Good, Clean Food!


I love having good food for myself and my family! You might say it’s one of my passions! In fact we are a family of ‘foodies’ and have been long before the word was coined. You can hear us having conversations about heirloom tomatoes from my daughters abundant garden, and summer salads of balsamic vinegar, new greens and watermelon. Yum, yum!

Of course, having an urban life, I also go to the grocery store. I love the selections and variety as much as anyone, and sometimes just browse the aisles looking for new food and sales on old favorites. Much to my dismay, this is no longer fun! There are fewer and fewer foods I can feel good about buying now.

In the late 70’s while I had young kids, I read the labels for sugar. I’d read John Lennon’s favorite book “Sugar Blues” and took the hint! With a hyperactive child I cut out red dyes and overly processed foods. Later on I watched the fats and washed the pesticides off the veggies and fruits. Preservatives came under scrutiny next, so these were eliminated from our diet.

I took a hiatus from food label scrutiny after all my kids were out on their own. I felt safe in doing so, sure I now knew what was what in the packaged goods I bought. After all, I had peered at every label more than a dozen times, pretty much memorized the contents. I cooked from raw ingredients most of the time because I like to cook!

Then, in the first decade of this millennium, I noticed I was slowly but surely gaining weight. How could that be? I ate very well and hadn’t put on a pound in years (well maybe a pound or two). So I started looking at labels again and noticed an ingredient I was not that familiar with: high fructose corn sweetener (HFCS). Looking it up, I discovered it was a substance the body can’t use so it immediately converts it to fat. It also had the alarming property of ‘fooling’ the body into thinking it hadn’t eaten, so you wanted more since you were still hungry!

After cutting out all HFCS from my diet, I lost 10 lbs in two weeks. Hummmm….

Today my shopping is more vigilant than ever. I’ve conquered the HFCS problem, however I am now faced with the hidden toxins of GMO’s glaring at me from the shelves. This is now in 80% of all our prepacked foods and can be found in old stand-bys like Boca Burgers (bought by Kraft) and most items that have any corn, soy, canola, or beet sugar in them. The only foods you can be sure do not have GMO’s are organic or say no GMO’s on the label.

What’s the big fuss? It just so happens the genetically modified seeds are specifically designed to be untouched by pesticides and herbicides. Some of them even manufacture their own poisons. This means they can be sprayed with Roundup throughout the growing cycle, right up to harvest. This poison is then taken into their system and is found in the harvested plant. Genetic modification has altered soy beans so much that there are many times more powerful allergens in them than they had before.

So now a peaceful stroll down the aisles of the grocery store is gone. Four GMO’s in this, three GMO’s in that, what’s a woman to do? Well, as has been said before, buy local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, fair-trade foods! You think it costs too much? In the 1940’s food was 25% of your income. Now it’s 7.5%. You get what you pay for! Would you buy the cheapest car on the market just because it was cheap?

And what if you saved $1000.00 in doctor bills and prescriptions just by buying good, clean food? Is that worth it?

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