Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Understanding Food

The human body is a beautiful thing, it can take a massive range of materials and process them into the energy to do work and reproduce. Be it raw sweet potatoes or McDonald's french fries, your body can use it. Of course, if you've seen the movie Super Size Me, we have seen that although we CAN survive off of fast food and coffee, it doesn't mean our bodies are performing optimally.
Macronutrion consists of carbs, protien, and fats. These are primary energy sources for your cells.

Carbs are like huge batteries supplying the electricity in your house, they get stuff done on the day to day. The longer the carbohydrate chain, the longer it takes to fully metabolize. This means you get your energy over several hours as opposed to several minutes. Longer chain carbs are called complex carbs. Shorter chain carbs are called simple carbs and sugars. If the chain is too short is has trouble absorbing into the body because not many processes need short chain carbs.

You often hear sports players talking about carb loading the night before a game so they can have more energy. This works for short, hard, bursts of energy like running a 5k, but what about a 25k?  How about a 42k?

Fats have very very long chains and are used by marathon runners over carbs to give them the sustained energy to run 26.2 miles (42km) without stopping.

Protiens are the brick and mortar that build and maintain your system. They are made up of amino acids that can be used by various processes to make different things your body needs. Since our bodies don't store amino acids that aren't being used, try to eat complete or complimentary protein sources to make sure your body has the right parts to build what it needs. It will try to make do, but what was planned to be a Monet may end up being more like a Picasso. (Brownie points if you got the joke!)

Think of a long chain carbohydrates or fats as a fast food conglomerate. In a long line of brick warehouse processing plants (the protien)
Our bodies (the company) bring in raw material in the form of food from the farmers. (Ill use corn for this example)

The first processing plant removes the husk which is sent to the second processing plant to be turned into tamale wraps, packaged, and shipped to a distributor

The first processing plant takes the stalk of the plant and sends it to a third processing plant so it can be sterilized and used to grow mushrooms or as a food source for a concentrated animal feeding operation. Which send their cows to a plant to be separated into meat for people food, bones, leather, and meat for animal foods (intestines, meat by-products, etc)

People meat is packaged and sent to a distributor, the bones are ground into bone meal and sent to a distributor, leather is sent to a leather processing plant, and animal meats are sent to dog/cat food plants

The mushroom organism (mycelium) produces two flushes (harvests) of mushrooms which are packaged and shipped to a distributor, the mycelium is a waste product and is shipped to a fourth plant

This plant takes the food waste from the restaurant and composts it with worms then it is inoculated with the mycelium to act as a nutrient communication system between plants in your garden and all of the above is packaged and sent to a distributor.

If you just had compost (free sugars), it could only be used by one, maybe two of the processing plants. However if you had the whole corn plant, it could be used by all of the processing plants resulting in very little waste, maybe once or twice a day, packaged in a neat little lump that can be used by other organisms.

Moral of the analogy?

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