Deceptive labeling, conflicting nutrition advice, food recalls…how did something so basic as eating become so complicated?
Our highly industrialized food system makes buying natural foods like eggs and produce a complicated choice. Imagine if strawberries and tomatoes listed the type and amount of pesticides used and included a warning label on its hazardous effects to your hormones. Or if egg cartons detailed the amount of hormones and antibiotics injected in the chicken to stave off diseases from an unnatural environment and diet. Even “natural” products contain hidden sources of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).
It is not only our health at risk, but the health of factory and farm workers, our environment, and our economy. Eating now requires research and education. We need to get back to what food is supposed to be: nourishing and pleasurable. It’s time to get real.
- Get in the kitchen– preparing your own food means you have better control of your source ingredients. By making the right choices you are also driving the market towards healthier options. Look what happened to rBGH milk (recombinant bovine growth hormone injected into cows to increase milk production). Enough consumers refused to buy this milk that many retailers stopped selling it- even as the FDA continues to state there is no “significant difference in milk from cows treated with artificial growth hormones.”
- Get online– if you are looking for recipes, or want to stay educated on current food issues, the internet is an amazing tool. There is a thriving online community of individuals and organizations passionate about getting back to real food.
- Get out in your community– shop at farmer’s markets and local food coops. When you can ask your farmer how he grows his strawberries, or better yet, visit the farm and see the tomatoes or the chickens yourself- you know what real is.
Nina Planck Real Food: What to Eat and Why
Michael Pollan The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
EWG – Environmental Working Group
Grist– “funny nonprofit environmental journalism.”
Do you get overwhelmed or frustrated when food shopping? Do you have your own recommendations? Leave your feedback and comments below. Remember to keep comments on topic and respectful.