Part of the overwhelming allure of processed foods beyond the colorful, creative packaging shouting at you from the shelf is the orderly, symmetrical and very consistent shapes of each cracker, chip, cookie, puff and flake.
The freakish uniformity of each Oreo cookie to all others that ever existed lulls the consumer into a complacent and dazed shopping routine that requires neither thought nor examination to execute.
Contrast the mindless grab and go mentality of supermarket shopping with the thoughtful and slow progression of a consumer through a farmer’s market as vegetables, fruits, and artisanal foods are picked up, touched and examined closely to determine which are ripest, most nutritious, and of highest quality.
When processed foods like pop tarts are examined under a scanning electron microscope (SEM), however, this uniformity fades away and a very different picture emerges.
Misshapen chaos and a horrifying lack of uniform chemical structure is revealed at 30,000 times the actual size.
In fact, artist/photographer Caren Alpert declares that pop tarts at electron microscope magnification strikingly resembles a pink calcium deposit.
Contrast the scary disharmony of a pop tart’s magnified chemical structure with the precision and conformity of a pineapple leaf. Do all pineapple leaves look the same? Definitely not. But under an electron microscope, the true beauty and order is revealed.
How about a fortune cookie? Does this look like something our digestive system would welcome and know exactly what to do with?
Compare this chemical chaos with that of a simple almond below. Doesn’t it seem that the orderly perfection of our digestive enzymes would work a lot more effectively with this precise molecular structure?
The next time you are tempted to pick up that colorful package from the store shelf, remember that the comforting uniformity you see with your naked eye is a complete illusion. The true molecular nature of that enticing processed food is one of chaos and disharmony that will correspondingly bring decay and decline to the person that eats it.
It is ironically the visual irregularity of whole foods that is the clue to their true nature of orderly symmetry under intense magnification.
If these pictures astound you as they did me, you can view the entire collection of Ms. Alpert’s amazing photo series online here, or at New York’s Citigroup Building (153 E. 53rd St.) through January 31, 2013.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
April Puhaida via Facebook
Sabrina Elizabeth Lindsay via Facebook
April Puhaida it’s cause you love poptarts so much
Judi Copeland via Facebook
Over and over again, there is always some ‘know it all’ who has to pick apart an article…..good grief….Take it for what it may or may not be worth and move on….This page owner is simply sharing information and it was with good intentions….Can’t you just leave it at that? :/
Lori Grady via Facebook
great article…not buying these anymore, I should know better.
Dylan Conrad via Facebook
Shavauna Peterson wow that is amazing!
Ryan Ballantyne via Facebook
EVERYTHING looks bizarre and alien when viewed through an electron microscope. That being said, it’s still not a good idea to eat Pop Tarts.
Brandy Ellen via Facebook
This might be the absolute most ridiculous argument for eating real food that I have ever heard. (coming from a professor who has spent her life and research dedicated to educating people about their bodies, food, true health, etc.)
Articles and posts like this actually take AWAY from the very compelling argument to eat real food, to be frank. Because anyone with even SOME logic says something similar to what Jennifer Hope already said.
I mean, really…you think people are choosing to eat Pop Tarts b/c they look “uniform and pretty” so when they find out that *gasp* it is NOT neat and uniform at the microscopic level they will suddenly have a complete mental makeover towards faux food. C’mon. I rarely post negative comments, and I even more rarely post with this kind of negative fervor…but this makes all of us who choose real food look like morons b/c it makes it look like we believe that this type of nonsense actually matters. sigh.