New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is tackling a bigger opponent than even the largest NFL linebacker: Big Food.
In his new book, “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance,” the five-time Super Bowl champ blasts big food companies, referring to them as more like “chemical companies than anything else.”
In the book, which hit shelves September 19, Brady writes, “Most of what we buy in the supermarket are food-like products or compounds marketed and sold to us as ‘food.’ They’re not food. They’re refinements or inventions that someone made up.”
Using apples, bananas, and tomatoes as examples, the New England Patriots quarterback says that vegetables and fruits are ripened by ethylene gas to make them available all year round.
Brady has a point. Ethylene, a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas that fruits emit on their own, can also be made by a series of processes and combustion used to artificially ripen certain veggies and fruits by creating changes in texture, softening, color, as well as other processes involved in ripening.
The football player then moved his food fight to GMOs. Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature. Currently, they make up around 75% of processed foods on grocery store shelves in the U.S, including up to 85% of soybean products. Most often, genetically modified organisms are developed to withstand heavy applications of herbicides such as glyphosate and dicamba, both of which have been linked to human health issues, including cancer, as well as environmental concerns.
“Does that sound like something you’d want to eat? It sounds like a chemistry experiment to me,” Brady writes. “I think we’ve been lied to by a lot of food companies over the years, by a lot of beverage companies over the years. But we still [believe] it. That’s just America, and that’s what we’ve been conditioned.”
Brady digs in deep, attacking iconic food brands: “We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food… of course they taste very good. And of course all those companies make lots of money selling those things. They have lots of money to advertise… That’s the education that we get. That’s what we get brainwashed to believe, that all these things are just normal food groups, and this is what you should eat.”
This echoes Brady’s previous attack on Coca-Cola in 2015 in which he characterized, rightfully so, the sugary drink as “poison.” (Sugary drinks like soda contribute to almost 200,000 deaths per year in the U.S.)
It’s not surprising that Brady would tout the importance of food education and nutrition. While Brady isn’t vegan, his diet is predominantly plant-based and focused on eating only the highest quality of ingredients (nightshades and fruit are a no no). He’s so passionate about his clean eating diet that he even launched TB12 Performance meals at Purple Carrot, an at-home food delivery service, earlier this year.
Fans of football and food might want to pick up Brady’s new book, however, there already has been criticism (and some epic Twitter insults) over some of the QB’s advice. In another part of the book, Brady claims he’s less susceptible to sunburn because he drinks large amounts of water — sometimes almost 300 ounces — daily. But according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking a lot of water is not one of the listed methods for preventing skin damage from ultraviolet rays.
Read Brady’s book for entertainment and some insight, but you might want to take some of his tips with a grain of salt (something else he surely doesn’t eat).
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