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Another Reason to Avoid Processed Foods: The Environment

I am not a fan of processed foods. Although I am not always successful I do try to avoid food with ingredients that I don't recognize and cannot pronounce.

I now have another motivation to steer clear of packaged, processed and engineered foods – the environment. It is fairly simple, processed foods require more energy to produce and package than do whole foods like oats, bananas and spinach. While reading In Defense of Food, I realized that my favorite cereal, Kashi Go Lean is a lot more processed than simple steel cut oats. The production of food and the supply chain takes up an estimated 19 percent of energy used in the US, and the energy sources used are most often non-renewable energy sources. By decreasing the amount of processed foods as well as eating a diet that contains less meat, you can decrease your carbon footprint as well as your waistline. What processed food do you think you should give up? Tell me in the comments section below.


peregrine peregrine 9 years
It's pretty interesting the comment about the effect giving up processed foods would have on the economy. Keeping in mind that making them requires so much more energy, the prices should probably go up for them over time, so they'll fade out a bit that way too. On the other hand, I seem to have a lot of food sensitivities too, and problems caused by pharmaceuticals. I would be willing to bet that a healthy diet alone could tame so many health problems that health care costs would go down enormously. There was a study done recently that dietary changes can have an effect at the genetic level, "switching off and on" genes that are linked to cancer and other things. But health care costs go into GDP as a positive, so... For people who don't know what to eat instead of processed foods, it's probably because once women entered the workplace, cooking became a bit of a lost art. I cook more at home (most meals) than anyone I know, and none of my friends can figure out why I complain of having no time. I'm pretty sure it's because I eat at home and prepare my own meals (and it's taken a long time for me to learn to do so, but it comes down to health and money for me). I got sick of taking different prescriptions for skin problems, prescriptions that caused me other problems that forced me to give up other foods or take other prescriptions in an endless cycle. From an economic perspective, it makes more sense for me to keep going to the doctor and buying prescriptions and eating invented "foods" than to just fix my diet and exercise more, and that to me says there's something wrong with our economic system.
LuvLeoDiCaprio LuvLeoDiCaprio 9 years
Most food options are processed, what are my choices? I am really interested in this just don't know where to start.
raweuthanasia raweuthanasia 9 years
Cereal is my comfort food, specifically Kashi lately. I keep saying i need to stop eating it (like a box every other day) but its the only processed food i eat and im cranky without it. I did however buy rolled oats its just not as convenient. I guess i should start making a huge batch of it that way i can just microwave it as i need.
SublimeChica SublimeChica 9 years
I think processed foods as a whole need to go. Most people my age don't realize it (I'm in the 18-25 demo) but we've been eating--or at least hyper exposed to-- processed foods our entire lives! No other generation has experienced that to the degree that we have. "The United States of Arugula" by David Kamp covers the growth of this trend in an amusing fashion, if anyone is interested in additional reading.
marygrace marygrace 9 years
You should give up all processed foods. They all have added garbage, are more expensive, and have a lot of wasteful packaging.
SweetNGlow SweetNGlow 9 years
People need to give up their addictions to cereals and milk! Both these products are highly processed. Oatmeal with wheat germ, flax seed and fresh fruit is a much better option if you absolutely must have something starchy for breakfast...
dcfilm dcfilm 9 years
I love the environment ... but I also love Kashi Go Lean. On the other side -- if everyone suddenly stopped buying processed foods - the economy would implode and then we wouldn't have the luxury of choosing what food we eat because we'd probably all be eating free government cheese.
kia kia 9 years
In a way my food allergies are a blessing because I can't handle most processed foods. I generally eat whole foods and do most things by scratch.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i'm trying to guve up all of them. I saw this russian documentary about fast food and it's so much better than any US, because it actually shows processes in the body, how blood reacts to all these chemicals... and now i'm convinced. no fast food for me, no cakes that i didn't bake myself... nothing. going to the market now to get veggies and eat salad for lunch.
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