Are You Addicted To Convenience?
On “Real Time,” Bill Maher said, “Americans are addicted to convenience.” He went on about the remote control and how people would never consider getting up to walk across the room to change the TV channel. But our addiction to convenience goes way beyond the remote. There are lots of ways that people are addicted to convenience. Three ways we undermine our health in the kitchen because we don’t want to be inconvenienced are eating so-called convenience food, microwaving, and using non-stick pans to cook.
Prior to World War II people either grew their own food or shopped in small, family-owned markets for groceries. Women cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner and families ate meals together. In the last 60 years, to increase profits, family farms and ranches have been taken over by behemoth corporations, and the production of poultry and meat has been industrialized. In addition, women entered the work force and the time they once had to make home-cooked meals has shrunk into a few minutes a day. Most families exist in a tenuous “every man for himself” system. They swing through fast-food drive-thrus, 7-Elevens, and AM/PMs, order in pizza, or forage in the kitchen for packaged, frozen, and canned food.
Factory food, lauded as convenient is anything but. Eating factory food both deprives your body of nutrition for ongoing metabolic processes as well as delivering toxins into your system. If you live on factory food, your cellular foundation will deteriorate. This is accelerated aging, which millions of people, including children, suffer from today.
- Factory food is fattening because it contains sugar, mineral stripped salt, and MSG (clinically proven to make you fat).
- It fosters cancer tumors, wrecks havoc with your immune system manifesting in autoimmune conditions.
- Factory food promotes inflammation that results in disease including heart disease and stroke.
- Millions of factory food–eating Americans suffer from lack of what I call “happy” neurotransmitters (chemicals that carry messages between cells). Imbalances of these neurotransmitters cause the unnatural hunger that causes binging. Neurotransmitter imbalances can also result in problems such as ADD, ADHD, insomnia, exhaustion, depression, obsessive or even suicidal thoughts, panic disorders, anxiety, rage, agitation, anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and zero sex drive.
Did you know that you can make a meal in the same time it takes to open packages and cans? It takes about 20 minutes to prepare a roast chicken, put it in the oven, make mashed potatoes and salad. While the chicken is roasting you can do other things. With a little bit of effort you can create a repertoire of meals that you can make in 20 minutes or less.
I just moved into my dream house in Santa Monica. But one not so dreamy amenity is the microwave. At least I don’t know how to use it. So it just sits there on the wall. Someday I will have it taken out and put bookshelves there for cookbooks.
Microwaves are very short waves of electromagnetic energy that travel at the speed of light, which is 186,282 miles per second. Microwave ovens produce micro wavelength radiation that interacts with the molecules in food changing the polarity of food molecules back and forth from positive to negative with each cycle of the wave. In addition, the polar molecules also rotate millions of times a second. This friction heats and cooks the food, but also damage the molecules, significantly decreasing the vitamins and minerals in food, not to mention killing all enzymes.
What makes microwaving even worse is cooking anything in plastic—and most people think nothing of layering Saran wrap over the top of a bowl. When heated, plastic emits xenohormones, which are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Manufactures package food for convenience to nuke without having to mess up dishes. Unless specifically stated on the labeling, packaged foods are coated with carcinogenic Bisphenol A or BPA.
- Eating microwaved food is thought to cause brain damage.
- Your body can’t metabolize microwaved food.
- Microwaved food can affect hormone production, which you don’t want as hormones are the chemical communication system of your body.
- Microwaving alters minerals into free radicals that oxidize healthy cells putting you on the road to cancer.
- It’s thought that microwaves have contributed to the risk in colon cancer.
- Microwaved food can increase your risk for autoimmune conditions.
My recommendation is to get rid of your microwave. If it’s there, you’ll likely use it.
I don’t drink coffee, but I do occasionally like a cup of herbal tea. I have a cordless electric kettle. It’s not perfect because it does have a plastic panel that allows you to see the water boiling.
Moms please never nuke baby formula or breast milk in a microwave. For one, you can scald your baby’s mouth and throat. You’re also destroying the nutrition you want your baby to have. Instead, gently heat milk on the stove in a stainless steel pan.
I heat most food in my regular oven. You can heat a lot of foods in a small convection oven that can sit just where you microwave is sitting now. And other foods can be heated in a cast iron skillet.
Non Stick Pans
I was surprised to see Teflon skillets and pans in Williams Sonoma recently. You would think that a sophisticated store that prides itself on being the crème de la crème of the American cooking elite wouldn’t sell anything as obviously dangerous to your health. But I’m continually surprised at how many people still use Teflon (non-stick) pans. Teflon contains perfluorochemicals or PFCs that pretty much everyone understands are dangerously carcinogenic. PFCs build up in your body and remain basically forever. Ninety to 95 percent of all Americans have PFCs in their systems. PFCs are linked to suppressed immune systems, abnormal endocrine function, including early menopause, and developmental problems in children.
You can avoid PFCs by tossing out your Teflon pans and using cast iron skillets and stainless steel. (Please do not donate them to the Salvation Army so some poor person’s body can be polluted. Let’s put them in the landfill where they belong.)
Convenience is a fleeting indulgence that can lead to the most inconvenient illnesses. How convenient is it is to be tethered to medical modalities once you get sick, to expensive stressful shrink appointments, and to ultimately linger and die in an impersonal hospital setting? Let’s make an effort to take the long road to health. It’s really just going to add a few minutes to your day here and there.
Peace, Fun, Love.
Your girlfriend in health,