You’ve seen the pictures on Facebook, or some other social media outlet, of the burger and fries that have been left out for a certain amount of time and they don’t decay at all while the ‘fresh’ alternative decays in an ‘appropriate’ amount of time.
The reason for this is not because of the amount of toxins in it that the bacteria can’t even feed on it, thats ridiculous. It is simply because the food has been throughly cooked and the moisture has been removed.
If the food has been dehydrated it will take longer to decay. It is the reason why beef jerky has such a great shelf life, for example.
If it was the case that the food was ’too toxic’ or too heavily ‘processed’, we wouldn’t be able get any calories from it ourselves. Which we clearly do, or people wouldn’t gain weight from taking in too much fast food.
We can talk about the ‘health’ benefits of taking in ‘good quality’ food and having a ‘clean’ diet at a later date. I have written about this before on my blog here too.
For now I think we need a lesson in nutritional bias.
People have a little hissy fit when they see me eating a McDonalds burger at 4am sometimes. “Ooooo….thats bad for you”. They fail to notice the fact that I am not eating the bun (which is beside the point) and that I am hungry, intoxicated and I am not about to go home and whip up an organic, grass fed burger and a home grown, farmers market salad. I digress. Lets get back to the digestion of this evil food.
What people don’t realise is that after you chew and swallow food, chemical changes have already begun to rip the food apart into its constituent molecules. After the stages of digestion your body literally has a load of raw materials. The food that you took in earlier is gone, its chemical composition has changed, never to resemble the original food again.
Lets use one of analogies for this one.
Take a lego castle for example. It’s glorious. There are high walls, a drawbridge and loads of other nice fancy parts to it. It looks like something straight out of Lord of The Rings. Now lets take a hammer to it.
Whats left? A pile of pieces, right?
Without instructions, you will find it difficult to make that castle again. But you could go and build yourself some other stuff. (your body makes muscle, maintains hair, skin and nails etc.)
Similarly, when your body takes in a steak. Once it breaks down, it is no longer a steak, it is a pile of pieces (amino acids).
It’s a lot simpler than you have been led to believe and the burger meat, provided there is no arsenic in it or something, is not as bad as you think.
Another example: When you eat a carbohydrate, ANY carbohydrate, (provided it’s not a fibre) its ultimate fate is to be broken down into a simple sugar of some description.
The only difference is the RATE at which it is digested, absorbed and then the rate at which they effect the levels in the blood. This CAN have adverse effects on the body, but it isn’t Ronald McDonald with some sinister plans to poison everyone, it is just faster to digest.
A bottle of Lucosade that is full of 100g of glucose ultimately has the same constituents as a lump of bread with 100g of carbohydrate in it. The only difference is that the glucose is pure simple sugar and the glucose in the bread is tied up in a starchy formation.
But they are ultimately the same thing.
So lets not hate on all food just because the sun doesn’t shine out of its arse, it’s probably not the best stuff in the world, but it certainly isn’t the worst thing you could be eating.
You need to be more concerned with how much you are eating and what the actual protein, fat and carbohydrate content is, not just how ‘healthy’ or ‘natural’ it is.
Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS