Restaurants, spiked food and food industry manipulation
Restaurants, spiked food and food industry manipulation
It may be time to give consideration as to whether an eating out experience is worth it.
In a ground-breaking interview facilitated with Dr David Perlmutter and Professor Robert Lustig*, they spoke frankly about food and health related matters, including restaurants. Professor Lustig headlined the subject as follows: “We have a crisis of immense proportions… an existential threat to our society.”[i]
Indeed, we are allowing ourselves to be controlled by the food industry with its manipulation and control over supermarkets, restaurants and cafes, very few of which serve a greater purpose.
Our biggest problem is the intransigence of key players:
- Very few GPs have an education in nutrition or understand nutrition, and very few make nutrition core to their practice.
- Dieticians and academics are selective in what they choose to support or to condemn; self-interest abounds, whilst entrenched and out-of-date views still prevail. There is very little consistency or correlation and the food industry pays many of these lobbyists well to slant views in favour of misleading messages.
- Governments are tacit and fear the lobby from the entrenched food industry players, peddling ‘foods’, particularly processed foods, that do not serve. Governments seem to fear the immediacy of job losses in unsustainable industries rather than welcoming the opportunities of a long-term investment in new jobs from a progressive food model.
- Educationists are too far behind the field of play. They are aware of the poison of sugary drinks but seem less aware of nutrition based benefits (of ketogenic style meals) by still including non-serving grains and carbohydrates.
- The public (and especially parents) do not sufficiently make it their responsibility to understand what they are up against and do not understand what healthy food truly is and that they are having to contend with processed food or food products of irresponsible vested interests that do not serve health and wellbeing.
- The hospitality industry does not have anywhere near sufficient understanding of nutrition. Hotels, restaurants and cafes are mostly wilfully serving up food that harms.
"At every crossway on the road that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past."Count Maurice Maeterlinck (1862 – 1949)
Professor Lustig continues, “We have a Health Care crisis”[i]. Lustig ponders the difference between ‘Pleasure’ and ‘Happiness’: “Pleasure feels good but always wants for more. It often needs substances and often leads to addictions. ‘Happiness’ on the other hand feels good but ‘more’ is never needed and it is never addictive. Pleasure is a dopamine hit (from substances like sugar, but also including video games, pornography, drugs, alcohol etc.), whereas Happiness is serotonin.”
Serge Benhayon’s wise words about Joy take this conversation to a higher place:
"It is impossible for something to happen to you and (for you to) feel joyful. True Joy is when you feel that something that has happened to you, is shared by everybody else. That it is the Truth of everybody else. It gives us the true meaning of the word Joy. It (Joy) essentially says that Joy can never be shared by one. It is a feeling, where you feel, that what you feel, is held by everyone equally. Whether they are feeling it or not, is beside the point. The fact is they have it in them and in that you have the confirmation and that confirmation is Joy.
Lustig goes on to say addiction is about too much dopamine, whilst depression is anchored by too little serotonin. A high dopamine dose effectively lowers serotonin, which leads to significant unhappiness. “Combine that with stress and clinical depression is the outcome”. In broad terms, the more hits we choose from the likes of sugar, pornography, gambling, alcohol and the like, the more dopamine we generate... which effectively reduces serotonin and therefore works against happiness. Sugar is an unhappy drug.
Lustig says “What we eat has an enormous effect on our brain health... what we (currently) eat is a disaster... we are all doped up on dopamine (leaving us craving for more).”
Interestingly, Lustig also suggests that we need to connect and express much more, we need to contribute more to societies/communities (not for awards and recognition) and we need to cope better with sleep, mindfulness and exercise. All these suggestions have a foundation in the teachings of The Ageless Wisdom.
Most importantly (Lustig continues), we need to cook for ourselves more and in that cooking, we can use the opportunity to connect with friends and family as part of the process.
We all know that home cooking, using fresh ingredients, is healthier than eating out. In most cases, it is best to avoid restaurants unless we know what is really going on behind the swing doors of the kitchen. What oils do they use? What energetic imprint do the staff bring and how well do they cope with their lives? Do the staff partake heavily in drugs/alcohol and so on? Have they prepared the food with loving care or are they simply going through the paces to secure a pay packet at the end of the day? Are the foods heavily laced with sugar and salt? Has the menu truthfully described the foods, ingredients and important prep processes? Is the fish farmed and is the meat grain fed? Does your favourite restaurant disclose everything needed to allow all patrons to decide if it passes the basic energetic responsibility of quality food? Are there restaurants that are sufficiently transparent?
The checklist is long, and we all know that restaurants are there to make money for the owners whilst restaurant staff attrition rates are usually quite high and difficult to manage – so it is obvious that most restaurants and cafes have little chance of meeting ‘energetic responsibility’ standards.
Perhaps there is a real opportunity for an evolved restaurateur to take the lead and to become fully transparent to address all these questions.
Preparing food from home can go a long way to overcoming all these uncertainties, is less expensive, can be more rewarding and can be made into a community living affair. Besides, at home, unlike many eateries, you can hear the conversation easily and participate without having to strain one’s voice above the din of mindless music and the other conversations from adjacent tables.
Professor Robert Lustig opines that:
- When you go to a restaurant, you don’t know what you are eating.
- You don’t know where that food was sourced from.
- You don’t know what’s in it.
- You don’t know if they spiked it with sugar (in the USA, 74% of food at the grocery store has been spiked with sugar). If you eat out, you cannot get away from it (sugar).
- Sitting down to a home cooked meal is probably the single best thing that can up your happiness (however, only 10% of Americans like to cook and only 35% know how to cook).
Food, prepared from home in a community-style environment, is one of the many ways to avoid this “crisis of immense proportions”.
It is time to give eateries a nudge – shape up or be done for. Unstoppable improvements in food prep have a toehold; could it be only a matter of time before the traditional eateries join the scrap heap of extinct businesses, unless they choose to change and be more far more transparent and evolving?
*Acknowledgement: Robert H. Lustig. He is Professor of Paediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, where he specializes in Neuroendocrinology and Childhood Obesity.