I was reading an article the other day about the introduction of processed foods in Brazil and the effects it’s had on the country’s health.
What’s happening in Brazil is what started happening here after World War II: people began to value convenience and taste over quality. You can read all about that in the book Salt, Sugar, and Fat by Michael Moss.
Was it a good trade off? Probably not, but everyone is different, and I can’t say I haven’t resorted to pre-made meals or convenience food. In fact, sometimes I’m thankful for all the products that are available.
It’s easy to blame Nestle and other food manufacturers like Pepsi and General Mills for what’s happening there. After all, they spend billions of dollars each year on distribution and promotion.
But you know what? Processed foods aren’t entirely to blame. You can’t blame them, I can’t blame them, and neither can the people of Brazil.
You have to educate yourself, but more importantly, you have to be aware of what you're doing and why you're doing it. Are you acting intentionally or are you being automatic?
Processed foods aren’t going away any time soon. Even if you keep them out of your home, it’s not hard to get them. I remember going to Wal-Mart at 4 in the morning sometimes. Damn those 24/7 Wal-Marts!
The best solution is learn to deal with the desire for processed foods in a mature and empowered way. You can’t get rid of processed foods or the desire for them, but you can always make better choices. And so can everyone else.