I realized this morning that it has been a year since I became really food-conscious and vigilant about trying to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. The turning point for me was on our vacation last summer to Wallowa Lake. I had gotten Jillian Michaels’ Master your Metabolism and read it in a few days. In the book, she discusses the havoc created in our bodies by many of the ingredients that are commonplace in the normal American diet. I went through pages of that book with my mouth agape. Several times, I shouted, “Are you kidding me!?!?” as I pushed the book in Mike’s face, demanding him to read it.
Shortly after that vacation, we watched Food Inc.
I love this film, but if anything, it made me angry. Angry at the businesses who supply our food, angry at our government for allowing such atrocities to happen – heck, they encourage it, and angry at the system that we, as consumers, have created. After that, I was fully on-board to go against what our government and food corporations have been telling us is “OK” and “healthy.”
I am doing something about it by making the choice, as much as possible, to buy organic food so that we aren’t loading our bodies up with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. Now, like most people, I don’t have an unlimited food budget and, unfortunately, organic food is not cheap. I love that it’s not as bad as it used to be though. For instance, this week at Safeway, peaches are on sale for 99cents/lb. Organic peaches are ALSO 99cents/lb! There have been many times I’ve been at the grocery store and find conventionally grown apples for $1.29/lb and then organic ones will be 99cents/lb. You just have to shop around and watch for deals!
These are foods that, when grown conventionally, either have the most amount of chemicals used on them…or they absorb the most amounts. Regardless of how cheap conventionally grown foods are from the “dirty dozen” list, I won’t buy them. If the organic variety is too expensive, I just go without. The most common things I end up just having to pass on are strawberries and bell peppers. I had read that, this past December, California approved a known cancer-causing neurotoxin to be sprayed on strawberries. So, it became a joke this summer when strawberries were on sale and Mike wanted some…I was like, “Those are neurotoxin strawberries!”
On the other hand, things like bananas, onions, avocado, and mango I rarely, if ever, buy organic. They are on the least contaminated list and do not really concern me.
When it comes to prepared/boxed foods, I always check labels. I’m mostly on high alert for high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. SO many of our foods have these two items. After reading Master your Metablism, I cleaned out my pantry and fridge as soon as we got home from vacation. I threw away anything that contained HFCS or hydrogenated oils. There was very little left in my kitchen. Things you wouldn’t even suspect – like, the coffee creamer I mentioned in an earlier post. Ketchup. Salad Dressings. Almost any cookie, cracker, or commercially baked item. It is crazy.
We recently watched King Corn. (It’s able to be streamed on Netflix if you want to watch it!) This was a great documentary that shows two newbie college grads who decide to plant an acre of corn and trace what happens to it. I really enjoyed the film, but what amazed me was that they go to a college researcher and he takes a strand of their hair. From their hair, he is able to break it down and essentially find what their bodies are made of. Spoiler alert…
It’s CORN! Due to the fact that corn is in almost everything we eat in some form or other (HFCS, corn starch, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, beef/chicken/and even fish are being fed corn), the carbon that makes up our bodies is the same as corn. That’s just not right!
It’s your choice what you put in your body and what you feed your family. Unfortunately, you can’t just sit back and expect our government and food corporations to ensure that our food is healthy and safe. All they care about is MONEY. How can they make the most food for the cheapest price? It is sad that, due to that mindset, our country has the most unhealthy generation being raised right now and for the first time in history, our children’s generation is expected to have a shorter life-span than their parents. That is wrong and it’s our responsibility to do something about it. Be educated about your food and vigilant about what you choose to eat!