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Why Real Food is Not Enough Anymore

By Calton Nutrition

Supporters of the real food movement cry, "Just eat real food!" They believe that a back to the basics eating philosophy will go a long way towards preventing and reversing many of the health conditions and lifestyle-related diseases that currently afflict Americans. But, is it really just as simple as eating real whole foods? While many of us may think that a diet filled with natural proteins, fresh fruits, and colorful vegetables would be a foolproof prescription for good health, here in the 21st century, these real whole foods may not provide us with the same health benefits as they did for our ancestors.

Consider an apple, for example:

- It's a real, whole food, right? What is it about the modern apple that makes it any less "healthy" for us than it was for our ancestors? To start, today's apple probably wasn't grown in soil bursting with essential vitamins and minerals. Instead, it was likely grown in over-farmed, micronutrient-depleted soil. According to the USDA, an apple pick today has 96% less iron, 48% less calcium, 84% less phosphorous and 82% less magnesium than an apple grown only 80 years ago.

- We are also not eating our apples moments after they were picked or at the peak of their ripeness. The apples in today's grocery stores were often picked prematurely and shipped from thousands of miles away, losing their vitamins and minerals every minute of every mile traveled.

- Sadly, the vast majority of our modern apples are not clean, naturally-grown apples. According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, an apple is sprayed with up to 42 different pesticides, and these pesticides can cause hormone disruption, cancer, and nerve and reproductive damage.

And our protein-based foods aren't any better off:

- Do you think the fish you had the other night was wild caught, or was it one of those new-fangled farmed fish that now make up nearly 50% of America's fish supply (and up to 90% of our Salmon supply)? It was likely a farmed fish that never swam free in its natural environment nor ate its natural diet, but instead was bred in a tank packed so full the fish can hardly move, teaming with lice and bacteria that must be dealt with using vaccines and other medications and fed a diet filled with GMO-laden corn and soy.

- And the chicken breast you enjoyed last week?  Was it from a healthy, organic, pasture-raised bird with access to grass, bugs, dirt, and sunshine like it would have been throughout past history? More likely it was from an animal raised in an over-crowded confined space with very little access to its natural environment, fed arsenic to enhance its color, and given a steady diet of GMO corn and soy.

The fact is, eating real whole food is a good first step toward health, but it is not enough, in and of itself, to turn around the global health crisis we are all facing today. The problems in our food manufacturing have gone far beyond what can be fixed by simply eating real whole foods. In order to see any real change we must address the issue of food quality. We must first recognize that the real value of any food is in the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that it delivers. We must choose food that is rich in these micronutrients. Then we must take another important step, often overlooked if simply looking for "real food."

We must make it our goal to avoid the dangerous food manufacturing practices and ingredients that have become so prevalent in our food supply today. Ingredients like brominated vegetable oil (BVO), synthetic hormones, GMOs, azodicarbonamide, and BHA to name a few that have already been banned from use in foods in numerous other countries due to their dangerous effects on health. We call the foods that avoid these ingredients and practices "rich foods."

It is time for a Rich Food Revolution. Don't wait for the government to swoop in and make our food safe, to label the GMOs, or mandate warning labels on foods containing ingredients known to be dangerous. Take it upon yourself to become educated where your food is concerned. Learn how to read and decode an ingredient list, because that it the last bastion of hope for health-conscious consumers. Make a personal commitment not to purchase food that will harm your health and the health of your family. In upcoming blogs we promise to help highlight many of these Poor Food Ingredients that we explain fully in Part 1 of our book "Rich Food, Poor Food."

-The Caltons

Through their unique charismatic personalities and relatable qualities, the the husband and wife dynamic duo of Mira Calton, CN and Jayson Calton, Ph.D. prove that two are better than one. In addition to authoring their books, Naked Calories, and Rich Food, Poor Food, the Caltons are the founders of Calton Nutrition and the Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, and are columnists, contributing editors and quoted experts in multiple national publications and media outlets, including FOX and FRIENDS, Happening Now, America Live, Headline News, SHAPE, Dr. Steve, Cosmopolitan, Readers Digest, LIVESTRONG, The Daily Buzz, Daytime, NBC, ABC, Body Checklist, AOL Travel, Prevention, and many more. They are extremely proud nutreince their reinvention of the multivitamin, and love hearing the inspiring testimonials of those who take it.

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