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Aversion Therapy? Nasty New Take On Processed Foods

If it’s not a covert campaign to get us to stop eating processed foods, it may well attain the same goal. New science revels that processed foods may actually be ‘pre-digested’. I was both fascinated and shocked by a video on The Starch Production Process…

This YouTube-sourced video on the Starch Production Process
makes starkly clear how much extraction, transformation,
and adulteration takes place in making some ‘foods’.

Sad but true…

A CNN Health story this week states: “What does “predigested” mean? To manufacture cheap, delicious food that is packaged for convenience, basic food crops such as corn, wheat and potatoes are dissembled into their molecular parts — starchy flours, protein isolates, fats and oils — or what manufacturers call ‘slurries’.”

These slurries then go through a whole string of additional processes to end up as various food products: “With the help of artificial colorings, flavorings and glue-like emulsifiers, those slurries are then heated, pounded, shaped or extruded into any food a manufacturer can dream up.”

And it’s not just human food. The Slurry Process is also the first step in making many livestock and pet foods, cardboard, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

An illusion of food…

“It could be a pizza, if you put some cheese and tomato on top. It could be a burger bun. It could be a grain bar, a breakfast cereal, ice cream or confectionery — they all have the same list of basic starting ingredients,” says Dr. Chris van Tulleken, an associate professor at University College London.

“It’s an illusion of food,” he explains. “But it’s really expensive and difficult for a food company to make food that is real and whole, and much cheaper for food companies to destroy real foods, turn them in molecules, and then reassemble those to make anything they want.”

Tulleken’s 2023 book Ultra-Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop? paints a painful picture.

Cheaper than fresh?

That might seem a plus factor in this age of monumentally high food prices. But regardless of the price, we can’t afford dietarily to eat too much of this stuff.

The main reason is, these reconstructed food products may lack essential nutrients we need to stay healthy and resist scourges such as obesity,coronary disease, diabetes and cancer.

Our guts were evolved to take in and process a variety of complex natural foods which, in sum, gives us what me need to thrive.

Why it’s bad…

“Like the regurgitated food mother birds feed their babies in the nest, ultraprocessed food is quick and easy to digest,” CNN’s writes. That’s an off-putter, right there!

The problem is, processed foods – particularly breakfast cereals and starchy, salty, fatty snacks – don’t trigger the natural ‘fullness’ signals our bodies rely on to tell us to stop eating when we’ve had enough.

What’s worse…

Estimates say as much as 73 percent of the food supply in the US – and the whole Western World, by association –  is made up of ultraprocessed foods, CNN notes. “Yet it’s been hard to pinpoint the underlying impact of such foods on the body, as nearly all research in nutrition is observational. It’s difficult to do a randomized clinical trial, considered the gold standard of research, by forcing people to eat only certain foods.”

My take

The notion of processed foods being ‘pre-digested’ certainly soured me (at least for the rest of the day) on the shrimp puffs and guacamole I as snacking on while I read the CNN article. How sad to note that any good I was doing myself with the Guac was being systematically cancelled out by the crackers!

Nevertheless, there’s no way anyone reading the CNN piece could help but take the message to heart. It’s the first really impactful presentation I’ve seen on the ugliness of Processed Foods. And the harm they are capable of wreaking on our only-too-human constitutions…

~ Maggie J.

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