Tuesday, December 28, 2010

They wouldn't let them do that.

I have had various conversations with different people, some family, some friends, and some who are just interested in a healthy debate about what is in our food.  The single comment that always gets to me is, "They wouldn't let them do that."

I am not a "health nut."

I am not a "food freak."

You will catch me at a fast food establishment from time to time, and you will hear of me whipping up highly caloric concoctions in my own kitchen.

I like to eat good food that tastes good.

What do I mean by that?  I mean that most of the time I like to eat something that sustains me.  Something that I know is good for my body.  I don't crave foods, and most of the time I eat out of necessity.  I know that I need to.  I know that if I don't I will get a headache, and, if left up to me, I will eat what is the easiest thing at the moment, and am not opposed to eating the same thing several days in a row.

I also am not a perfect person.  I do not always eat the healthiest things.  I like butter.  I do try to use good quality ingredients that have the least amount of processing, and I try to make things from scratch when possible.  I am a shop-on-the-outside-of-the-store kind of girl.  I stopped buying products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in 1998.  That was way back in the day, before you heard the term "trans-fats." 

The decision to cut out the hydrogenation was sparked by a book that I read after my father died of cancer.  That was the beginning of, "Why would they let them put that in our food?" for me.

At that same time, I started my first garden.  I had never had one before in my life, funny for someone that descends from Farmers.  My first attempt was a serious learning experience.  I spent a lot of time reading books, and then I spent even more time asking people questions.  The turning point toward "Organic" or "Natural" methods was when I discovered a serious ant problem in my little garden.  I immediately went to the store and started reading labels on products that would kill ants.  The products that stated they were safe for vegetable gardens also came with warnings.  There should be no prolonged contact with your skin.  Your eyes should be protected when using this product.  There were very serious warnings not to ingest the product. 

Wait, what did that say? 

Yet, these are safe for vegetable gardens.  Needless to say, I left without purchasing anything.  I went back to reading and asking questions, and found that I could use self-rising cornmeal to manage my ant problem.  Apparently, the ants eat the cornmeal, it expands, and well, you get the picture.  The last time I checked , cornmeal is a relatively safe product.  I say relatively because I am currently on a mission to reduce the hybrid-ized corn consumption on this farm.  I will leave that topic for another day.

My point is that it doesn't take much investigation to reveal what is really in our food.  I am not an authority, but I have read a number of books on food ingredients and I have read plenty of food labels.  You can do the same thing.  There are ingredients that can simulate hormones.  There are ingredients that can actually cause you to crave more of the products that they are in.  It is a sneaky little game that some food manufacturers are playing.  All the while, there are a number of people that still think, "They wouldn't let them do that."  My question to them is, "Who is they?" 

We are they. 

You and me. 

Each one of us that is preparing a meal either for ourselves or for our families.  To make things even a little easier, I will help you get started.  Read the article that was posted on Yahoo! today.  Here is the link:

From the experts...

I don't think that I can hit a drive-thru window again, and I already knew about the yogurt thing. 

I know people on the inside.

Seriously, you have to read it for yourself.

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