Friday, May 8, 2009

The Superfood Debate: Part Two

Somewhere along the line, some brilliant marketing person (David Wolfe maybe), began calling supplements superfoods. And now the line is blurred. I would like to clarify the distinction and explain why I have no problem "eating" superfoods but do have a concern about "taking" supplements.

The honest way to label these products would be to call superfoods only those that are actually foods. Supplements would be something that has been altered, made into a more concentrated form, no longer in its natural state, and more potent. If you want to call goji berries a superfood I don't have a problem with that. It's a food and a very good one.

Products like Gold Rush Colloidal Gold, Marine Phytoplankton, Island Fire, are not foods at all, but more accurately labeled supplements. To call them superfoods is a marketing ploy. (And why do people who are involved in selling these superfoods called superhereos?)

So what? Who cares, supplements or superfoods, what's the big deal?

Manny Ramirez just got busted for taking a "performance enhancing drug." If he were a raw fooder people might have said he was just taking a superfood. Actually it was a supplement, human chorionic gonadotropin, used to jumpstart the body's ability to produce testosterone. Apparently Manny had been taking a steroid which produced more testosterone than the body would make by itself. When Manny stops taking the steroid no more testosterone because the body forgot how to make it on its own.

That is why I am opposed to taking supplements: they do something for you that your body should be doing on its own. When we eat or drink things that are not foods our body changes. We become dependent on them. Eating our natural foods, our body functions as it is designed to do. We build strong immune systems and live with ease. When we take into our bodies unnnaturally occuring substances, even good things that have been concentrated or significantly altered, we risk screwing up our perfectly created body. Why risk it?

Your body works very hard to get rid of foreign substances, even when they are good. That is just how we are made. If it can't get rid of it, the body will adjust, and that is how addictions are formed. I do not want to be dependent on any man manipulated product, even if it is called a superfood, even if it does give me more energy (so does cafine, cocaine, and nicotine).

If these supplements that are being sold as superfoods are so good, why do they have to be sold through a multi-level marketing system? Historically, multi-level marketing (or fractal marketing as they are calling it with these superfoods) has been used to sell products of questionable value. Selling products with this method is more about earning an income and less about the true value of the item being sold. I am not saying that people who sell these products are intentionally ripping people off. I just think that their thinking is clouded by the potential to make some money on what would be a wonderful thing if it worked.

There is no short cut, no magic bullet, to good health. Ultimately, we have to eat good food, and stop eating the bad. It seems to me that the most ethical and loving way to eat would be a diet that is simple, inexpensive (one that everyone in the world could afford), leaves a small footprint, and is tasty too. I don't think the universe would support a diet that only the well off could consume.

If we eat whole fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, we will be getting nutrients in the form that our body was made to utilize and keep us healty. Why screw around with it? Why take the chance that we may be messing with the system? And why waste your money doing it? Rather than getting all worked up about supplements I would rather have help eliminating the junk food in my diet. Now that would make me a lot healthier!


Cosmic said...

Profound truth in your words of wisdom.


Alona said...

I've been viewing your videos and now reading your blog on the way to incorporating a raw food 'diet' into my life. Great insight and great information, thank you for putting it out here!