I've spent a few years on and off thinking about and researching food. There is a lot a person needs to know if one is to consume that which promotes and maintains good health and does not put a strain on the body/mind, while keeping the enjoyment of food alive.
Things to consider. . .
1. Ethics --Free Range versus factory farmed animals. And "Do plants feel pain when you kill them?" (I think they do. So what does one do other than make peace with the fact that in order to live, one must kill. You can be thoughtless and cruel or you can be respectful and kind in so far as you are able.)
All in all, there is a lot to be aware of. People tell me, "Aw, come on! You're being over-dramatic. This stuff isn't going to cause any significant problems. You're going to die someday anyhow. Live a little!"
2. Toxic ingredients. --Including things like, Monsanto's big bad artifical sweetener, Aapartame in all its many forms and guises. Coloring agents which can cause hyperactivity and ADD-like behavior in children. Sodium Benzoate, which virtually everybody will tell you is safe, but which I have read enough suspicious and fascinating things about to not be nearly so quick to write off as entirely harmless.
3. Foods nobody really suspected were toxic. --A big one here is Soy, which contains, among other things, Trypsin inhibitors, (prevents protein digestion), large quantities of Phytic Acid, (prevents dietary mineral uptake), and plant-derived oestrogen-like compounds (Isoflavones) which have been shown without question to have narcotic effects upon the body. You want to screw up your newborn son's sexual identity and maybe even kill him? Feed him Soy milk during the first 12 months of his life. Seriously.
4. Food combining. --If you eat Meat and Potatoes together, how much food value does the body get from each, versus if you ate them separately? How much extra strain does throwing certain combinations of food together in your stomach put on your digestive and various bodily systems? There's a lot here which people could benefit from knowing.
5. Disease. --BSE; how does Mad Cow work? What can one do to minimize the risk other than stop eating beef altogether? (There are a couple of big things you can do, actually. I was very surprised by what I discovered.)
6. Sugar -- Sugar is an over-used sweetener which creates a whole series of imbalances in the body. Stop eating it in gross quantities, and you'll quickly no longer want it in gross quantities.
7. Salt. --Sodium chloride, while it IS a salt, is just one of many that the body needs. On its own and used in the quantities it is for flavoring purposes, it is actually rather destructive. The best salt I came across was designed to mimic the mineral composition of mother's amniotic fluid, which is comprised of about 70 different salts, all of which the body needs in order to function at its peek.
8. Caffeine --Caffeine in kids drinks, along with too much sugar and various coloring agents, is responsible for much of the ADD - related problems and very likely, the subsequent drugging of our youth with anti-depressants. Caffeine is a drug. It's one I use regularly myself and think highly of; it's one of the only drugs which enhances rather than dulls the mind and which has little negative effect if used responsibly. But it IS a drug, and it is not one which should be treated without respect.
9. Carbonated Drinks. --Fizzy drinks have been linked to the depletion of bone mass for a variety of reasons, from the carbonation to the acids in certain brands. "Put a nail in a glass of America's Favorite Drink, (Coca Cola), and it'll dissolve to nothing within a few days."
10. Fluoride --It's in everything. If it's in the water supply, then its in your fruit and vegetables, which means its in your meat, eggs and cookies. Is it good or bad? There are many who debate this. I do not. I am convinced that Fluoride is a real problem. The only way to properly combat Fluoride is to drink from a well or drink distilled water. (There is a big difference between naturally occurring fluoride in ground water and industrial fluoride in municipal water; one is bonded to carbon, the other is highly reactive.)
11. Chlorination --Let your water stand overnight to clear out this otherwise life-saving disinfectant. If you don't let it absolve from your drinking water, then you can expect all manner of subtle health problems which you may not even be aware you are living with; everything from digestive issues to a decreased sex drive.
12. Cow Milk --The stuff was simply not meant to be consumed by humans, particularly adults. A whole raft of problems have been linked to the consumption of un-fermented Cow's Milk. Cheese and Yoghurt? They're fine so long as you can find them without crap ingredients. And you can! (They taste better, too, and they don't cost much more, for the most part.)
Thing is, I'm generally a LOT healthier and more alert than most of the people I know who don't pay attention to this stuff. If I eat a steak on its own without a baked potato, then I'll be alert twenty minutes after dinner when everybody else is spacing out. Avoid pizza, (combining bread, meat and cheese), and stay trim while everybody else is getting fat and slow. Avoid Aspartame, and I don't get migraine headaches, a screwed up brain and spotty vision. Avoid Cow Milk, and I don't get indigestion and allergic reactions. Avoid Soy (which is in about 75% of all packaged foods these days), and I get to absorb the iron, calcium, zinc and various other minerals and proteins I need to stay healthy while keeping female growth hormones out of my body. Etc. etc. . .
This stuff adds up fast, and it makes people weak and submissive and tired and susceptible to illness. I spent the 2003 flu season among a lot of sick people, and without a flu shot, (another huge scam, by the way; the vaccines usually contain mercury), I managed to stay entirely Flu-free. --They don't tell you that if you wash your hands, eat healthy food and get enough sleep, that you increase your chances of avoiding the flu and similar illnesses by an estimated 80%.
Food is a huge vector of control in our society. If you spend the time learning about it and adjusting your habits, it becomes a very simple thing to maintain good health and a strong mind.
Well, I don't eat fast food and I don't eat Doritoes. Interestingly, though, I've found that most junk food and soft drinks I once craved now taste a lot like petroleum products, and fast food tastes like barf on a bun. This really surprised me! After I started eating organic, non-toxic foods, I was stunned by just how amazingly disgusting I realized basic consumer food really was. I literally blink in amazement when I watch the shit other people eat without realizing it. It's like being in a sci-fi film where people are happily eating garbage without knowing it, and look at you funny if you don't partake. I think it might be rather like the ex-smoker who now feels like throwing up at the smell of cigarettes.
I eat really well these days. Fruit, veg, meats, cheeses, etc. And if you live near a health-food store, you can get all kinds of great snack items which don't actually cost a whole lot more than the factory produced stuff. And I'm not talking about rice-cakes, which are actually pretty worthless. You can get great potato chips, and cookies and salsas and all of that good stuff. Heck, I asked my local grocery store to start stocking organic foods and snack items that won't mess up your body. And guess what?