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.