The Healthy Lettuce Myth

The food we eat is one of the things that matters the most to our well being. Yet with all the technology we have, and history and data, we are not agreeable in knowing what is really good for us. Food companies know there is a gap in clear links between what we eat and health risks, and exploit it. We are the ones that are taken advantage of, in that exploitation.

Butter Lettuce, rocket, baby spinach, egg, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onion

Butter Lettuce, rocket, baby spinach, egg, bacon, Parmesan cheese, onion

Lettuce is one such example of the power of exploiting the misinformation. Lettuce is very low in calories, and cheap, making it the major ingredient in most salads. It’s all not sufficient to simply watch how many calories you take in, relative to what you use or burn. We eat not only to get full, but to get some nutritional value in the sense of vitamins, minerals over and above the energy which is sourced in the calories.

A well publicised effort by food companies to promote lettuce, for a healthy salad, is ingrained in many of us, and mainly it is iceberg lettuce. Did you know that the nutrional value in iceberg lettuce is very low? It is so low, that veterinarians do not even recommend feeding it to animals. So how is it that it is so popular you may ask?

For starters, it is easy to grow, and therefore has a high yield for the crop producers plant. This leaves food producers in a position where they have a lower risk of making losses in their business when they grow iceberg lettuce. Yes, I am saying food producers do not prioritise growing what is good for us, they prioritise growing what will make them profitable.

It’s not all their fault though. We also need to take responsibility on the food journey. The taste in your mouth of iceberg lettuce, is fairly neutral, and it has a distinguishable crunch when you chew it. That makes it the popular choice to most people’s palate, as it does not create an unwelcome intereference in the mouth that can sometimes ‘shock’ the system.

I may not be the evangelic banting type, but I did learn one thing from reading and following the work of Time Noakes and The Real Meal Revolution. The causation between healthy and not healthy is hard to prove, and the authorities entrusted to look after our interests, are conflicted at best trying to balance our interests and their own in raising funding.

If they are funded by the big food companies, how are they expected to have your interests at heart?

We research more about what fuel we put in our cars, than we do about what food we put into our bodies.

Next time you are tempted to simply grab a head of lettuce to make your salad, think at least twice. Besides, you can’t get iceberg lettuce to look like this salad that I made for dinner tonight.

Author: fit4thabo

I'm a Banker by profession, and ubiquitous on social media. Sometimes, it is as if my brain has a mind of its own. Full of life, and love my family, my work, sports, food, whisky and wine.

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