Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today I'm pissed off and fired up - about food

I'm not sure there is anything more important you can do for your health than eating well. And our  grocery stores, Madison Avenue geniuses (advertising to you young'uns) and the food corps that hire them are doing their damned best to make sure we don't.

After many, many hours of thinking, researching, talking about and listening to my gut feelings about food there are some things that I think are pretty darn fundamental to eating well. Because I'm a list person that's how this is going to roll:

  1. Right now it is more important to be thoughtful and deliberate about the choices you make when feeding yourself and your family than ever before.
  2. There are more pesticides, more herbicides, more hormones shot into cattle for no reason, less care, less long term view than we have ever seen in the past.
  3. Small farms are being forced out of business on a daily basis. 70 years (probably more recently than that) ago it was ONLY small farms. How much seed diversity do we think we will get with all farms being planted by a few large ag corporations?
  4. The majority of the food you can buy in the grocery store is processed crap, full of crap, and it will make you feel like crap.
  5. Food companies only care about the bottom line so it's our responsibility to make sure that what we put into our mouths is real food not 'food substitute'.
  6. By 'food substitute' I mean anything you can't pronounce, anything you have to google, any of the corn and soy derivatives.
  7. GMOs are awful, evil, and are a bane to all of us. And they are EVERYWHERE. And they won't tell you. That's the sneaky thing. Corn and soy derivatives are almost always GMO corn or soy but it won't say 'GMO' on the label.
  8. Homemade bread is cheaper and much better for you than anything you can buy in the store. It's also incredibly easy to make. Use organic flour. If you want a lesson, ask me.
  9. We have a First Lady who is doing a wonderful job of trying to get people active and eating healthy while her husband's administration is allowing Monsanto's GMOs to run rampant.
  10. I am physically repulsed by the very idea of GMO salmon. 
  11. Do I trust that any of these GMO salmon won't ever get released or escape into the wild and wipe out wild salmon? No I do not.
  12. Our government is a revolving door of ex-Monsanto employees.
  13. Monsanto truly is the Evil Empire. Cargill isn't much better. They don't care how many people they poison, or how sick and obese we all become as long as they're shoving their crap down the throats of as many people as they can. Seen WallE recently? Monsanto=Buy and Large without the humor.
  14. Monsanto suing small farmers because their crops interpolinated (something that can't be prevented) is typical of their tactics on trying to get rid of any healthy competition.
  15. THEY DO NOT CARE - they don't care what happens to this country. They don't care what happens to Americans. They don't care that obesity rates have skyrocketed in the past 20 years and it's not because we're all couch potatoes. It's because our diet turned to convenience foods and those things are fillers NOT food.
  16. I believe that animal fats are not evil. I think we have been sold a load of hogwash about how healthy a low fat diet is. We are more unhealthy now than when the very idea of a low fat diet was ever invented.
  17. I don't believe in diets. I believe in a healthy lifestyle that is aware and open to change.
  18. I do my best to avoid all oils except for olive and coconut. Canola especially since it's usually GMO. Look at what your chips are fried in - it's usually canola.
  19. Food dyes are going to be in 20 years (maybe less) the Wonder bread of the day. As in how on EARTH did we ever eat that and think it was healthy. In fact, I'm willing to bet that food dyes will be closer to DDT. The EU won't even allow the food dyes the FDA does. All those cookies and cakes people feed their kids? How toxic do you think those dyes are? Yeah. Scary.
  20. If you want a better picture of what's safe and what isn't - check out how many things the EU has banned that are allowed in the US. How many other countries are banning GMOs? We are going to become a very small food island.
  21. Cities and municipalities across the country are suing and/or forcing homeowners to dig up their front yard vegetable gardens. What kind of country do we live in where if you want to grow delicious, organic, safe veg in your yard you're not allowed? WWII and it's Victory Gardens wasn't that long ago!
  22. Every time you spray fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide on your yard it ends up someplace you never intended.
  23. You should be just as thoughtful about what type of meats you're buying. Grassfed beef, pastured pork and chicken. These are the ONLY types of animals any of us should be consuming. Of course the other meat is cheaper and there's a damn good reason. Grain fed cows up to their bellies in their own manure, hogs confined into 2x4 foot pens and chickens so crowded together they are pooping on the cages below them and they have to be debeaked in order to not attack each other. THINK about these things before you buy meat.
  24. Speaking of debeaking. This is standard practice in egg factories. You have to be very careful about your eggs. Even so called 'pastured' hens are often debeaked which means they can't peck and eat things off the ground as they were meant to do. Doesn't do them any good to be out in the pasture if they can't eat.
  25. People need to take responsibility for themselves and their families. No one else is going to make sure your food is good for you. We all swallowed the 'low fat' mantra hook line and sinker.
  26. Soy is usually GMO. Google how they make those veggie substitute foods (you know the ones that are supposed to look and taste like meat?). It's disgusting and dangerous. Be vegetarian but be aware of what you're eating.
  27. Eat in season. This means you do NOT buy fresh berries in winter among other things.
  28. Like Ratatouille, anyone can learn to cook. You don't have to enjoy it but you need to learn, it's the first step towards becoming independent from the food corps. Find a friend, read a blog, watch a video, ask questions.
  29.  Don't buy into Madison Avenue marketing. Just like you don't need a new car with a big red bow to feel special and loved on Christmas, you also don't need a snickers to change your personality. Just Don't Buy Into The Marketing.
  30. Milk. Buy the best you can. Do not buy ultra pasteurized, that milk is dead. I buy Organic Valley grassfed for cooking/cheese making and Saint Benoit for drinking. You can find good milk, just look for it.
  31. Be thoughtful about the butter and cheese you buy as well. Don't buy anything that's not cheese (so called 'American cheese' I'm looking at you).
  32. Making cheese is as easy as heating 4 cups whole milk to 190 degrees, remove from heat, add 3T vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes, strain (keep that whey for bread baking) and voila you have ricotta. It's really that simple.
  33. Life is too short to drink cheap wine. Inexpensive wine is ok, cheap no.
  34. Life is too short to eat or drink ANYTHING cheap.
  35. Water is the best drink out there. Next to wine.
  36. Refined sugar is slowly killing us all. Don't believe me? Try cutting it out of your diet and watch how your body reacts to the lack of sugar. And it's in EVERYTHING.
  37. This does not give you free reign to guzzle your jars of raw honey instead.
  38. Organic food isn't the end all be all of course, but I think it's the best that we have so far. It's expensive for a reason.
  39. Nothing is a panacea.
  40. Be thoughtful, make wise decisions, think about what you put into your mouth before it gets there. Be careful with yourself and your family. No one is going to care more than you do about what your family eats. And no one else is going to make sure it's safe, healthy or good for you.
*Stepping off the soap box now*.

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