one green planet
one green planet

They never tire; you have to give them that. Fast food companies; these peddlers of junk food never grow weary of lying to make us think the ‘food’ they produce is healthy. They work so hard to convince us that high fructose corn syrup is just corn sugar; that sugar is natural in tomato sauce; that additives and preservatives are for our own good; that GMO’s will help us grow more food…and more nutritious food at that.

It’s time to shine the light on what these charlatans call fair business practices and let them know we are on to them and are tired of their games.

We must demand better quality food if we are to have a healthy future.

Pizza for the Health Freak

“Health Freak, Pizza. Pizza, Health Freak” reads the headline on the Domino’s Pizza website. The copy goes on to sell us the idea that “Pizza can be healthy. It’s just a matter of choosing the right ingredients.”

Domino’s Pizza tells us that their pizza sauce is fresh from the farm to the table. Their pizza sauce is “made from the finest vine-ripened tomatoes.”

It should make us wonder, then, why their sauce is made from the base of a canned, tomato paste–like food service product called Angela Mia Pizza Sauce made by Hunt’s. If their sauce relies on the goodness of nature, why does it need MSG added? I guess if you go back enough steps, you’ll find a fresh tomato grown on a farm in there somewhere. Hardly what I would call fresh from the farm to your front door. But I guess since fresh tomatoes are a part of the processing of their sauce for pizza, it’s technically the truth.

On their website, you can build a pizza and check the calories before you order. As you’ll discover, you consume 135 calories for one slice of a small (ten-inch) thin-crust pizza with onions, peppers, garlic, spinach, and mushrooms—no cheese. Now, you may think that’s not so bad, right? But that’s for one-quarter of a 10-inch pizza! That’s a tiny serving. Most of us would devour that whole ten-inch pie and as a result, take in 540 calories. You may say that’s not bad for a meal. It’s not, really. Remember that’s with no cheese! Add cheese, as most Americans do, and that skimpy slice shoots up to 205 calories, with the whole pizza coming in at 820 calories! While accurate, this information can be misleading—leading us into getting fatter by the minute. People almost always miscalculate what they actually eat, and generally err on the side of fewer calories taken in.

Health freak pizza, indeed.

I could go on with examples of how you are being misled by companies that want to sell you compromised foods under the guise that they can be healthy for you. Do you think there’s a chef from McDonald’s at the local farm market squeezing tomatoes and checking for the freshest, crispiest lettuce? Although their commercials show glistening veggies, fresh from the farm being washed by hand under cascades of shimmering water, nothing could be further from the truth. Do you think Old MacDonald himself is growing tomatoes for Domino’s or whole grains for Stouffer’s? All of these images are designed to make you think there is some humanity in the food they sell; that the frozen meals and delivered pizza are homemade.

They think we are naïve enough to believe it. Let’s prove them wrong. I am so weary of all this nonsense. We need to stop falling for big portions of lousy quality.

Dinner from Your Microwave

So let’s say you decide that drive-through won’t cut it anymore. You swear off fast food. Wandering the supermarket frozen food aisles makes your head spin. From vegetables to dinners to pizza, there are options galore.

How do you decide what’s healthy?

Frozen food companies like Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s refer to their veggies as “farm-picked.” Really? Farm picked? Notice that it doesn’t say farm fresh, just picked. Do vegetables grow anywhere else, whether commercially, genetically modified, or organically than on a farm? Can we get them by any other means than picking them? It’s a meaningless phrase designed to make you think this frozen dinner is somehow fresh from the farm stand.

What’s more important is what is actually in one of these frozen meals that you think serve your health. A study of the nutrition facts on the Lean Cuisine website doesn’t exactly make me feel like these foods are made from ingredients picked at their peak of freshness. The full nutrition profile reads like a laundry list of ingredients that have little to do with nature . . . or the farm. Ingredients like modified corn starch, onion powder, whey protein concentrate, xanthan gum, mono & diglycerides and natural flavor aren’t what my mother would have put in her Chicken Fettuccine. It’s not what you would put in yours if you cooked it from scratch. It would be one thing if they just called it what it is: a low-calorie frozen dinner. We would know then, that it was not natural, but low-calorie. We’d get what we get. But they go to great lengths to convince us that their food is fresh, somehow superior and so natural; the farmers are in the fields feverishly growing and picking by hand to keep the quality just like homemade.

And you didn’t need to break a sweat for this ‘homemade’ dinner.

Time to get back into the kitchen; cook some seriously delicious real food and save our collective health…and planet…before it’s too late.

Image Source: Daniel Oines/Flickr