Monday, April 19, 2010

Label reading and Ranting.

We have a problem in America. Yes, I am going to go off on the American diet again.

I just went grocery shopping at good old Wally World. I spent a lot of time in the produce section picking up fresh fruits and veggies, so far so good. I continued my shopping and because I'm an avid label reader I take time making sure that what I'm putting in my cart and in turn putting into my body is good wholesome food. As I venture out of the produce section I am usually disappointed time and again.

I'm sure some of you read my tirade about High Fructose Corn Syrup in my beloved Wheat Thins (I have not bought them since!). It's really brought on an awareness of how many of the foods out there that are marketed as healthy, are not. The phrase "whole grain" doesn't mean anything if it doesn't say 100% whole grain. Without that 100% the whole grain claim only means that there is whole grain listed somewhere in the ingredient list. To the unconditioned healthy eater, this can be very deceiving. I thought it would be fun tonight to get a frozen treat for Justin and I. I picked up a container of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and about the fourth ingredient on the label was HFCS and then a bunch of other ingredients I couldn't pronounce. Not the better for me choice that I thought it was. Why is it that food companies aren't held responsible for pulling the wool over the eyes of Americans?

I shouldn't have to work so hard to make sure what I'm putting in my body is healthy. I shouldn't have to spend 15 minutes in an ice cream aisle to find something that's made with milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Heck, I don't care if they throw chocolate in least I can pronounce it and I know where it comes from! I guarantee that most Americans don't take the time that I do at the grocery store to do this. I'm not saying this because I am better than anyone else. On the contrary, I'm saying this because I used to be that American. I used to go to the grocery store and make what I thought were pretty darn good choices. Now that I'm better read on the subject and pay more attention, I realize I was pretty far off when it came to healthy eats.

Again, I'm not sure what I can do about it. I'm not sure how any one of us can make a difference in holding food companies responsible for falsely advertising their "healthy" product. It's not clever, it's dishonest. It's this dishonesty that is making some guy or gal at the top of the company rich, while the average American gets bigger and more unhealthy. I am grateful for those out there who make it their life's mission to education others about healthy eating. If I could get involved in a group like that, I would.

I know I've ranted about this subject before. I'll probably rant about it again. It bothers me that health and wellness is not more important to more people. I'm not talking about weight loss. I'm talking about true wellness. I'm talking about putting the things in your body that it needs. I know I put a lot of blame on the food companies that market these products in the fashion that they do. But there is some responsibility that lies in the hands of each person who doesn't take the time to educate themselves or read a label and know what they are putting in their body. I've learned not to trust every claim on every bold printed food label. I think I'm healthier for this. I will only put what's good into my body. I will only serve my husband and my eventual children what is good.

I will only get one body in my lifetime. I plan on treating it right.


  1. I have a vegan friend that swears by this stuff -

    I actually don't know if it's this particular brand, but I know he talks about coconut milk ice cream all the time!

  2. Sounds delicious. I'll have to see if I can find some. I was mad about that ice cream thing! I ended up just getting the full fat one and treating it as a treat. That's what ice cream should be anyway!

  3. The best thing you can do is get out of the grocery store---there's way more toxic things going on in the grocery store beyond HFCS--soy protein isolate and TVP, msg, nitrates, food dyes, extrusion, gmo, pesticides, rancid and oxidized PUFAs (poly-unsaturated oils), hexane, and on and on.... Many of these are even in health food stores.

    You have great options for farm to table down there in the tidewater. Find some farms (fruits, veg, meats, eggs, etc) and cut out the manufacturers you don't trust--also cut out the trans-continental or trans-ocean transport of your food AND support small family farms that are doing the right thing to raise sustainable organic, pasture raised food! some resources: , , and I highly recommend "Real Food" by Nina Planck. Also, if you haven't seen the movies Food Inc and Fresh yet, you should!