I hope someone writes a book about all the food myths that are being debunked by science and facts. It’s not that anyone is trying to be misleading, it’s just that they didn’t/don’t have all the information. I’ll spare you the full list, but here are the ones that bug me the most.
Fat makes you fat is a big one that is so pervasive, hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear some reference to ‘saturated fat’ this or ‘low fat’ that. If you look at just American data, or just Chinese and American data you can easily draw this conclusion. But look at cultures across the world and through time and you’ll find many healthy people who have high-fat diets, including the ostracized French. It’s not the proportion of fat, it’s the quality of fat that matters.
Our food is safe. This has been one of the toughest ones to accept as a myth, personally. I’m an eternal optimist and prefer to focus on the good in the world. But our food has slowly lost its credibility, even as the FDA and others try to increase safety measures. They’re treating the symptoms, not the cause. Increasing monitoring and testing instead of putting an end to factory farms. But we work under this assumption and buy meat and other ‘food-like edible substances’ that are devoid of nutrition and actually quite dangerous for us because almost nobody is saying not to buy them. These fake foods are so available it’s hard to consistently remember that they’re not really food.
Healthy food is less flavorful. Many people think a barbecue of big, fatty ribs is unhealthy and ‘healthy’ means salads, low-salt and low-flavor. Even the low-salt movement has been debunked. Salt doesn’t cause hypertension, it exacerbates it. And reducing salt in the diet has actually been correlated with higher heart disease risk. Have a barbecue with grass-fed ribs and good salt (see myth #2, even salt is under siege and often contains sugar) and you may be better off than restricting yourself to salads. And remember that real, good food, tastes good too.
We need to track what we eat. This one is less overt, but is reinforced by myriad tools to document your foods. If we make good choices about food we don’t even need to remember what we ate, much less record the ingredients in a journal. Doesn’t that sound sublime? Let’s eat real food and forget about all the rest.
Oh, and by the way, Greenling only sells real food.
by Mason Arnold, Co-founder & Cookie Monster