What Are You Eating?   Leave a comment

As those of you who know me well know, I love to cook, and I love to eat.  Over the years due to health problems experienced by various members of the family, I have learned a good bit about a variety of different diets.  When your nose runs every time you sit down to a meal, you start to do some homework.  In the course of this journey, I have learned to always read ingredient labels.

Well…in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably say that I haven’t learned to do this, because I don’t always read ingredient labels.  For one thing, product ingredients can change.  You think you’re on top of what is in something, and don’t bother checking, and then once you get it home you notice there is something in it that you should not eat.  That’s usually what I run into.

Also, there are surprises, ingredients you don’t expect, usually because it makes no sense for them to be in the product you’re buying in the first place.

There are quite a few additives in most foods in the grocery store, and if you want to avoid them, you’re going to need to read labels and buy fresh foods, not prepared ones.  Oh, and did I mention reading the labels?

Here are a few surprises we had lately.

We enjoyed pancake and muffin mix from family as a Christmas gift.  It is organic and non-GMO.  The pancakes were delicious for sure, but the pancakes included organic malt extract and natural flavoring.  If the flavor of organic pancakes is so fantastic, why do they need flavor enhancers?

I was looking at baby shampoo, which of course you don’t eat, but your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, so thinking along these lines for a gentle safe soap for babies, I was thrilled to see that–no whoops, I  mean confused to see that baby shampoo has, among about 15 other ingredients that I couldn’t identify, two kinds of yellow food coloring.  Slather it on!  I’m sure that will have health benefits for your baby.

You’ve heard that if you want to eat healthy, just buy your food from the areas around the outside edge of the grocery store, thus avoiding the processed, packaged foods that make up the majority of the center aisles.  I think in general that is a good idea.  But, even with fresh food, don’t stop reading those labels.  You still have to look for additives.  I recently discovered that conventional ground beef has natural flavoring in it.

Why does plain ol’ meat need natural flavoring?  Honestly, what is wrong with its flavor alone that requires additional support?  I asked the meat guy about this and he told me it’s been in there for years, basically industry standard, and if you want meat that does not have natural flavoring in it, you have to buy organic.

I have to say, that’s the dumbest, wrongest thing I have heard at the grocery store in a long time!  Meat.  That is all it is supposed to be.  But, if your family, like mine, reacts to food additives and flavor enhancers, you are going to have to find an alternative to grocery store meat.

This in itself is wrong.

In a perfect world, you would not have to read every label and get the life story of the food you want to purchase.  But here we are, in a culture where as long as it’s GRAS (generally recognized as safe) it can be in your food.  Why not add another stabilizer, another thickener, another flavor enhancer to this product? must be what the companies are thinking.  What’s one more? the public already takes in hundreds of substances that are not actually food, but that are allowed in substances that used to be food.  It must have started somewhere.  Sometime, natural flavoring was the only additive in your food, and you only ate it once or twice a week.  But just a little at a time, more and more preservatives and flavor enhancers and food colorings were added, and you ate more and more of the prepared and processed foods.

And here we are with a grocery store full of substances that I cannot honestly call food.

And people who don’t make a lot of money and can’t afford to buy organic meat are forced to take in all these substances that aren’t needed in the first  place.

And we are pondering why we are chronically ill.

What are you eating?

 

 

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Posted February 2, 2017 by swanatbagend in food

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