Changing diets

Processed food, an experiment that failed?

Published June 2, 2015

Professor Robert Lustig on the damaging consequences of processed food.

“Imagine the last 50 years was an experiment. The food industry posed the hypothesis: Processed food is better than real food.“

With these words Professor Robert Lustig from the University of California told the story on how the consumption of processed food and sweets has doubled to one third of the total food consumption in the US.

The difference between processed food and real food are huge. Processed food do not have enough fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids (wild fish), micronutrients and too much Trans-fats and branched chain amino acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, additives, emulsifiers, salt and sugar.

Research has shown that out of the 600.000 items in the American food supply, 74 percent have added sugar. Furthermore, of 4.000 packaged items in the American food supply, the amount of salt is 50 percent higher than official regulations.

Despite the economic downturn of 2008, McDonald’s revenues and stock price continued to rise between 2007 and 2011, and Coke and Pepsi still fared better than the Standard & Poor’s 500, the 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ.

“In the USA, the food industry grosses $1 trillion per year – $450 billion is gross profit. In the USA, health care costs total $2.7 trillion/year – 75 percent of which is chronic metabolic diseases and 75 percent of which is preventable. Thus, $1.4 trillion/year is wasted.  We lose triple what the food industry makes,” Lustig explains.

“In conclusion, the project has succeeded in getting the consumption of unhealthy food rising, and it has succeeded in cash flow for the companies, but it has failed dramatically when it comes to health. And there is only one answer: Real food,” said Lustig.