The other day, I did something I don’t normally do… I ate out at Panera Bread. I ordered the turkey chili which is advertised to be antibiotic-free dark turkey meat with fresh vegetables like peas, edamame, and corn.
Don’t get me wrong – it was delicious. But for the rest of the night, I was regretting the simple bowl of soup due to the massive heartburn it gave me. I don’t know about you, but when I eat pretty darn clean (mostly whole foods from scratch), I can also feel the difference in my body’s energy levels and skin over the next couple of days.
That didn’t slow me down, though. The next day, I decided, “Hey, you live once. Let’s get a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café”. And yes, the Avocolada tasted good going down but pretty soon, I realized that it was way too sweet for standard fruits. “WTF”, I thought.
Lo and behold, it turns out Tropical Smoothie Café adds a scoop of turbinado sugar to every smoothie it makes. Bogus, right? If your tastebuds haven’t been dumbed down by artificial sweeteners and preservatives, fresh fruit should have plenty of flavors. At least, it does to me.
This got me thinking… “Why, Lord, in the age of keto and vegan to-go foods is it still so difficult to eat healthy when eating out?”.
Here’s the answer in a nutshell:
- Corporations don’t really care about you, they care about their bottom line. To advertise food as “healthy” but not include all of the ingredients on the list (like Tropical Smoothie Café – nowhere on its menu does it say cane sugar is added) is a marketing tactic. They want your money – plain and simple. The average consumer “likes” to think they’re doing everything right because then they get to blame their weight gain, acne, and mood disorders on “genetics.” But really, food plays a huge role.
- The food system is jacked – the unhealthiest foods are subsidized by the government while the healthiest (think organic fruits and vegetables) are some of the most expensive and least-produced foods. It should be backward, but the system is quite corrupt in that many of the governing organizations are also bought and paid for (*cough* FDA) by the corporations that fund them and their studies.
- We’ve gotten lazy as a society and expect quick + healthy food. It isn’t realistic. Not only is eating out more expensive than planning ahead and cooking at home, it nearly eliminates the intention that is put into most food. That intention, as food psychologists have pointed out, is vital when learning how to develop a healthy relationship with food. The short truth is that we, as a society, are lazy and could do better to prepare. Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t healthy restaurants, but they are more often found in metropolitan areas like Seattle and Denver versus small cities (where I live) like Sturgis, South Dakota. Choose wisely and know your options before you leave your home.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share your thoughts.