Bimbo Banter

Oh Kale No:  The Dangers of “Healthy” Food

  • Trends
  • October 13, 2016
  • by Emily Turner


In this hectic political season, let’s take a step away from politics and toward something truly nourishing: food. You may be wondering, what does Spaeth—a communications firm—have to say about food? Well actually quite a bit (and not just because we managed what was at the time the largest food recall in U.S. history). This observation is for all the kale haters of the world and an understanding of the power of words: “No Food is Healthy, Not Even Kale.”

   - What’s in a name? The article’s title points to the problem with the word “healthy.” Experts prefer the word nutritious, and it makes good sense. For example, if all you ate was kale, you’d get sick. Roxanne Sukol, preventative medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic goes a step further by declaring "healthy” as a bankrupt word: “Our food isn’t healthy. We are healthy. Our food is nutritious. I’m all about the words. Words are the key to giving people the tools they need to figure out what to eat. Everyone’s so confused.”

   - Words are key; so when it comes to eating right, you have to be just as discerning as you do with messages from politicians. The article goes on to talk about how the word “fat” is so vilified that many will choose anything labeled as “fat-free” over its more nutritious alternatives. The example shared is fat-free half-and-half. It turns out that half-and-half is defined by its fat content, which is about 10 percent more than milk and less than cream. What replaces the “fat” in the “fat-free” version? Corn syrup.

   - Watch out for pink slime. Next up is our favorite example, because Merrie and I actually witn- essed the making of turkey hot dogs while touring a plant years ago. The term for what appears in low-fat options like turkey bacon and hot dogs is “mechanically separated meat.” It is visually and accurately described as being made by “putting poultry carcasses in a giant salad spinner.” Delectable image, right? However, when “mechanically separated meat” is relabeled pink slime, we all know the crisis consequences are real.

The thing I loved most about this article and the various observations made by its author and experts alike is they make it clear that we can decide what types of foods we put in our bodies; they just want us to watch what we call them. 

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