Good Foods, Bad Foods by Judith A. De Cava is a book about the benefits of whole foods and the effect they can have on our lives compared to overly processed or synthetic foods that were “meant to be sold, not to be eaten.” Your health, your appearance and the length of your life can partially or in whole be traced back to the things you put into your mouth. Far too many people are choosing convenience over health, and consuming far too many calories from bagged, boxed and canned food options. Good Foods, Bad Foods takes an in-depth look at whole foods versus non-whole foods and carefully explains why whole foods are the only way to go because, quite frankly, you know what’s in them.
“If you are what you eat, and you don’t know what you eat, do you even know who you are?”
Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, and have been processed very little.
Fruits and vegetables immediately come to mind. Just pick, wash, and eat. Meat, on the other hand, takes a little more time. Its process includes slaughtering, cleaning, butchering, and refrigerating in most cases. This amount and type of processing is expected and is all fine and well. The problem lies in too much processing. Too much processing whether it be from refining, emulsifying, bleaching, pasteurizing, or hydrogenating leads to the creation of ingredients unfamiliar to the body as well as harmful to it.
Synthetic ingredients come in many forms and enter our bodies in many different ways. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and a few other -cides all exist to give plants a fighting chance to live. The flipside is these “cides” share the same root as homi and sui-cide. In other words, they can have harmful, even dangerous effects on the body. Our fruits and vegetables must be organic to avoid this harmful encounter.
The meat we eat also contains synthetic ingredients, if not organic, because many caged animals are eating a synthetic diet. Genetically engineered grain, corn, manure, and even rubber tires have entered the mouths of livestock who were cooped up and not allowed to roam freely and eat grass — the food it was intended to eat.
Even a majority of the vitamins we use on a daily basis are synthetic and have no business entering our bodies. Most are made from corn syrup and are just a small portion of the supplement that scientists have identified as important. These makes the vitamin useless to our bodies. DeCava asks, “what good is a roof if you don’t have the other components to make a house?” Whole food supplements, vitamins or otherwise, are superior to synthetic ones for this very reason. These supplements have all the necessary factors present for proper intake, digestion, and absorption. Any isolated nutrient, synthetic or otherwise, does not.
“Putting it bluntly, taking individual, separated, or imitation ‘nutrients’ is tantamount to taking drugs whether they are added to foods or taken in pills or powders. They are not integrated — naturally combined, unified, in symmetry — with the rest of the naturally-occurring compounds in real foods and they don’t act the same in your body as a real food matrix.”
The only way to avoid these toxic foods and “unfoods’ is to eat organic whole foods and take organic whole food supplements. The quality of each is determined by the soil. Unless that soil is properly nurtured and devoid of toxic pesticides, it will not produce nutrient-dense food. For this very reason, organic fruits and vegetables reign supreme over non-organic. “One study showed that organic crops had, on average, up to 30% more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Another found that organically grown produce was, on average, 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium…91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium, and 60% higher in zinc.” Wow!
Along with choosing organic food from quality soil, we must not allow agribusiness, convenience, taste, mood or misleading information cause us to eat poorly. The obesity rate in America is 65%, and climbing. As Joel Kimmons, CDC nutritional expert said, “the US has the highest level of malnutrition in the world.” Reason being is 1/3 of the American diet consists of “non-foods” or “unfood.” And as a result, Americans are eating 140 more pounds of food each year to compensate.
When you grow to understand the value of whole foods and the commercialization of the food industry, you can see how important it is to seek out organic meats, fruits and vegetables. These foods have all the factors necessary to be used at the cellular level in the most efficient manner possible. They also contain higher levels of every nutrient found in them when compared to the non-organic version. By eating these whole foods, we nourish our bodies without gaining weight. We can also avoid many of today’s common diseases by eating organic whole foods. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes can be avoided by eating healthfully. A lot is riding on the things you put in your mouth. “It’s your health, your appearance and the length of your life.” Choose wisely.