Everything Processed Foods Are Cooked Up to Be

Dr. Sears Industrialized Foods blog

What do you know about industrialized food?

My definition of industrialized food is the application of advanced manufacturing technologies to lower the cost of food production. By that definition, all processed foods (including breads and pasta) are industrialized. Farming is also industrialized, with mechanical harvesters and chemical fertilizers that allow greater raw material production and improved logistics, allowing food grown on one coast (or country) to be eaten in another.

Industrialized Foods Have More Benefits than You Think

It’s cheap

One of the pros of industrialized foods is its reduced cost. In the 1870s, about 40% of American’s disposable income went to food. This is similar to what Guatemalans and Filipinos spend on food today. A century and-a-half later, according to the USDA, the U.S. current total food cost is under 6% of disposable income, even less than in France and Japan, where it is about 14%. The lower cost in the U.S. may be explained by more inexpensive processed foods, which enables more eating, and thus contributes to the higher rates of obesity.

It’s safer than you think

There is greater food safety surrounding processed foods because of the quality control mechanisms required. Witness what happened to Chipotle when they decided to go “local” with their food ingredient supply chain instead of using processed foods. According to Wikipedia, from October to November 2015, 45 people contracted E. Coli from Chipotle restaurants. The outbreak warranted the closing and sanitization of more than 40 Chipotle restaurants.

The Cons of Industrialized Foods Are Well-Known

It’s stripped of the good stuff your body needs & makes you fat

Industrialized foods are stripped of fermentable fiber and polyphenols, along with vitamins and minerals. This is what makes processed foods cheaper and easier to use. Plus, the food industry has mastered the technology of manipulating sugar, fat, and salt to make processed foods that are both low in cost (primarily by removing protein) and incredibly palatable.

It may be poisoned

Engaging in industrialized practices decrease the cost of animal protein by the use of antibiotics and hormones, and the use of genetically modified soy and corn (there is no genetically modified wheat). This allows greater use of herbicides, like glyphosate and Roundup brand, which were recently classified by the World Health Organization as “probably carcinogenic in humans.”

Collectively, these cons have given rise to the world of Processed Foods 1.0, consisting of incredibly inexpensive and palatable foods that make us fatter, sicker, and age faster.

Global Warming Paves the Way for Processed Foods 2.0

A major problem is looming that will have an impact on your food: global warming.

It is estimated that crop yields will start declining by 2% per decade due to global warming. Meanwhile, the surging world population requires approximately a 14% increase in food production per decade to prevent mass starvation.

I believe one possible solution to avert this coming Thomas Malthus-like situation (other than reducing the world population to about 3 billion people) may lie with Processed Foods 2.0. This concept takes into account the ability of industrialized food to maintain high production output with the lowest possible cost, yet with dramatically improved health benefits. It sounds like Mission Impossible, but bear with me.

Creating Sustainable Protein is a Process

The top requirement for Processed Foods 2.0 is the use of sustainable sources of protein to feed billions of people in the future. A vegan diet will not be the answer since it contains far too much carbohydrate and far too little protein to control hormonal responses necessary to optimizing metabolic responses.

Without adequate protein, it is extremely difficult to stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain satiety. The result is you are constantly hungry and this will cause you to eat more calories. Grass-fed beef, algae, or insects as sources of protein are also probably not realistic future approaches for feeding billions of humans.

I believe the answer will come from using isolated plant proteins that can be made into a wide variety of food products that people are accustomed to eat. Isolated soy protein has been found ineffective because of its associated problems of taste and inherent anti-nutrients. Isolated pea protein is limited by the lack of raw material sources. Therefore, I am confident the real answer will come from isolated wheat protein (it’s readily available) fortified by isolated lacto-ovo (egg and dairy) proteins to provide complete protein. But this promise is only feasible if these new forms of protein are suitable for producing industrialized products such as pasta, pizza, and pastries that maintain the ability to suppress hunger. Fortunately, such patented technology has been developed by Zone Labs.

Patented Proteins Aren’t the Future – They Are the Present

Using patented, sustainable and novel protein-based systems allows one to dramatically reduce calorie intake without hunger or fatigue by controlling the hormonal responses in the blood and the gut. Simply adding non-starchy vegetables to these new sources of satiety-inducing protein products provide all the necessary levels of fermentable fiber and polyphenols (not to mention vitamins and minerals) that are needed for gut health.

Consider the products coming from Processed Foods 2.0 to be “vegetable helpers” making it easier to eat your vegetables because they are either on top of the pasta or the pizza. By doing both, then all of a sudden the processed foods that used to make you fat, sick, and age faster now do exactly the opposite.

With super-protein products like Zone Pasta, you are never hungry by eating the foods you actually like to eat. This is the promise of Processed Foods 2.0.

You make the decision to add as many non-starchy vegetables that you like to each meal of containing Processed Foods 2.0 technology. Even it you don’t add any vegetables to the foods, the resulting meal is far superior to existing diets because of its appetite suppression along with improved blood sugar stabilization.

Processed Foods 2.0 represents a technology that can feed billions throughout the world because the production of these protein-based products can be easily industrialized and readily consumed in the convenient formats that fit every possible cuisine.

Super-Protein is Now Real-World

Does super protein exist in the real world? Zone Labs clinical trials that we conducted with Processed Foods 2.0 products indicate the answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’

As might be expected, anytime you make great-tasting pizza, pasta, and pastries, compliance by consumers will be excellent, as it was in our studies.

Furthermore, those same clinical trials demonstrated that insulin resistance is significantly reduced with this new generation of processed foods. By reducing insulin resistance, you obtain the key to longer and better life because the hormones that control your metabolism are now communicating with each other with greater fidelity. What this means is that you are never hungry or tired.

With time, you can expect to see more of these next generation of food products appearing on the Zone website (after all, we own all the patents). Zone Pasta is the first of these products because it is easiest to make and distribute. Zone Pizza crusts and Zone Corn Tortillas are in the planning stages, and may be followed by Zone Croissants. Each Zone super-protein is increasingly more complex to manufacture and distribute, but our preliminary prototypes have been wildly successful for those who have tried them.

Who knew that cutting-edge hormonal control technology using pizza, pasta, and pastrasies was just around the corner? This is an especially exciting prospect for those with metabolic problems like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, as well as elite athletes looking for competitive advantages of stabilized blood sugar levels. This is equally exciting for parents who are simply trying to get their kids to eat their vegetables, like their grandparents told them. When you add vegetables to pizza and pasta, the healthy foods are quickly gone.

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About Dr. Barry Sears

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the impact of the diet on hormonal response, genetic expression, and inflammation. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 45 years to the study of lipids. He has published 40 scientific articles and holds 14 U.S. patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. He has also written 14 books, including the New York Times #1 best-seller "The Zone". His books have sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 22 different languages.

Comments

  1. Louise

    I’m curious if the wheat protein you use is gluten. I love the idea of being able to eat pasta that doesn’t overload me with carbs, but I have Celiac Disease and cannot eat gluten. I noticed that you are working on a corn version of traditionally carb foods. Will this form have gluten in it? And if it is gluten free, when will it be available?

    Reply
    • Dr. Sears

      The only way to make the pasta and retain its appetite suppressing properties is the use gluten. If you have celiac disease, then this remarkable product would not be suitable for you. We are working on gluten-free cookies with good appetite suppression that may be useful to you.

      Reply
  2. robert53e@hotmail.com

    Dr. Sears:

    I am somewhat perplexed over having recently read that dairy products naturally contain “trans fats”. I had previously been quite displeased to see trans fats now included in the list of ingredients for a major brand name cream cheese that I consume. I thought trans fats were manufactured. Now, I am wondering how I would know whether or not the trans fats on an ingredient list for a dairy product would be naturally occurring or whether the amount reported could be a combination of natural and manufactured trans fats, since the two potential sources aren’t differentiated on any list of ingredients that I have seen. Are both natural and manufactured trans fats equally bad? Is there any safe amount with which you would be comfortable recommending?

    Thank you for your advice,
    Robert

    Reply
    • Dr. Sears

      The trans fat in dairy is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). However, dairy CLA consists of one particular isomer formed by the microbes in their gut of cow. When you try to make CLA commercially, you form another isomer of CLA that increases insulin resistance. The more ubiquitous trans fats found in food products have an even more complex pattern of trans fatty acids. I think you would be far better off just sticking with monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil because to get enough dairy CLA to have any impact would be offset by the palmitic acid in milk fat.

      Reply

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