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Cheap food is making us all fat

March 20, 2022 Tags: 0 comments
Mum: ”Why did you not buy any fruit? You wanted it”

Andrea: “I wanted to, but then I realised that none of the ones I wanted were local, they were all from outside Italy, it is the same fruit I can buy in the UK, I wanted to get some local, seasonal fruit”
Mum: “People don’t want to spend money”

This is part of the conversation I had with my mum during a recent visit to Italy to my town’s food market. Obviously, fruit do not make us fat, whether Italian or not, however, I can’t understand why Italians would want to buy fruit produced outside the country and let the local produce to rot only because slightly more expensive than the ones grown in Dutch green houses, but like my mum says, people do not want to pay for their food, the cheaper the better, food has become a commodity, essential only for the preservation of the specie. Even in a small Italian town.

We are being reminded every day that obesity has become a serious problem, there are plenty of programs on TV telling us what to do to lose weight and why we should avoid becoming obese, still, food is becoming cheaper and cheaper and for some reason nobody seems to be saying that the cheaper the food gets, the more damaging for our health becomes.

Cheap food is fuelling the overweight/obese crisis, it is the reason; still nobody seems to be willing to admit it. Buy anything from a supermarket and read the ingredient list, you will be amazed, the cheaper the product, the longer the list. Tomato passata containing sugar; sugar used to balance the acidity of the unripen tomatoes used. Cured meat containing gluten or lactose derivative; in one specific case, a ham contained milk, sugar and yeast. Pesto or chocolate containing gluten. These are only a few examples. Not only we are all becoming fatter but plenty of us are also developing food intolerances, whether to gluten or lactose or anything else because of cheap food.

Cheap food is killing us, literally, shortening our lives and creating addictions, and costing the national heath service millions, if not billions, every year that could be spent in curing other illnesses, but there is a solution, a very simple solution and it is not joining a gym even though being active is also part of it. The solution is to become aware of what we eat, what we buy, what we give to our children and the way to do that, is by simply reading the ingredients and choose the products made with the shortest possible list, and made with ingredients we would expect to find. Simple, isn’t it?
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