals, soups, ice cream, candy, pasta, pastries… McDonalds even admitted recently that their french fries had gluten in the flavoring.

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