If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ve seen me use the expression “NOT FOOD.”
Today I’ve decided to expound a bit upon that notion which, as far as I’m aware, I’m the only one to use. (There might be good reasons for that, like it not being a good expression, but bear with me for at least this post. Thank you.)
To begin, you might be wondering what are NOT FOOD.
Simply put, it is any “thing” that we drink or eat but that, technically speaking, is not providing nutritional value. When we have a decent diet, eat what our bodies really need, such items don’t figure in the list. We could live our entire lives without NOT FOOD, and be none the worse.
Moreover, if you were to look for them in nature, these items could not be found, certainly not the way we consume them. Therefore they are typically highly processed forms of things that may be natural, but that you could not obtain without that processing.
I extend that definition to also point out that NOT FOOD are often items that, when consumed, have no biogenic quality. They are neither necessary for, nor positive contributors to, the functioning of our bodies. In fact, quite often they are, or may be, dangerous. Particularly in large quantities.
Finally, a hint that something may be NOT FOOD can be found in the advertizing of such items: If some people go out of their way to point out what’s good about an item, chances are it is a stretch.
Here are the main examples:
- Pop, whether normal or diet, or whatever. Sodas don’t grow in nature, and we are not hummingbirds or insects able to live on sugary liquids.
- Chewing Gum. I should not even need to talk about this. Totally useless. And so elegant to watch…
- Candy, sweets in so many forms. Mostly sugar, practically addictive. To my chagrin, this includes chocolate…
- Alcoholic beverages; see the comment about dangerous in the definition. Alcohol is a poison; consider the wine lobby’s effort to convince us that trace micronutrients in red wine are good for us. ‘nuf said.
- Drugs of all sorts that are put in our bodies, not necessarily through the mouth. Seriously, do I need to spell this one out?
- Coffee, tea, hot chocolates, etc. Sadly, these are also either drugs, or processed forms of items we could not consume without the processing. Although an important part of our daily habits, we do not need these items to live.
- Supplements of all sorts, especially those that come with extraordinary claims attached. To believe their publicity, none of us would be here because our ancestors certainly never had such things in their diet, and therefore how did they ever survive?
Makes sense? Now, what can we do with NOT FOOD?
Well, one thing that comes to mind is “Arts & Crafts.” Let’s face it, if the stuff is not needed inside our bodies, why not make pretty decorations with them? Lampshades, collages, etc.
Ok, seriously now. Other than the simple fact that they don’t contribute to our dietary needs, and that they can even be bad for our health, we should not eat or otherwise put into our bodies any NOT FOOD items.
But we like coffee, and chocolate, and tea, and the occasional sweet. Not to mention celebratory libations from time to time. I know: I’m right there with you.
So what are we to do?
First, become aware that those items are NOT FOOD, with all that it implies.
Second, if you make the decision to consume NOT FOOD items, do so in a conscious manner, not as an automatic behavior.
Third, never, EVER, think that NOT FOOD items can replace proper diet, or are part of it. If you consume some NOT FOOD, consider the additional burden you thus place on your body, and that proper nutrition is still needed.
Therefore, do so in moderation, and consider that it is an exception, not behavior as usual. Except for the stuff that’s truly, completely useless, like chewing gum. That’s just ugly.
Now, where did I put that chocolate bar?
Photos from Pixabay.