Did Eating in Restaurants Kill My Friend?
Guest post by Joanie Blaxter, founder of Follow Your Gut
Did Eating in Restaurants Kill My Dear Friend, Leotha?
A very close friend of mine died of liver cancer a couple years back at the relatively young age of 62, a full ten years before his median life expectancy of 72.
To be honest, as a health coach and Traditional Foods proponent, it was a bit of a shock because Leotha grew up on a farm in Mississippi, drinking raw milk and eating an all organic, home-grown diet, including pasture-raised and farm-harvested meat.
A robust body and mind, constructed from the strongest materials, can, and should, be able to take a lot of abuse in later life. Anecdotally, nearly all our current long-lived individuals in this country (100+ years) have a lifelong personal history of eating clean, Traditional Foods, similar to Leotha's childhood.
Leotha did not, however, have the advantage of those nutrient-dense foods beyond his early 20's. As a young man he moved away from the farm to urban life, became a police officer and began living on the Standard American Diet.
(By the way, check out the restaurant guide to dining out!)
Standard American Restaurant Diet…
As a single man on his own for his entire life, probably the only homecooked meal Leotha ever ate was when he visited one of his sisters every few months, at most.
I remember meeting him, at his request, once in a Marie Callender's and later at an IHop. These working-and-middle-class chain restaurants were typical of Leotha's tastes and income, and where he got his breakfast, lunch and dinner, day in and day out.
If your reaction to that is, So what? You definitely need to OPEN THE LINKS BELOW!
The first article details how extraordinarily toxic is the heating of any industrially produced cooking oil.
Coming from the deep South, fried foods were a favorite of Leotha's and since almost all the food he ate growing up was processed on the farm, most of his childhood dishes were cooked in lard. All that changed when he left home and began eating “healthy.”
Turns out that restaurant fried food is likely THE most toxic food possible.
In the frying process, liquid polyunsaturated oils (canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, etc), inherently unstable, rancid, cheap and industrially produced, are not only heated, but repeatedly taken above boiling by 150+ degrees to 375 degrees or higher, causing the oil to break down into dozens and dozens of carcinogenic by-products.
As Nina Teicholz, author of the new book, A Big Fat Surprise, clarifies “… in one analysis, a total of 130 volatile compounds were isolated from a piece of fried chicken alone.”
Think French Fries, bacon, pancakes, hamburgers, fried eggs or basically, any food cooked on a grill or fry pan. (Really, with the exception of a salad, what chain restaurant food is NOT fried on a grill?)
This is Kelly interjecting… Watch this short video, it will freak you out about fast-food, and especially fast-food French fries (Try my homemade real foodie version of fast-food fries, fried in a healthy oil!):
Please note: While this information has been known since “the mid-1940's,” it was only available to a select group of “oil chemists” until very recently, beginning with the investigative work of researcher Mary Enig, PhD.
Other markers for toxicity in restaurant fare include non-organically and/or commercial, factory grown food; this describes 99+% of the menus of most restaurants. (How many restaurants do you frequent that serve only organic produce and/or pasture-raised animal food?)
Since about the late 1980's, it turns out that a majority of the non-organic carbohydrates that we eat – wheat, barley, rice, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds, sugar – are drenched in glyphosate as part of the on-farm, pre-harvest processing.
Gyphosate, as we know, destroys the microflora in our microbiome and with it, our autoimmune system.
I think it's fair to say that Leotha probably consumed a daily dose of toxic pesticides, including high levels of glyphosate, in combination with hundreds of highly inflammatory, unnatural chemical by-products with each restaurant bill that he paid… 3 times a day!
Given what I understand now about how truly immune-suppressive, rancid, toxic and deadly Leotha's diet must have been for four decades, dying at an early age of cancer of the liver, our major detoxifying organ, no longer comes as a surprise to me, despite how nutrient-dense was his childhood fare.
Would he have lived longer if he had consumed a Standard American Diet that was home, as opposed to restaurant, cooked?
I'm guessing yes, simply because the oil used in restaurants to deep fry is commonly reheated many, many times, making it extraordinarily toxic. This is generally not the practice at home.
Furthermore, as he aged, Leotha did get more health conscious. If he had cooked at home he would have likely switched to organic foods. Choosing instead, however, to eat out every meal only at affordable restaurants meant “organic” was never on the menu.
It would appear that even having the absolute best start in life is no match for… Death by Restaurant.
If you think this kind of demise won't happen to you… tally up the number of times per day per week you:
Eat non-organic food,
Use industrial cooking oils in your own baking or cooking or
Eat out, particularly anything fried.
And then read the articles below:
- The Big FAT Surprise: Toxic Heated Oils
- Turns Out the Problem May Not Be Gluten: Glyophosate Drench on Commercial Wheat, Sugar, Rice, Seeds, Beans and More
This is Kelly again. Eating out doesn't have to be ALL bad! Kristen's new e-book will help you figure out the best places to choose if you're eating out (you know you want to sometimes!), and what is best to order no matter where you go! Click here for more information.
This was a guest post by my sweet friend, Joanie Blaxter, who is now a regular writer around here! She’s been the Ventura County, California chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation since 2010, and you can contact Joanie here for health consultations. Also, find her past guest posts here.
- Try my homemade version of fast food French fries!
- My list of healthy fast-food meals cooked at home.
- My index of recipes are here.