Close your eyes and imagine the culinary delights found on the shelves of a food store featuring international specialties, outlined in alphabetical order below: 

  • Arabic: Hummus, dates, Ful Medames, honey, Shawarma
  • French:  Artisan made baguettes, cheeses, Champagne & vinos
  • German: Artisan made bratwurst, spargel, sauerkraut
  • Greek: Olive oil, salad, yogurt, tzatziki
  • Indian:  Dal, spices, curries
  • Italian: Tomatoes, olives, fresh meats
  • Japanese: Edamame, sushi & sashimi, miso soup, teas
  • Mexican: Avocado, fresh fish, beans, salsas
  • Scandinavian: Herring, lingonberries

These delicious offerings are raised, grown, or harvested and are the dietary staples of the host nations. These foods not only sustain residents but help them to grow stronger and ward off illness. They make a powerful contribution to overall well-being!

Now open your eyes and behold the offerings from the Taste of America store located in Valencia, Spain.

The American culinary wonders are: 

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Pop Tarts 
  • Pringles
  • Monster Energy drinks
  • Cheetos
  • Lucky Charms cereal 
  • And more…!

What sets these apart from their international competitors?  Three things:  

  • Sugar—and tons of it
  • Processing
  • Harmful oils and additives  

These foods are created, not harvested. They are produced in manufacturing facilities, not raised on farms. They are the products of lab scientists, not farmers, fishermen, butchers, and bakers. Some might suggest they are “Franken-foods.”

Sadly, these are mainstays of the American diet. Where companies are most successful exporting these wares to, those populations begin to resemble the average American—higher rates of obesity and long-term health issues. 

At the beginning of the last century, the American diet yielded lean Americans. Now the average American succumbs to, or struggles to avoid, levels of obesity. It has gotten so hard to combat the impact of the American diet that “surrender and acceptance” are prevalent, and many who want to put up a fight resort to surgery or drugs (e.g., Ozempic).  

Manufacturing processes create foods laden with sugar, additives, and harmful oils. Not only are they bad for you, but they are also alluring—even addictive. They tempt you and, sadly, often blunt your body’s natural signals for helpful sustenance. 

To improve your health and diet, you need to give your body what it needs, not what it wants and craves. Seek out your local farmer, butcher, and baker to make your diet more interesting, tastier, and healthier. A trifecta!  

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Header Image Credit: lightfieldstudios