The great American “vegetable” fake-out

You all probably know by now how much I love to watch television. (Yes, it’s OK to watch TV — if you’re also getting plenty of physical activity!) So, of course I didn’t miss the Emmy awards this year. It was very entertaining, as usual — except for one thing.

Behind the scenes, men in tuxedos greeted Emmy winners with McDonald’s French fries as soon as they walked backstage. Ronald McDonald infiltrated the red carpet, too, with Game of Thrones star Lena Headey scarfing down a fry before posing for the cameras.

This was nothing short of a tacky marketing ploy by McDonald’s to promote the launch of their new all-day breakfast. And no doubt, McDonalds was trying to take the spotlight away from its west coast competitor, In-N-Out-Burger, where stars have been seen scarfing down a burger after awards shows.

But come on! You and I both know this is not how the stars eat on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong — I admit French fries are hard to resist. And I occasionally indulge on special occasions, just like the stars do.

But I didn’t realize the terrifying extent of the love affair people in the US have with fries and ketchup.

Specific data from the USDA shows that potatoes account for one third of all vegetables Americans eat, and tomatoes are one fifth. That means these two faux “vegetables” make up nearly HALF of the total vegetable intake for most people in this country.

I say faux vegetables because potatoes are mostly starch, and tomatoes are really a fruit.

And, besides, when you take a potato, process it, freeze it, fry it in oil, and then dip it into a sugary fruit paste laden with preservatives, how can you possibly still call them vegetables? Or even food, for that matter?

But I kid you not, preserved and frozen potatoes are the bread and butter of the American diet. People are eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner. Nearly 70% of potatoes eaten in the US are frozen or processed, and for tomatoes, its roughly 77%.

This is just another example of how corporate America has destroyed our diet. And, by extension, our health.

Our obsession began in the 1950’s when potato processing became “state of the art.” And then the fast food chains took it to a whole new level with the innovation of the deep fryer, which made it possible take fries from frozen to piping hot in a matter of seconds. And that fueled America’s obsession with fast, but nutrient-depleted food.

But the further I delved into the numbers the worse it got. According to the USDA, during the 2000’s the “US per capita use of frozen potatoes averaged 55 pounds per year…42 pounds for fresh potatoes, 17 pounds for potato chips and 14 pounds for dehydrated products.”

That’s 128 pounds per person. Of just potatoes!

And the impact ketchup has had issimilarly frightening.In fact, ketchup accountsforroughly15%ofalltomatoes consumed intheUnitedStates. I know I have been telling you that ketchup is loaded with sugar for years, but let me repeat it once again for good measure: Ketchup is mostly sugar or high fructose corn syrup. In fact, certain brands of ketchup contain much more sugar than ice cream.

This is a sad state of affairs because 90% of adults in the US fail to eat the daily recommended amount of vegetables. And when they do, they are usually over-processed, over-baked, or over-fried, which depletes all the vitamins and minerals. Potatoes aren’t that great for you in their whole form, but processing them into oblivion is even worse. And turning a tomato into a plastic tube of sugary paste is just criminal.

It’s time to climb out of this tangled basket of fries we have fallen into. Don’t rely on ketchup and fries as “vegetables.” Instead, opt for equally delicious — but nutritious — snacks and side dishes. For some of my favorites, check out my report, Dr. Fred’s Decadent Diet Free Recipes. Subscribers to my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter can download this report for free by logging on to my <a href=””>website,</a>