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Eat Real Food, Not Junk Food

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What does the food we eat, in particular fast food, do to our environment?

  • Fast food waste threatens our marine environment: Styrofoam foamed plastic, a staple of fast foods, becomes a permanent part of our environment when littered. Eventually it reaches the ocean through the drains; the plastics from this urban pollution are the largest source of marine debris.
  • One average cheeseburger, which weighs 120 grams, requires the energy of 1,000 to 3,500 grams  of CO2 to produce.
  • Packaging is a very good business if you want to make lots of money and do not care about the environment! All fast food comes in little cardboard boxes or styrofoam or plastic packaging, thus we are left mountains of this unsightly garbage.
  • Almost 3.2 million tones of packaging are added yearly to US waste.
  • Some candies are as harmful to the environment as pork meat, says a Swedish study.
  • During the production of one kilogram of chips, 2.2 kilos of greenhouse gas are produced.
  • The volatile organic compounds (VOC) created when four hamburgers are produced are equivalent to the same VOCs emitted by a current model car driven for 1,000 miles.
  • Fast food waste includes leftovers of meals and trimmings from food preparation. The average restaurant produces 8,200 pounds of food waste per month (more than 98,000 pounds a year). About 15 percent of that waste is in the form of reusable materials. Restaurants can do more.
  • The Pacific Gyre, aka the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, contains about 3.5 million tons of trash. Clean Water Action found that 49 percent of litter is from fast food; the five biggest sources were McDonalds, Burger King, 7-Eleven, Starbucks and Wendy’s. Watch this video:  The Garbage Patch

Eat Real Food

Real food is food in its most natural state. It is unprocessed or with very little processing. Real food does not need a label or fancy packaging. An apple is an apple. Basically, real food is a whole food that is life-sustaining and requires no polluting packaging.

What does it mean to for a food to be life-sustaining? How long do you want to live?

Our bodies were designed to digest real food, not highly processed stuff in packages polluting this earth. I will not call this food……as it is not!

Next: How to recognize real food

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, ,

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


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7:38AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Thank you, sharing this

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting and informative.
Oh course many on lower income cannot afford some of the healthier foods-amazing that things that are healthier are often more expensive-things that are salt less often cost more than the included salt for one thing!
Often the junk food is less expensive--although these days they are charging a lot more for fast food than they used to!
Every now and then I will stop off at a fast food place for a change but for the most part I prefer to cook my food at home and try to avoid the overly processed stuff as it has little taste, at least to me.

8:33PM PDT on May 10, 2012

so many Americans have no idea of what unprocessed (real) food because they have never tasted it. Interesting article.

7:31PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

very interesting, thanks

2:19PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Great article and useful reminder. Use of the word "food" implies nourishment and health, which junk food doesn't supply.
It's a statement of our times when we have the add the word 'real' to signify what we really mean.

9:37PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

I live in an area that has food "deserts", where a lot of people live on "real" potato chips, "real" ramen noodles, "real" candy bars, "real" spam, "real" potted meat, "real" soda pop and other "real" processed foods such as what is available in your friendly neighborhood quick stop. Obesity, diabetes and kidney dialysis are ubiquitous!

To all the naysayers, "Where's the beef?", so to speak.

Informative story! You're right! Thank you!

9:17PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Oh, God, what double speak. Just because you call one food real and the other junk does not mean a damn thing, it is just words that You chose to make your point. Both are real food, granted one may be healthier than the other but just because food is processed does not make it synthetic, not real. The problem with what the author calls 'real' food is that it is more expensive because of loss, it does not keep, you have to shop almost every day to keep it in your house, producers and sellers lose a lot of money because they have to throw away tons of the stuff. The Consumer throws out large amounts of it because it simply rots when you get it home. Plus the so called 'real food' requires more preperation than 'jumk food', it requires more energy to prepare at home than junk food and in homes where utilitiy bill payments and rent are balance against food cost, lower cost food is going to win when you have to chose between heating the house or having a place to heat vs 'real' expensive food or cheap 'junk' food.

5:14PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

What on earth is real food today? It's all junk food loaded with additives, preventatives, chemical pesticide, insecticides and much more. Only way out is raise your own live stock, and to grow your own fruit and vegetables in your own back yard, then harvest as needed.

3:27PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012


2:58PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Just eat moderately all that you want. That's the way to go.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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