Are you Outsourcing your Kitchen?

Outsourcing our Insides

Whenever eating, we should always consider where it was prepared. Look in your kitchen and imagine all the missing ingredients that are in half the food you eat on a daily basis. Anytime you eat something that could be advertised on TV or is sold in a jar/box/wrapper, you can be sure that part of this snack was developed in a laboratory far, far away. Companies are using substances that you would never cook with and would never expose your family to under any circumstance. But, we still buy these products… why is that?

The witty TV commercials and catchy slogans? The FDA seal of approval? The brand awareness of large corporations like Frito-Lays? Each one of these reasons has major flaws and need to be questioned by consumers locally and, increasingly, abroad:

#1 If you believe something because it is on TV, then you are already making a huge mistake. Food on TV is a big No-No and just means that money has been spent to market it because the “benefits” of the product wouldn’t be accepted by consumers otherwise.

#2 The FDA has approved products that are known to cause heart attacks in a percentage of those who consume them.[*Fox News, 2010] And, in order to stay legal, most TV advertised super-drugs often list severe side effects. At the same time we are aware that well-paid lobbyists are twisting the arm of federal agencies to approve ingredients and drugs. Yet, we still believe that FDA approvals are some kind of safe, hand shake from God.

#3 The “food” comes from well-branded companies that make “products that people want”, but at the same time we don’t know why we crave their products so much. (Marlboro makes products like this too…) The flavors find a way to make our taste buds dance! But what is going on back in the kitchen? We don’t know exactly… we just accept it and carry on with our lives.

Prepared food is convenient. We don’t have time to cook. Or we simply don’t care to cook regularly… This is the state of our food choices today. Instead of cleverly hiring a chef, we outsource our kitchen in hopes of squeezing out that last drop of efficiency from our day. We marvel at our productiveness and the short term gain which comes from it.

But rather than asking ourselves if we can do it, we should be asking ourselves should we do it?

Food Inc. and our Meat System

In America, we are the proud kings of industrialized processes in all industries. We have achieved economies greater than any human beings who ever came before us. (“Economies” refers to economies of scale, by making production extremely cost-effective.) It is capitalism at its finest. We can also proudly say, “there is enough food to feed the world.”

But when we apply new science to food we start getting undesirable byproducts. “Food Inc.” is a 2008 documentary directed by Robert Kenner, which investigates the very unfortunate side-effects, including: E.coli growth in cows that are fed cheap corn rather than grass, the massive recalls of tainted meat which have led to avoidable deaths (often children), and poor treatment of workers (often illegal) in meat-packing facilities.

In order to live healthier lives there should be a push to consume “free range” animals, which are raised on the natural diets they’ve consumed for thousands of years. As shown in the investigative reporting, the highly mechanized way we raise animals has caused unnatural side-effects. We allow meat-packers to keep producing because our meat prices stay low. The USDA approves all the meat you see on the market shelves, but we still saw the largest meat recall in history on February 18, 2008, when a California meat company ordered the recall of over 143 million pounds of meat. 11 recalls were ordered in 2009, and we’ve already seen 100s of thousands of pounds recalled in 2010. We should all inform ourselves about where our food comes from, because the “greater good” in society is usually trumped by the greatest profits.

This report is important for all to see. Watch it here via Youku.