Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On my soapbox....again.

So my best pal Emily told me she missed my blogging. You know what? I miss my blogging too. Even if no one really reads it, it's really helpful and therapeutic to get my thoughts out by writing. I will do my best to write more often, and even touch on some interesting things that may be useful to someone...or not useful to someone. Doesn't matter as much to me as getting it out there. There are many small pieces that make up the whole me. I'm interested in lots of things and plan on sharing my opinions on ALL of them. Today I am going to remain on my soapbox about the craptastic food industry and how they are slowing messing up our bodies.

My sister, Angela has been struggling with her oldest son's migraines. My poor 5 1/2 year old nephew suffers from some zingers. He usually ends up vomiting. She made the connection between these episodes and Red Dye found in foods. She has done her very best to keep it out of his diet, but the poor kid just can't escape it sometimes. One of these horrible times, his stupid teacher (not all teachers are stupid, but this one says the word "funner" and can't read a food label) gave him a Nutri Grain bar. Nutri Grain bars are healthy, right? Wrong. This bar has everything from the dreaded Corn Sugar (aka High Fructose Corn Syrup) and, you guessed it, Red Dye. But with a name like Nutri Grain, people think that they must be healthy.

This is where I start to lose my mind about this stuff. JUST BECAUSE FOOD IS MARKETED AS HEALTHY DOES NOT MEAN IT IS! Anything that has an ingredient in it that you can't pronounce is probably not so healthy for you. Generally processed foods aren't healthy. Refined flours and sugars aren't healthy. And for the love of Pete, Nutri Grain bars aren't healthy!

I don't put all the blame on my nephew's teacher, even though "funner" is not a word and never will be. I actually blame the food industry more. If they didn't try to pull the wool over the eyes of Americans, then these types of things could be avoided. I see foods at the grocery store that have big bold labels on them like "Made With Whole Grains!" and "No High Fructose Corn Syrup!" and the always fun "No MSG!" Though I think this is a small step in a more positive direction, I think it would be better to tote such labels as "Only Half Made with Whole Grains and the Other Half Is a Processed Mess!" and "Packed with High Fructose Corn Syrup!" or the even better "MSG Laden!" Pretty sure that would be a marketing disaster on the part of the food companies, but at least it would be honest. And maybe it would even make them more inclined to use natural, clean, whole ingredients in their products as to not have to deal with the embarrassment of selling crap to people.

I do have a secret on how to avoid these health disasters though. I will share it now: Read the Nutrition Label and Ingredient List!!! Food companies are required to list what they put in food, just not in bold print. If every person took an extra 30 seconds to scan the list of what they are putting in their grocery cart and reject anything that is not clean or natural, then I think this world would be a much healthier place. I think that this would force food companies to be held accountable for what they are feeding the population, causing them to offer better fare. Obesity wouldn't be as huge of an issue. Cancer would be much less prevalent, and my sweet nephew wouldn't have to suffer another horrible migraine.

I challenge anyone and everyone out there to do this one thing for themselves and their families. If you agree leave me a comment!!


  1. I watched a video about how most foods that claim to have blueberries in it really just have a sugar mixture and dye, mimicing blueberries. Um, disturbing. Although, I will say the truly HEALTHIEST way to be healthy is to eat fruits and veggies, organic of course b/c of the pesticides and what not. Which means that we should all grow our own. I by no means am healthy, but I do worry about my kids. I'd rather my daughter not grow boobs at age ten. I'd rather my son not have migraines or ADD. But I also believe it's up to us to choose wisely. Which means education and money is needed. And bod labels that don't lie.
    Boy that was a lot!
    And I still love my kit kats!

  2. Thanks for sticking up for my boy...and the rest of the world. Another part of knowing what goes in the ingredients is researching what the ingredients actually are. If I had known more or paid attention more, we might have avoided this to begin with.

  3. Elizabeth Mason MosesMarch 30, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    You've won my heart again, Alicia! Consumers need to step up and take some responsibility and food corporations will listen! Reading labels is an absolute must, and even (especially!) when the product claims to be "natural" "healthy" or even "organic". Education is key, there is so much in the food that people have no idea about. To get started: grain extrusion (to make boxed cereals), TVP (textured vegetable protein) --meat extender and flavor agent that is an MSG analog, polyunsaturated oils that oxidize when heated AT ALL (yet most fried foods these days are fried in PUFAs (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids)--and the oil is heated over and over again!) The nutritional profile of grass-fed meat is WAY different from grain-fed meat (and grain-fed cows are ALWAYS going to be sick, they cannot tolerate grain!) I have learned everything I know from the Weston A Price Foundation ( ) Thanks for sharing your soapbox, Alicia!

  4. I have migraines too.... and they are TOTALLY related to what I eat. I can't eat meat because it's so processed and will trigger a massive hospital visit stay migraine!
    You get on that soap and scream!

  5. I'll stick up for you and your boys always, Ang!!

  6. Keep on your soapbox Alicia. I do read food labels!