March 25, 2014

Why is our Food so Unhealthy?

Let's make this part of the Summer Fit Club posting, but really, it's more of a personal rant that's been going on in my head, and maybe if I put it down in words it will torture me a little bit less.

What is happening to our food?

Going grocery shopping has become a torture for me, it's a puzzle, such a hard job. Having to pick and choose, pick up and put down, reading label after label and only finding crap and more crap put in this food we are supposed to eat.


Who wants to hurt us and kill us so much? Why do they want us sick and dead? Because it's cheaper to make something with horrible ingredients than with natural ones? So they make the big bucks and we get cramps and IBS and GERD and diabetes and heart attacks?

Before having a child I didn't care as much, but now it is my responsibility to feed my daughter "good" food. Except it's so hard to find it.

At any regular supermarket you can throw out 97% of the stuff as it's all crap. Anything boxed, crap. Most of the things frozen, crap. Non organic veggies and fruits, crap and old... I seriously get dizzy at the supermarket.

My husband asks me: do you have a list? And I say: yes, I want:

1) Cookies made only with sugar, flour and eggs - but they don't sell them
2) Fruit juices without high fructose corn syrup
3) Sliced bread without fake flour and high fructose corn syrup
4) Cereals without tons of sugar and artificial colorants
5) Chewing gum with no artificial sweeteners - but they don't make them anymore
6) Apples without shiny waxes
7) Chickens without growth hormones 
8) Nothing genetically modified except it's impossible to distinguish which is and which isn't
9) Fish that hasn't been farmed-raised
and the list goes on and on

Of course my husband hates to go grocery shopping with me...

And not even the "healthy" stores have all the answers. They sell plenty of high fructose corn syrup stuff, they have artificial sweeteners and non-organic stuff all over the place, so it's still up to me to pick and choose what's good and what's not.

But what do I know? Sure, I know that high fructose corn syrup is bad for me so I try to avoid it. But then the "big companies" get smart and take the high fructose corn syrup out of some products to make you feel better, so you start buying these products again. Except now they've put sucralose in them. Or fructose. Or something else that doesn't sound bad for you, but that it still is. So in the end, you feel cheated and really start to mistrust this company and that company...

It's up to us to stay informed, which is hard because at this point everyone has an opinion and there are people out there saying that splenda is bad for you and then there are the people that say that splenda is not bad for you. So who do you believe?

And let's not go eat outside, please! Greasy fast foods, unhealthy chain restaurants... everybody is out there trying to make a quick buck by feeding you anything that is somewhat digestible. Yuck. I'm seriously grossed out by our food and by all the politics and money making schemes behind it. And I am saddened by it. Because I don't know what to feed my daughter and wonder what she will feed her kids one day.

So what is the solution, you ask? There is no solution, not an easy one, at least. But there are things you can do, changes you can make, beliefs you can change.

I personally believe in the past, in the days of homemade food. Being Italian, I grew up with a lot of natural and home made foods and I still see that as the better food. So while I know that the pasta in a box I buy today is probably worse than it was 20 years ago in Italy (who knows what they do to the flour these days?), I still think it's a little better than buying a frozen dinner with some (old) chopped meat and a side of mac and cheese.

I don't get any of these things for my daughter. Sometimes I feel bad because maybe I'm being too strict but honestly deep down I know it's for the best, and if she's never had Skittles or blue lollipops or Dora the Explora's colored candies (yet!) I am sure her little body is all the better because of it (her only vice is Sprite, just because it's my vice, too, but we are not drinking it so much anymore).

I also have a secret weapon on how to discern if a food is good or bad... my stomach. It will immediately let me know if I was a fool by buying that hot dog at the corner stand. I get cramps. I get pains. I get sick.

But if you are not as lucky (!) as I am, with a smart stomach that knows better, please continue (or start) to read labels, keep yourself informed, try to stay ahead of the current that wants you to eat shit and get fat and sick. And STOP BUYING UNHEALTHY FOODS. If I stop, and you stop, and they stop... maybe those big companies that control our lives will stop making them, and they will start selling better foods again.

You need to know and care, because if you don't care for yourself and your family, sure as the sun will shine tomorrow, nobody else will.


Maria said...

Good rant, I totally agree! The best we can do at this point - and it's not perfect, by any means - is to buy organic. Should be GMO-free, with less pesticides and/or herbicides. Don't get farmed seafood!

Even my husband has figured out - if they feed cattle hormones and drugs to grow bigger and faster - then what does that do to us when we eat that meat? We're mostly vegetarian now, losing weight and feeling a lot healthier.

I only wish there was so much awareness of food when my children were growing up - I for sure would have gotten organic as much as was available back then.

Something all NYers can do - right now there are bills pending in NYS on GMO labeling - write to your representatives and demand GMO labeling! Here is more info:

Daisy said...

It seems so difficult to shop for me - something I used to find easy. Veggies good for you, meat in moderation. Sigh. It looks like I have to do some research on this.


Unknown said...

There are new articles posted everyday it seems like. Any meat I try to buy is hormone free but you can't always find that everywhere. The important part is to be educated so that when you are shopping you go in with knowledge and make the best choices out of the options you have. Trader Joe's is now a go to grocery store as they offer lots of organic options at reasonable prices.

Good write-up!