My great-grandfather lived to be ninety-nine years old and he grew up on a farm. He was born on a farm, and that’s what he did his entire life.
He ate wholesome foods and his family was completely self-sufficient. They had protein, dairy, eggs, vegetables, even fruit trees, and there wasn’t an artificial drop in it. There were no pesticides or preservatives. So what happened? How did we lose control of what we eat?
It didn’t happen overnight literally, but when you look at it historically, it kind of did. For thousands of years, we ate basically the same. Sure, we learned some things about hygiene and sea trade made it possible to transport herbs and spices, but it was all done the natural way.
Then BAM! The industrial revolution hit. We had electric refrigerators and freezers, and machinery that could process food on a commercial level. Farmland was covered in asphalt and most of us learned to survive in a city but forgot how to obtain the basic necessities on our own.
Suddenly, we were being fed instead of eating.
And it isn’t getting any better.
Now the food industry has learned to manipulate us to make us buy their foods, and we buy right into it. Well today, I’m gonna share some of the ways that they get in our heads, and show you exactly how much we’ve lost control over what we eat.
Everybody knows that location is everything. And so it is with food, too. Have you ever noticed that the aisles in the grocery store – the place where all of the processed stuff resides, is situated literally front and center, while fresh produce and meat are at the far reaches – the outside perimeter. They make you work for the good stuff.
Then when you wade into the aisles, the most expensive foods are typically easy to reach. How often do you have to bend over or stretch when you’re at the grocery store? Hardly ever, unless you’re going to bend down for the least expensive stuff, which isn’t any better for you than the brand names.
Then of course there’s all of the TV that we watch. Another example of prime real estate – right in front of your face. They use words such as fresh, delicious ingredients to describe foods that are packaged and packed with preservatives and artificial additives and preservatives.
How many times have you seen a commercial for a pizza or a burger that looks absolutely amazing – the pizza is steaming and has a crispy crust and stringy, mouthwatering cheese, and the burger is fat with fresh toppings and melted cheese.
And does it look like that when you buy it, bring it home, and cook it? Not usually, no.
Playing on Emotions
The food industry knows who their target audience is and how to play to them.
Moms want family time, or alone time, or just any kind of time, so if moms are the target audience, that’s what the company is going to focus on. They’ll use clever advertising that portrays families together having a great time, or sitting down together for a meal that brings family time back to front and center.
In reality, our live are hectic. Everybody works or goes to school, then comes home and tries to catch up on housework, homework, yardwork, and all of the other little details. There doesn’t seem to be time for family, no matter how badly we want it. And they know that. Buy their food, and you’ll be sitting around the table.
And what about the weight loss foods? Eat or drink this ridiculously expensive, pre-made food and you’ll be skinny, young, and beautiful. It doesn’t matter that some of the ingredients come with warning labels that sound a whole lot more dangerous than those extra ten pounds will ever be. You won’t see a single one of them telling you to eat fresh foods and exercise.
Ah, there are two things that a parent loves – making their kids happy, and making them quiet. If you notice, kids’ programs are packed with commercials for cold cereal, mini pizza dishes, and junk food. That’s not an accident.
Kids are a tremendous part of the consumer pool, especially when you combine convenience with putting a smile on that grubby little face as they dig that five-cent toy out of the five-dollar box of sugary cereal.
There are so many confusing terms that food corporations use to make their food sound delicious, nutritious, and healthy, but when it comes right down to it, many of them are snake-oil salesmen. They can’t outright lie to you, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t use the truth to their advantage and downplay the disadvantages.
For instance, they can say “made from natural ingredients”. That makes it sound nutritious doesn’t it?
Well, sure the fruit bar is about ten percent REAL fruit juice (reconstituted from concentrate), but it’s also packed full of sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and chemical preservatives. But it is made from natural ingredients. Strawberries and raspberries are natural.
Conveniently Placed Fast Food
How many fast food restaurants are there at the end of highway exits, along major streets, and near schools and universities? Ever seen a grocery store at the end of an exit, front and center, inviting you to come in and buy some fruit? Yeah. Enough said.
This is possibly the easiest trick to fall for, because it’s a huge struggle living up to the impossible standards placed upon parents to work full time jobs, keep the house, go to PTA meetings, and get the kids to at least three different sports and clubs per week ON TIME.
McDonalds is sooo much easier than being that mom who walks in ten minutes after the PTA meeting has started.
The thing is, you can shave off a lot of that time if you just take back a bit of control. Even if it’s just making a huge pot of spaghetti sauce and canning or freezing the extra so that you don’t have to buy store-bought that’s expensive and full of chemicals.
Last-Minute Impulse Buys
Ever stood in a grocery store or convenience store checkout line that wasn’t a cornucopia of soda, gum, mints, candy bars and packs of crackers and cookies? That’s because last-minute impulse buys are a huge percentage of sales for those products. Admit it – you’ve grabbed a candy bar or a Coke while you were waiting, haven’t you? See? They gotcha hook, line, and sinker.
When was the last time you saw a commercial for green peppers or apples? Or organic steak? For that matter, have you seen a single one that encourages you to actually GROW your own food? Yeah, I can’t remember ever seeing one either. That’s because healthy, wholesome foods already hold the stage; it’s the processed food companies that have to convince you that their food is better. And they’re doing an amazing job of it. After all, what’s in YOUR pantry and freezer?
Now that you know some of the tricks, you can play closer attention to what you buy. Hopefully, I’ve given you something to think about; it’s time to take back our lives and our kitchens.
If you’re looking for ways to do that, I’ve written a guide to help you get started. It’s called Forgotten Lessons of Yesterday, and I share a diverse collection of my experiences that range from canning vegetables to butchering your own meat.
I even threw in some great recipes, and it comes with five free guides that expand even further on topics that we all need to know in order to take our lives back.
Check it out!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.