Whole Foods, Whole Planet
“An Enviga website says that the drink’s blend of green tea and caffeine burns more calories than it contains and can help drinkers maintain an ideal weight. According to a Nestle study, young people who drank three of the 12-ounce drinks a day burned an average of 106 calories.” link
I thought it was a joke when I heard about this new soft drink on NPR tonight. Targeted at overweight teenagers, it burns calories, they say. But wait a minute: you have to drink 36 ounces of the stuff, including the artificial sweeteners, caffeine and theophylline plus lord only knows what else–to burn a hundred calories?
This especially striking example of “nutritionism” loomed large after recently reading Michael Pollan’s piece, Unhappy Meals in the NY Times. How have we become so far removed from WHOLE FOODS and so wrapped up in their reductionist dissection into “nutrients” about which we still understand so little? Whatever our modern western notions are about eating, they’re not working. They’re killing us and the planet.
“The problem with nutrient-by-nutrient nutrition science,” points out Marion Nestle, the New York University nutritionist, “is that it takes the nutrient out of the context of food, the food out of the context of diet and the diet out of the context of lifestyle.”
In the end, Pollan’s simple but well-reasoned advice (in the long NYT article–clip and save it): Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Consider avoiding anything that wasn’t around when your great grand-parents were having their meals. Eat as few industrialized, refined food-like substances as possible. And don’t listen to food labels, or most food or diet fads.
Why are we in America the most “well-fed” while our diet is killing us? I highly recommend you read this piece, and like me, send it to your kids. They need to hear it again: eat your vegetables! Our health future–and the world’s–may depend on it.