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Is It a Food or Just Foodstuff?

Walking aisle by aisle in grocery stores can overwhelm a person with the vast variety of food items available.  Many people are very concerned about their diets and food choices as they battle obesity, diabetes, and many other chronic disorders that can flare up when inflammation in their bodies rises.  Making wise food choices and proper cooking and preparation can make a huge difference in lowering inflammation and provides vital nutrients our bodies’ trillion of cells require to function optimally.  As we all face our economic deficit, we must also pay close attention to our physiological nutrient deficiency that affects brain function, organ systems communication, and our overall physical, mental, and emotional health.

That brings me to the topic of “foodstuffs.”  As I walk the aisles in my chosen grocery store, I recognize that most “foods” on the shelves are highly processed having undergone high heat processing that destroys many nutrients.  Added ingredients oftentimes are high in salt and preservatives as well as low grade vitamins and minerals added back as “fortified.”  Our bodies need to detoxify those non-nutrient ingredients and that requires the use of our body’s stores of vital ingredients insuring cellular metabolism.

Many items I see people choosing for convenience really are not good food at all, but rather what I call “foodstuffs.”  They look like food, but many times are food look-a-likes created from chemicals.  An example for me is macaroni and cheese.  The macaroni is from a poor pasta source, the cheese is colored with chemicals to look cheesier, the cream sauce contains MSG (a known brain toxin) to enhance flavor, and all ingredients developed from high heat processing to insure longer shelf life.  Many foodstuffs may come from genetically modified products, a process I consider dangerous as these foods do not have to be labeled and may contain ingredient infusions that could create allergic reactions in some people.

Real food is fresh and smells fresh, has good color and texture, and contains the needed vitamins and minerals that nourish our bodies.  Real foods are displayed around the edges of the grocery stores—the produce section, the meat section, and the dairy section.  I found it interesting to see that weekly store ads also have their real food sales on the first and last pages of their flyers and the “foodstuff’s are reflected on the inside pages—the same as store layout.  I now can avoid the middle pages and focus on choosing real food offerings each week as a quick look front and back—done, list made.

Articles abound about the benefits or not of purchasing organic foods.  I have recommended in the past choices best made as organic, while other items can be purchased non-organic.  Washing food is highly recommended as it removes much of the residues of dirt, pesticides, herbicides, and any germs passed along from people’s hands we have no idea where they have been.  Purchasing real food instead of non-nourishing foodstuffs will enable us to stretch our food budgets further on health supporting and nourishing foods.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN, owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.  Please visit for other articles by Krystle and all members of the council.

Photo By pizzodisevo

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