Over the past year I’ve made a concerted effort to do a lot more baking and cooking than I have in the past. Why? Well, the catalyst was mydaughter being diagnosed with some food allergies, specifically soy. You can read about that HERE.
Sandwich Rounds. We survived on these things. I always bought the whole-wheat or multi-grain ones thinking I was offering my family a healthy alternative to white bread. Then I actually took the time to read the label:
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour (flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflvin (vitmin B2), folic acid) (this is not a good thing…enriched means nutrients were “added” back in because they were stripped during the original processing)
- Cellulose Fiber
- Wheat Gluten
- Polydextrose (an indigestible synthetic polymer of glucose)
- Soybean and/or Canola Oil (Soy and Canola are primarily made from GMO crops – if you aren’t familiar with this, please google – it’s kind of scary)
- Cracked Wheat
- Ground Corn
- Preservatives (calcium propionate, sorbic acid)
- Corn Grits
- Grain Vinegar
- Guar Gum
- Brown Rice
- Barley Flaxseed
- Citric Acid
- Stevia Extract
- Soy Lecithin (not necessarily BAD, but my daughter has a soy allergy, so this is now off limits…you will find soy lecithin in almost all processed food products – it is used as an emulsifier.)
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Vegetable Oil
- Dry Milk
To prove my point, let’s look at a “healthier snack”, like those popular cheddar mini crackers…those must be better than cookies, right? Look at the ingredients:
- Unbleached Enriched Flour (see above)
- Soybean Oil (There’s that nasty GMO oil again)
- Cheddar Cheese
- Tapioca Dextrin (A MODIFIED starch used as a thickening agent produced through hydrolosis)
- Partially Hydrogenated Cottenseed Oil (Hydrogonated Oils are cheap processed alternatives to butter that contain trans-fats and are known to increase the risk of coronary heart disease)
- Autolyzed Yeast Extract (enhances the flavor of food by chemically altering the consumer’s taste buds…yes, ALTERS THE CONSUMER’S TASTE BUDS. Derived from MSG.)
- Calcium Carbonate
- Annatto Extract
- Natural Flavor (Flavors that are ADDED into the food, these flavors are made by a “flavorist” in a laboratory by blending “Natural” Chemicals.)
And just as a comparison, here are the ingredients for some homemade cheddar crackers:
- Cheddar Cheese
- Salt, Pepper
You see, processed foods need to add a whole lot of “stuff” in to try and gain back the vitamins and nutrients that are lost in the manufacturing process. They also need to add those preservatives to extend the product’s shelf-life. And worse than anything, a whole bunch of weird, lab produced chemicals are thrown in to get stuff to taste good to us, some which even alter our taste buds (Do a google search on Autolyzed Yeast Extract). If you start researching food ingredients, you will be shocked and probably disgusted. I was. I honestly don’t understand how the Government allows this…oh, $$wait….yes $$$ I do, $$ but I’m $$ not going $$ there.
Once I started reading labels, I could not get past the fact that I was feeding my family a whole lot of un-natural, chemically altered, WEIRD STUFF.
I couldn’t help but think about my Grandmother and Great Aunts who lived a 90% homemade diet, and all who lived a super healthy life well into their late 90s. Then I look around me and see SO MANY people battling awful diseases and dehabilitating allergies that were much less prominent 30 years ago. I can’t help but make an association with the increase of convenient processed foods, and a decline in the health of the American population. Sure, our environment may have something to do with it also, but I have minimal control over that….Food, I can control.
Just a little food for thought.
Now…back to sewing!