by aajonus vonderplanitz, phd nutrition
When dining away from home, shouldn’t we consider what food is being served? Is the food nutritious? The word nutritious comes from the word nourishes. So, does the food on the menu nourish our bodies to better health? To know the answer to that question, each food must be analyzed. Oops, did I just remove fun from dining in restaurants?
One hundred years ago, the answer for most foods would have been, they are nourishing. Today we have to consider how food is processed. Now, nearly all processed food is meant to have “infinite” shelf-life for corporate profits. In order to create infinite shelf-life, all ingredients must be sterilized. That is, any thing that occurs in food to make them naturally decompose (nature’s digestion) for bio-recycling must be chemically altered, destroyed or removed. Processes that accomplish those are high heat, centrifugal or chemical fractionation, radiation, isolation, and industrial chemical treatments.
Take for example milk. The major producers of milk completely remove any animal fat from milk because it decomposes and alters flavor as it ages. They boil it for about 20 minutes. They add equal amounts of chlorinated and fluoridated water, and then sterilize the liquid that was made from milk that looks blue and smells like brewery mash. To make it look like milk again, they add chalk or dolomite (powdered rock high concentrations of calcium) that can be up to 1/4 the weight of the “milk”. To make if flavorful, they add artificial flavorings and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Most foods today are made with vegetable oils, margarine being the highest. Nearly ALL vegetable oils used in food production are hydrogenated to make them solid. This turns the oil into highly unhealthy trans-fatty acids. It has been documented and known among health-minded individuals for at least 25 years that hydrogenated oils are trans-fatty acids that have the same molecular structure as plastic.
University of Auckland, New Zealand researchers documented that children who ate margarine daily had significantly lower IQ scores by age 3.5 than those who did not eat margarine.(1) Those man-made trans-fatty acids have been shown to raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. They have also been linked as a major cause of heart disease.(2) Underweight children at birth who consumed margarine had IQ scores that were even lower by age 7.
A 20-year study revealed that men who consumed margarine had 77% more heart attacks than men who did not eat margarine. However, when butter was consumed, heart attacks decreased substantially.(3) Since real butter is very expensive, you will not find real butter in any average restaurant. In fact, you may not find it in many exclusive restaurants.
Primarily, consider that in human bodies, vegetable oils harden and crystallize because of our low body temperatures. Herbivores have normal body temperatures between 101 and 105 degrees F in which vegetable oils remain liquid. In our normal range 98.6 F. and lower, vegetable oils do not remain liquid, solidifying over time and eventually crystallizing. That causes many ill problems, from congested lymphatic system and arteries, hardened liver and pancreas to psoriasis, eczema and multiple sclerosis.
Add the hydrogenous/plastic factor and most people have a fat that will completely congest the lymphatic system and decrease health substantially, causing lots of lymphoma and other cancers. Those fats are relatively non-removable. The greatest crime, and it is criminal, is that margarine and vegetables oils have been sold as healthy, better-for-health over butter and other animal fats. That is completely fraudulent. We have been told that animal fats cause heart disease and obesity. However, hydrogenated vegetable oils are the main factor in heart disease and add greatly to obesity.
The main cause of obesity is processed carbohydrates, such as corn syrup that is in 70% of all manufactured foods as a sweetener. Ninety percent of the corn used in food-processing is genetically modified (GMO). GMO foods have proved to cause many allergies, cellular mutations and some diseases. Soft drinks are loaded with corn syrup.
Kerosene-derivatives are often used to fractionate parts of food to isolate them, giving them longer shelf-lives. Chlorine, fluoride, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals are used to soak and wash food including animal products. Would any of us knowingly eat foods that have been soaked or washed in kerosene, wood alcohol, chlorine or fluoride?
Even most of the better restaurants use canned sauces rather than prepare them. ALL fast-food restaurants use canned sauces such as tomato and paste, mustards, horseradish and other sauce condiments.
When I lived outdoors traveling on a bicycle for nearly 3 years, I observed how tomatoes are prepared for soups and sauces. They let the tomatoes sit in open trucks to ferment, mold and rot for weeks, then haul them to factories where they process them as much as they process and alter large-factory milk. The coloration, fragrance and flavor are all produced with industrial chemicals that are not food, chemically bearing little resemblance to a real tomato soup or sauce.
For a dose of hard reality, I suggest that everyone view the documentary “Food, Inc.” Although it may be faulty in its assertion that factory-farming created E.coli 157H7 that killed a little boy, and although it lingers on bacterial contamination as a main objection to processed food, it shows how animals are factory-raised, slaughtered and processed. What killed the little boy was medical stupidity. They treated his bloody diarrhea with antibiotics (Cipro?) which damage his kidneys and reacting to the kidney problem, dehydrated the little boy to death. However, the movie reveals how the fast-food industry created the worst animal-growing factories in the world, naming McDonalds as the initiator starting in 1930’s. I wish that it would have focused on the diseases that are caused by the 30,000+ industrial chemicals that are used to grow and process factory foods.
Now, let’s return to the question, what is good to eat at a restaurant? My answer is: Nothing is absolutely clean and healthy in restaurants. Absolutely everything from fast-food chains deteriorates health.
I choose the least of evils at good restaurants. I order meats that are deep into an animal so that they are less likely to have come into contact with cleaning compounds at slaughter houses. I choose only fish that grow in oceans and cannot be farmed. I choose FRESH sliced tomato, avocado, peeled cucumber, onion and garlic. If I want butter and/or cheese with my meal, I take them with me in decorative glass jars so they look nice and appropriate on the table.
Having a vegetable or fruit salad may be risky because most restaurants buy them pre-prepared, sprayed with monosodium glutamate (MSG) to preserve a fresh-look. MSG causes many health problems and is toxic. It would be best to order a whole fruit if the restaurant has whole fruit. If the restaurant cuts fresh fruit and makes its salads, salads could be okay but ask if they use any preservative to keep their salads looking fresh.
Almost all of the sushi restaurants in Los Angeles use MSG on their vegetables, fruits and fish. I stopped eating at sushi restaurants in Los Angeles 9 years ago because every time I ate at one, I got an MSG headache and experienced poor mental and physical energy for next 24-48 hours. If I want to eat at a sushi bar, I choose smaller, cheaper Asian-owned sushi bars where they are less likely to use chemicals. I always ask before I sit. Twice I was lied to and got MSG headaches. I returned to the restaurants several times and picketed outside the restaurants stating that they used MSG, lied about it, and I suffered. For those 2 days of picketing, probably I hurt the restaurant's business considerably for several months, causing many customers to turn and leave. When the police came, I explained the situation and they did not immediately evict me. We must act to oppose such behavior, or corruption will be our fate.
So, if you plan to eat at restaurants, now you know what to order to be at lowest risk of damaging your health. If you want the best for your body and your life-experience, you might arrange with other health-conscious eaters for dinner together at one of your homes. Bon appetite.
(1) Theodore, RF., Thompson, JMD., et al. “Dietary patterns and intelligence in early and middle childhood,“ Intelligence. 2009; 37(5):506-513.
(2) C. Oomen, M. Ocke, et al, “Association between trans fatty acid intake and 10-year risk of coronary heart disease in the Zutphen Elderly Study: The Lancet, Volume 357, Issue 9258, Pages 746-751.
(3) Matthew W. Gillman, L. Adrienne Cupples, et al. “Margarine Intake and Subsequent Coronary Heart Disease in Men” Epidemiology, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Mar., 1997), pp. 144-149.