The Interest in Processed Foods by Marcus Antebi
How does our interest in processed food get sparked? It occurs in our youth, but it actually begins even before that.
This might be difficult for you to accept. You might be in denial of such information. It might make you angry and make you want to believe that it’s not true. So I want you to look up into the cosmos when you think of this subject. Look up into the night sky, and contemplate that there was a time before processed food. Before mankind was up to no good, they hadn’t yet manufactured or tasted processed or unnatural foods.
Bear in mind that there is a slight difference between the two. Processed foods can be things that started off as natural with no chemical ingredients but they’ve been processed (and overcooked) in a way that is not necessarily good for your health.
At one time, humanity didn’t have the knowledge of gastronomy. Gastronomy is defined as the study of the relationship between food and culture and the act preparing and serving rich or delicate foods, among other things. Unfortunately, it usually has little or nothing to do with keeping the body clean from the inside out. And our society has adopted habits and accepted norms pertaining to food that are incredibly bad for us.
Poor eating practices and impure and adulterated food cause incalculable damage to the human race. Those things are a primary factor in deaths caused by a myriad of diseases and are linked to mass starvation. These statements may seem incredibly insensitive and hard to accept, and I don’t take pleasure in writing them. But unfortunately they’re true. Both as individuals and as a society we must change how we produce, process, and consume food products. We ignore the information about our misdeeds regarding these practices at our own peril and the peril of others.
From the time that we are newborns all the way up until our 20s and 30s we are bombarded with all kinds of ridiculous foods that are void of nutrients and dangerous to our health. They are woven into the fabric of our lives. They are part of our routines and customs and often are associated with pleasant memories and happiness. We began by eating things made from white flour and concentrated sweeteners—two major corruptors of food.
Later in life we were introduced to things like alcohol. Wine seems harmless because it’s made by just stepping on grapes, putting them in a wood barrel, and then coming back in a decade or so to drink a delicious, intoxicating beverage. Although a human being isn’t processing it, nature is, and it results in something that’s harmful to the liver.
Both the taste and the effects of wine tempt us. Wine makes us feel elevated for a moment, and it makes us feel more connected. It subdues some anxieties. Anyone who feels this may become overly susceptible to being dependent on the substance. So of course we’re better off if we don’t use it.
But as a whole society insists on still using it, even though the negatives far outweigh the benefits. Consider the vast majority of people in our penal institutions. Approximately 80% of them committed their crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This indicates that it would probably be better if society didn’t have those substances. Apparently we’re not at the point where we know how to regulate society, even if its many individuals can regulate themselves. It would be better if we didn’t use alcohol and drugs just for the purpose of setting the right example.
I’m not saying that to preach or to tell people that they are wrong for drinking. I’m not saying that this is a moral issue. I’m saying that the chemistry of the body does not want to be intoxicated and polluted. The chemistry of the body wants to receive pure, unadulterated foods. The body doesn’t want substances that cause it to react adversely, whether those substances are water, alcohol, tobacco, or bad food.
It takes a very long time to unravel our addictions to the varieties of ways we think that lead to the variety of ways we choose to eat. And I am not here to force you or convince you to do something that I prefer that you do. I get no benefit from your transformation—only you do. My passion is to write down what I believe and hope that someone will find it helpful. I’m trying to avoid sounding judgmental but I don’t want to avoid telling the whole truth.
I live a certain way and I can feel the effect it has on me. I’ve experienced some very significant benefits from eliminating processed food (as well as alcohol and drugs) from my diet. I’m still a beginner and I’m far from perfect. But I know what it feels like to spend a very long period of my life as a vegan. I know what it feels like to be free from the addiction to and constant craving for processed sugar. I know how my body feels when I eat salad. I no longer taste the flesh, blood, skin and nerves of another conscious creature that wanted to live as much as I do.
I enjoy being alive. I enjoy sharing. I enjoy consciousness. I’m enjoying this moment. I want to share whatever it is I think I have that’s good to share and offer.
But what I’m speaking of is a difficult subject to approach, no matter what I do. I cannot approach it from the perspective of “tread lightly or people will back off.” I prefer to read things in which the author writes as a ‘straight shooter.’ When I read for the purpose of consuming knowledge, I want for the author to speak with authority. Then it’s up for me to decide if they’re full of shit or not.
I’ve been waiting a very long time to write down things that I have experienced in my life and describe what it’s been like for me. It may be different for you. You (probably) purchased this book, and you’re holding it and reading it. That means, at least for the moment, that you wanted my opinion. If your idea about diet is that eating cookies and drinking milk all the time will lead to optimal health, you paid me to tell you that you’re mistaken.
Interest in process food begins the first time our tongues are perverted with something unbelievably sweet. Our mentalities are particularly vulnerable if we have insecurities and minor to major trauma that occurred in childhood. This is so because recollections of those events make us unhappy. As soon as we eat something delicious, it could become the reason we feel better and that’s what makes those foods attractive over the long run. Even though a child doesn’t quite understand the nature of addiction, it’s happening to them. It’s as if they’re helpless. Children can’t help but to desire foods that are gooey and filling, squishy to the tongue and having the right temperature, texture, and taste. They make emotional and physical connections and automatically feel happy and soothed.
People should crave wholesome foods that not only taste good on the tongue but also feel good long after digestion when they’re in our chemistry. We should feel the desire for foods that we know won’t hurt us. And it’s very difficult to understand that when you’re a child. A child’s level of awareness is very limited because of lack of maturity of the brain.
The brain is a center for allowing consciousness to flow through it. And it takes time for a child to develop an understanding of sources of pain. Even if a child eats five cotton candy helpings, three candied apples and a hot dog and then throws up violently, they may not connect the pain with the behavior. They might even do the same thing again for the temporary adrenaline rush of the sugar in their system and the taste in their mouth. The taste and the chemistry surge together to create an explosion. And if a child’s life is filled with situations that cause anxiety, the child may learn to repress that anxiety with toxic foods. From an early age, a child can learn to use food to create a mood burst. The tastes and sensations of food could be the only things that soothe him or her.
Other reasons for food addictions are considerably more technical and not as obvious. They have to do with the nature of how human beings perceive reality and transition from one thing to the next. We have to go from one place to another place. It's a transition that brings our consciousness present to the new thing. Food is a medium for that transition. For some people it’s the thing that they use to feel grounded—the thing they use to feel relief. It doesn't necessarily have to be bad food. Just the action of eating, crunching, and filling the body may be the things that result in such peoples’ state of feeling emotionally grounded.
It’s a simple question, and generally speaking the answer isn’t particularly complicated either. Where does the craving for processed food come from? It comes from conditioning, from training, and from initially experiencing processed food.
But there is a way out of all this. We have to become willing to detox. This entails doing emotional work to learn how to beat the cravings. It also entails being willing to create happiness from within—from deep inside of ourselves.
Perhaps that sounds really cliché. But to beat food addictions and cravings, one must choose to pursue happiness. A big step in the right direction is to become conscious. Become aware of your present situation and be willing to deal with traumatic things that occurred in your past. Better health and happiness will follow provided that you do the hard work that your consciousness will reveal the need for.