Thursday, April 12, 2018 by Isabelle Z.
Cooking is a very enjoyable pastime for many people. Taking the effort to find healthy ingredients, trying out different recipes and adjusting them until you get the flavor exactly how you want it, and then sitting down and enjoying the fruits of your labor with loved ones can be very rewarding and has benefits to your emotional well-being. However, even the most avid home chefs will admit that there isn’t always time to get ingredients and labor over the stove. Other people never have the time nor inclination to cook and are always looking for a quick way to keep their bodies fueled. In both cases, meal replacements might seem like an attractive option, but the truth is that even those that claim to be nutritious are often far from it.
Take the example of Soylent, the meal replacement drink targeted at millennials that claims to meet all the nutritional requirements of an average adult. Perhaps it ticks all the boxes on paper when it comes to protein content and vitamins, but much of that is coming from pretty questionable sources. For example, soylent contains sucralose, a toxic sugar substitute that is a known carcinogen and impacts gut flora, as well as sodium selenite, a risky form of selenium.
Perhaps Soylent’s biggest offense, however, is the fact that it is full of GMOs – and proud of it. In fact, a post on their website that sounds like it was written directly by Monsanto’s famous ghost writers touts the benefits of GMOs and downplays their dangers – never mind the fact that a science branch of the World Health Organization has labeled the glyphosate sprayed on these crops a “probable human carcinogen.”
Other meal replacement offerings are less forthcoming about their GMO ingredients. Many people who have spent time in a hospital or around elderly people will be familiar with the name Ensure. This meal replacement drink is often given on the pretense of boosting nutrition, but the first three ingredients on the label are water, sugar and corn syrup. In other words, it’s full of sugar, which is the last thing anyone with health concerns needs, and corn syrup in particular is pretty bad for your health. The Ensure Original Nutrition Shake contains GMO soy protein isolate and GMO-based vitamins, but the label won’t tell you that it’s GMO – and we all know why they’d want to hide that fact.
While some doctors and other experts have expressed concerns about hospitals giving these toxic drinks to their most vulnerable patients, many people still believe they are perfectly safe.
Just what can happen when you turn to GMO-filled meal replacements? GMO crops are typically doused in glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive damage, and birth defects, to name a few. Don’t forget all the sugar in many of these products – a surefire recipe for diabetes – or worse, the artificial sweeteners – a great way to increase your cancer risk even further.
When you cut corners, there is usually a price to pay. A bunch of chemicals in a bottle can never replace the real food that nature has given us. This is what our bodies are designed to eat, which is why eating food created in a lab is often tied to health problems. Sitting down for a home-cooked family meal might not always be feasible, but there are plenty of healthy and satisfying foods that don’t require much prep, like organic yogurt with fruit or a quick chickpea salad with vegetables – that will give you protein and other vitamins but won’t send you to an early grave. Those who rely on meal replacements might be able to fool themselves, but they’re certainly not fooling their bodies.
Read Ingredients.news for more coverage of food ingredients.