Food Trash

The Lempert Report
April 14, 2022

Phil: Talk to me about Ultraprocessed foods.

Sally: Well, according to some research, Ultrapro foods are really trashing our place in it. And what it all kind of comes down to is that there are 15 specific crop species that, uh, make up more than half the world's population of, uh, the foods that we cons consume. So, you know, we've got 7,000 edible plant species, but most of it's coming from these, um, these 15 crops. So what happens is that makes a very, very UN diversified ecosystem, and that's not good.

Phil: No, it's not good at all. And there was a study done in Australia and here, and I, you know, I always think of Australia as being ahead of us, um, as it relates to health and nutrition and information. And, uh, there, there are certain, uh, retailers down there like Woolworths that do an unbelievably, uh, great job on it. But what they found is Australians have high rates of Ultrapro food consumption, 39% of all total energy intake among adult. That's more than Belgium, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, and Spain. But before, before everybody gets too excited, uh, what we need to understand is that bottom line here in the us, um, it's even higher than that. It is 57.9% of adults, dietary energy in ultra processed foods. Um, you mentioned the 15 crops that the biggest crops are corn wheat, soy and oil seed crops like Palm oil.

Phil: Um, they're chosen by food manufacturers because they're cheap to produce and high yielding, uh, meaning that they can produce in large volumes. So if in fact we want to be healthier, um, we really have to address, uh, these Ultrapro foods. And to be honest with you, one of the reasons that Ultrapro foods started and I'm going back to 1950s and 19 six is because of food safety shelf life, they wanted to be able to have these products that would last, you know, a long time. Well, we're past that the food safety technology has gotten a whole lot better. We as consumers have gotten a whole lot better on it. So maybe it's time that we reduce, you know, ultra processed foods. What do you think?

Sally: Well, I think some brands are doing a good job of, of, with that, you know, but it, but when we go for those prepared meals, those, um, those snacks, the, the chips, the, um, the little packaged muffins, you know, those kinds of things that are inexpensive and really easy to grab, you know, I'm not, I'm, I'm not sure that we, um, we need to have as my, any of those on our store shelves.