Thursday, May 20, 2010

Know your food!

Everyone has a different definition of healthy. Personally, I consider healthy to be natural, minimally processed, no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, additives, preservatives, etc. So, if you consider healthy to strictly mean low fat/low carb/low sugar/ then....we're going to have some work to do. :)

I feel like people have lost all respect for their food. We don't know what's in it; we don't know where it came from or how it’s made.....and yet we put it in our mouths and eat it. This is a problem....for me at least. If you don't know what it is, why would you eat it?

For instance there's the eternal battle of butter vs margarine. Well, let’s look at the ingredients. The ingredients on butter are typically cream and salt. As far as ingredients lists are concerned, shorter list with recognizable ingredients are better in my book. So I know what cream is and I know what salt is. Heck, if you wanted to you could make your own butter pretty easily. (I might just have to try that.) Now for margarine: Liquid soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, water, whey, salt, vegetable mono- and diglycerides and soy lecithin (emulsifiers), potassium sorbate and sodium benzonate (to preserve freshness), artificial flavor, phosphoric acid (acidulant), vitamin A palmitate, colored with beta carotene (source of vitamin A).'re not making that at home. I don't even know what all that is, and so, I wouldn't eat it. I wouldn't feed it to my child, I wouldn't cook with it, and I wouldn't consider it healthier than butter. Butter will have more calories, fat, and cholesterol than margarine, but you actually need ALL those things in your diet, just in small quantities.

We're so into the fad diets. We give up carbs; we give up fat; we give up sugar. The problem is what we really need to do is learn to eat everything in moderation. We need a variety of nutrients to live our lives to the fullest, and we need to get those from a variety of sources. Too long we've given into the stigma that food is bad, it’s the enemy, don't let it control you. We have epidemics of obesity on one end, and anorexia on the other. It’s like we're afraid of food.

We, as a society, have chosen foods that are cheaper, and chemically derived. Wouldn't it be better to eat smaller portions of the REAL food; food you can identify, recognize, pronounce, and actually tastes better? And now that we've erred on the side of cheapness we've given up on quality all together. We'll eat a $.49 hamburger. When you can eat out, for cheaper than you can buy the ingredients and eat at home, there's something very wrong with what's in the food. Don't people ever wonder what they put it in it to make it so cheap? Think about it. $.49 for a we really want to eat that? Companies are using slogans like "Stuff your face with value" to sell food. Wait....I want to eat food, not value. We want to eat more, more, more, and get more, more, more for our dollar. Haven't we ever heard that you get what you pay for? Where did this cheaper is better mentality come from anyway??

People everywhere are starting to realize that what we need to do is start eating real food. There are whole movements out there from "Retake our Plates" to "Food Revolution" to "Slow Food". Just think about all the negatives that can be avoided, from the new studies linking chemicals in food to cancers, pesticides to ADHD, and BPA to infertility. The impact on human and environmental health would be astounding.  Our dollars speak volumes my friends. If we as a society start purchasing our foods from local farms, farmers markets, and focusing our dollars on organic and natural foods, then that's what the main stream stores will start carrying. Eventually even restuarants will get the hint. Companies sell what we buy, so if we stop buying crap, they won't sell it, simple as that.
So go natural, go organic, READ THE INGREDIENTS, and be healthy and happy. (Plus real food tastes better!) Take the question mark off your plate, and know your food!

"Life is so brief that we should not glance too far backwards or forwards...
therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate."
Grimod de la Reynière (1758-1838)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info and your thoughts. I agree with you 100%. Slowly the word is getting out, and we are starting to realize the importance of KNOWING exactly what we are feeding ourselves and our families. It's a learning process for all of us!