Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Informed Reasoning and Food

When I was twelve, I took my first class in cooking. My teacher was a well educated woman skilled in home arts. We all giggled, like 12 year old girls do, at her no nonsense approach to a perfectly toasted piece of bread. As the years have passed I appreciate her more and more. She knew not only how to toast the bread perfectly, but she also knew how the wheat was grown, ground and how the level of protein in the wheat would affect different baked goods.

She taught that knowledge yields power. The power to control you self, your food, and your spending. She was a woman of the depression era and frugality was her champion. We laughed and snickered at the thought of grinding our own wheat, why not just run to the store? We were of that era. Everything we needed came from a store. No need to bother doing it yourself, unless you really had the time or inclination.

The base reason I write posts about HFCS, the FDA, GMOs is well seated in that classroom experience when I was 12. A woman of simple means taught me that excellence is worth its cost of time. I haven't always applied it, and I wish I had. Convenience was how I was raised and not until my children were grown, did I recognize that convenience has its related costs.

For too long, I have relied on entities that do not know me, or care about me. No I really don't believe that ADM or the others really is going to ever care about me personally, don't misunderstand me. I did believe that they had people's interest at heart when they went into their labs to develop new products. I really felt that they put people in front of profits. But like my twelve year old self, they found that quick and easy is what sold products and that's what they set out to develop. The next big thing, whether it was true food or not, it's what Americans clamored for, as their accounting teams told them.

We worked as a team. They developed unreal food, we lapped it up both thinking we were serving good food. Rarely was there a question of ingredients. We believed the FDA was doing our job. I'm not picking on the major corporations. I only name them as providers. They are giving America what it thinks we want, because that's what is purchased. They did what we asked them to do. We are the ones who should be held responsible. We forgot we were in charge of our food. And that we needed to know more than just the mantra "The FDA approves it". It's called personal responsibility. Ultimately we are accountable for the things we do and see and eat. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, rather than ignore them, find out what they are.

Then when you read an article about HFCS you'll want to read more. You'll want to understand what is done to manufacture a product into something edible. Is it really a food? Or is it a conglomerate of ingredients manufactured in a lab to look like food? Is it something you really want to feed your children, your grandchildren or yourself? Food is best in simple form. The closer to the initial product the better it is. Keep that in mind. It's your body. Not an experimental testing labs.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Junk Science, Kooks

When I mentioned at another blog the mercury scare, the answer came back swift and ripe with plenty of intellectual dreck. To quote: "High levels? The report — questionable at best, and called “junk science” by most — found *trace* levels of mercury in some samples of name-brand foods with high-fructose corn syrup, no higher than are found naturally in air, water, and soil. As the spokesman for ConAgra noted, you’d have to eat more than 100 pounds of supposedly “tainted” ketchup per day in order to consume a level of mercury considered unsafe by the EPA.

Since the Minneapolis group that conducted the study has long campaigned against high-fructose corn syrup, and tested only foods that contain that ingredient, and only *name brand* foods at that, we ought to wonder whether the shock value is what they were after, more than the public good. Especially when the report’s even limited value is being distorted successfully in the minds of the public who think 30 parts per trillion is significant.

Pass the Hershey’s syrup. I’m willing to be the guinea pig!

It began with Isaac Newton, Galileo, and Velikovski. Now I'm the kook. And so is everyone that goes against the mainstream corporate thought process. I love the comment about ConAgra. Yes, ConAgra the bastion of "wholesomeness" in the American food supply. Just how many people who've worked for ConAgra have also worked for the FDA? You'd be surprised. Between Monsanto, ADM and ConAgra it's a veritable revolving door between the two entities. Keep in mind they also pay lobbyists to do their bidding in congress. Yes, I believe in the Easter Bunny too.

I am not sure if it is just easier for intellectuals to stick together on the party line because of sheer economics or position and the possibility of power at some future date. At least they've chosen a side.

That is until you ask them if they eat organic foods. Most say of course, when they are available. If you ask them why it's because they've read that organic equals healthy and therefore they are trying to make better choices. Until you mention that even soy is grown organically, and is a genetically altered product. As soon as you mention GMOs they turn their tail and run. It's as if they are so afraid to really know what is being foisted on the American people they'd rather just not think about it at all.

Even Canada has a better food supply than us. Something as simple as a Cadbury chocolate bar is better when purchased in Canada. Something about they fact that chocolate is not allowed to be adulterated to the extent there as it is here.

Sigh. We'll just keep putting up the information. You can call me boring, a kook or uninformed. I know I'm in good company.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mercury. In High Fructose Corn Syrup!!!!

Ethicurean (one of my favorite places on the net!) has pointed us to one of the most important stories to break in the past few days. Let's talk about the convenience. Let's talk about the modern age of processed foods. Let's talk about big box grocery stores! Nah, let's talk about Mercury being found in foods containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Anybody for a peanut butter and Smucker's strawberry jelly sandwich?

It is probably the best summation of the issue. Mercury is a by-product of Caustic Soda. Caustic Soda is used to separate corn starch from the corn kernel. Mercury is a brain impairing substance, meaning it kills brain cells!!!!

Here is a list of the products that tested positive by not just one scientist but a group of them:

Quaker Oatmeal to Go, Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauce from Heinz, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce, and Nutri-Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars, Smuckers Strawberry Jelly, Blueberry PopTarts and others. Here's the link to the pdf file containing the entire list of results.

I noticed the article at Mother Earth News The video spoof of the Sugar industry's commercial about HFCS being a natural sugar by the makers of King Corn is priceless. Watch it too!

What I love is that these products are all approved for use by the FDA, as well as HFCS, and as Ethicurean points out, cloned animals. I would love to get the FDA out of my kitchen all together.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The wrong message?

I went to get take out the other night, this was what they took the order on.

Actos: ACTOS is a once-a-day prescription medication for type 2 diabetes that, along with healthy eating and physical activity, helps your body control blood sugar (glucose) levels.

SO inside the box is the best Chicken Jerusalem in these here parts. It's linguine noodles with a mushroom sauce with pieces of chicken breasts. Not all that good for you and certainly not something a diabetic should choose for an evening meal. Thannk goodness this was a real treat and not a weekly indulgence.

It was a crack up to see all the little tummies on the note though.

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