Our son is visiting us. His family eats properly. He researches foods and understands which foods to avoid, and is educated about what the manufacturers are putting in our food.
When he comes to visit, I try to hide the things that I have bought even though I know better. I clear out the soups, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles and boxed cakes before he comes.
“Mom, why did you buy this?” I avert his question. I have no defense. He then explains why this food or that food should be avoided.
His studies have made a big impression on us over the years. We finally realize that if we don’t care what we put in our bodies, no one else will rescue us. But, like any kind of education, we begin at an elementary level and build on that foundation. We soon can easily recognize what we should avoid in the grocery store.
“We have come a long way,” I explain. He doesn’t think so. But we have progressed, just not as fast as he has. Here are a few things that we do.
One always recommends that we buy food from the outside of the aisles around the store; that is, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and so on. But, this advice can be weak as well.
Always read the ingredients first on the labels. If you don’t understand most of the words, don’t buy. Consider the long list of stuff as a warning! The food dyes are bad, the preservatives are worse, and the presence of high fructose corn syrup ... well, leave those products on the shelf.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a bad dude. And since it is cheap, it is in soda, canned fruit, candy bars, sweetened yogurt and tons of other foods. This additive has been linked to today’s obesity epidemic and many other serious health issues. Consumption of this sweetener, (and it’s in EVERYTHING) is a major cause of type 2 diabetes, (insulin resistance), obesity, inflammation, cancer, and heart disease.
It’s not a mystery why we are all piling on the fat like feedlot cattle.
Don’t buy ANYTHING with HFCS in it. You will see the difference in time.
Avoid foods with tons of preservatives (sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate; propyl gallate, potassium bromate, food coloring). Think about this for a moment; 50 years ago, people ate fried food, meats, potatoes, etc. and didn’t get fat. You say, “Oh well, they were more active!” True. But the folks back then ate REAL food, not a chemical concoction with a familiar name.
Why so much cancer? Ask yourself if you want to risk that by eating this junk.
Now, let’s stroll over to the meat aisle, shall we?
Read the frozen fish labels. The front of the packaging may say, “farm raised,” but if you will squint and read the small print, and it says “China.” Don’t buy it.
Food inspectors who have traveled overseas describe the filthy conditions in which their foods are raised and processed. It’s enough to make you throw up. Many of the fish on fish farms there are fed raw sewage daily. They raise this filth, put some food coloring on it (remember to avoid artificial food coloring) with some flavorings and then ship it over to the USA for us to feed to our families.
Most frozen fish products come from China or Indonesia. The package may say “Pacific Salmon” on the front, but look for the small print. Most of these products come from fish farms in the Orient where there are NO regulations on what is fed to these fish.
Never buy the grocery store garlic unless it is clearly marked from the USA or Canada. The other stuff is grown in people poop (yes, that’s right). China is the largest producer of garlic in the world.
The rule is this: buy the most minimally processed foods possible.
The ingredients that the manufacturers are putting in our food to either save money or to keep the food in a mummified state are very, very dangerous.
This is enough information for now, I think.
Practice this investigative approach to the food you buy and you will have a good start. Let’s all vow to do that this week, OK?
I am going to dig into our cupboards and see what I have stupidly bought this past week while in a dull trance as I walked through the grocery store. However, I did make some right decisions too.
Good luck. We will continue this in a few weeks, and see how we have done.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website juditabler.com.