Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Two out of three people in America today are either overweight or obese. My question is this, what happened? How did we all get in this predicament? Well, the simple answer is that we eat more calories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that American men eat 7% more calories than they did in 1971; American women eat a whopping 18% more—an additional 335 calories a day! But the harder question is this: Why do we eat so many more calories? Are we suddenly more gluttonous? Do we have some kind of collective death wish? The answer to these questions is, no. There’s an even crazier reason: It’s the food! We’ve added extra calories to traditional foods, often in cheap, mass-produced vehicles like high fructose corn syrup. These new freak foods are designed not by chefs, but by lab technicians packing every morsel with maximum calories at minimum cost—with little or no regard to dietary impact. A perfect example is the typical fast food hamburger; it’s enough to kill your appetite, which would be a good thing

The great American staple; fast food hamburgers. Let me start by saying, yes, burgers really do come from cows—but have you ever wondered how those giant chains process and distribute so much meat so cheaply? If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.

The Truth: Most fast-food hamburger patties begin their voyage to your buns in the hands of a company called Beef Products. The company specializes in taking slaughterhouse trimmings—heads and hooves and the like—that are traditionally used only in pet food and cooking oil, and turning them into patties. The challenge is getting this meat byproduct clean enough for human consumption, as both E. coli and salmonella like to concentrate themselves in the fatty deposits. The company has developed a process for killing beef-based pathogens by forcing the ground meat through pipes and exposing it to ammonia gas—the same chemical you might use to clean your bathroom. Not only has the USDA approved the process, but it's also allowed those who sell the beef to keep it hidden from their customers. At Beef Products’ authority, ammonia gas has been deemed a “processing agent” that need not be identified on nutrition labels. Never mind that if ammonia gets on your skin, it can cause severe burning, and if it gets in your eyes, it can blind you. Add to the gross-out factor the fact that after moving through this lengthy industrial process, a single beef patty can consist of cobbled-together pieces from different cows from all over the world—a practice that only increases the odds of contamination.

Eat This Instead: Losing weight starts in your own kitchen, by using the same ingredients real chefs have relied on since the dawn of the spatula. If you’re set on the challenge of eating fresh, single-source hamburger, and pick out a nice hunk of sirloin from the meat case and have your butcher grind it up fresh. Hold the ammonia, thank you!

As always, bon app├ętit!


  1. Scary, did not know about the ammonia. Of course, there are a lot of things that are added to foods that trigger our brain to eat more of this crap!

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  3. halal food ..that's our option