Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's in Your Food

Do you ever wonder what's in your food?

You know, as in preservatives, synthetic flavoring and dyes, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics ... the list goes on.

Read the labeling on any packaged food carefully; it's often horrifying to note the number of chemical acronyms masquerading as food.

You may recall the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the bright orange yolks in the eggs that I ate in Australia. The enhanced color is the result of an additive, a synthetic carotenoid.

For health and health safety, food consumers (that's everyone!) need to demand that all food labeling be transparent so that we can make conscious choices about what we feed our brain and bodies.

I went to an event last night and there was a buffet of deli sandwiches, deli-meat pinwheels, crudites and cut fruit, popcorn, brownies and Rice Krispy treats, bottles of pop, and lots of plastic: cups, plates, knifes & forks, and all the food was on plastic platters.

With every bite of my plastic-tasting deli meat and cheese sandwich, deli-meat pin wheel, and fruit pieces, I honestly wondered what I was ingesting.

If you google "What's in our food" there are copious links to articles and blogs containing a lot of disturbing information, I mean overwhelmingly disturbing to the degree that it's hard not to feel as though, as a friend of mine once said, food is dangerous!

And then there's the recent New York Times article about President's Cancer Panel releasing a 200-page report declaring the health dangers of chemicals in our food and environment and the consideration that citizens should give organic food over non-organic food.

A number of years ago a school friend of mine died from non-hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that originates in the lymph system. Toward the end of her life we talked about "why," what could have caused her to be dying at 43 with no family history of cancer, having enjoyed a full and fun life in a beautiful environment in rural Australia?

Judy reflected that as a kid she rode her bike to school alongside the state's biggest, industrial fruit orchards, through mists of chemical spray.

She wondered if the regular, direct contact with herbicides and pesticides, and then eating the fruit sprayed with those chemicals, caused her cancer.

I have no doubt it did.

With her treatment options exhausted, Judy turned to an organic diet and meditation, but it was too late.

Food can be scary, but living in fear of eating is just as dangerous to one's health.

The alternative: be a conscious consumer!

Think about what you're buying at the grocery store, read labels, say no to packaged, bottled, frozen and processed foods containing acronyms masquerading as food.

Be tireless in your pursuit of clean, organic, real food and humanely-farmed meat, poultry and dairy, and sustainably-fished seafood.

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