Thursday, April 15, 2010

78. Research why i don't eat certain foods

Artificial dye, wild caught vs. farm raised fish, organic dairy vs. conventional, organic produce vs. conventional. agave nectar vs. HFCS. I have an opinion on all of these things and have for a long time. But, when questioned why I don't eat certain foods/additives, I had a vaguely educated response if one at all. So, on my list it went. And I can now check it off.

I can tell you why I actually DON'T eat Agave Nectar, despite it's health food/whole food claim. I can tell you why I choose to buy organic apples over conventional apples, but buy conventional blueberries. I can tell you why I only buy wild caught fish, as opposed to farm raised. How I won't buy milk, yogurt, butter, eggs, ice cream, and cheese without it saying on the label that it was made with milk from cows not treating with rBGH. I can explain why I think GMO's should not be allowed yet. How I don't buy food containing artificial dye. I can tell you why I don't eat preservatives in my food and why I buy organic, cage free chicken.

Some may say I'm a little on the extreme side. They may be right. But, I've been charged with taking the best care of children as I can. For me (every family has different priorities and is different!), that includes being a little extreme at home. I don't buy it so I can send a message to those that make it that it's not what I want to see in the grocery store. We don't eat it at home so that I don't have to feel bad or concerned when we eat it out.

What I've found: we eat less meat because let's be honest: organic, free range chicken is expensive (good think I don't eat pork or beef). But, eating less meat is a good thing. We eat less processed food in general, which is great on our budget and I'm spending more quality (and teaching) time in the kitchen with my family cooking healthy meals together. Another thing I've found: the food actually tastes better. The eggs are fresher, thus taste better. The Newman's Own chocolate cookies are better than Oreos. Evaporated cane juice does make my root beer taste better and more authentic than HFCS.

I love coupons. I love free (or nearly free) things from the grocery store. But, what I've learned through this is that much of the cheap food on the shelves really is junk and actually ends up costing our country huge amounts of money in the long run in medical expenses. So I'm learning to be okay with my food budget rising a little so that we are healthier and happier as a family.


  1. tell me about your agave research... i like it b/c it really doesn't give me the "rush" and crash of sugar (low glycemic index). but i haven't resarched the negatives yet...

  2. JD, the "sugar rush" isn't there, but that's actually not a good thing. That's because fructose (agave nectar is 90% fructose, compared to table sugar which is 50%, and HFCS is 55%) is broken down in the liver, as opposed to glucose being broken down in the intestines. When glucose is broken down, it goes into your bloodstream, then you get the rush and crash. However, that's better health wise for you than fructose being processed in your liver, which turns into triglycerides, which is fat. There's a laundry list of negatives from fructose (that I can email you you if you want), but the long and short of it is that it's not good for you. The 2 reasons HFCS isn't good for you is that it's mostly artificial and the high level of fructose. 55% may not seem high compared to the 50% in sugar, but it actually is. So, the 90% in agave is crazy high.

  3. fascinating! i'm wondering where maple sugar/syrup and honey fall into that spectrum. i'm also wondering which is better for me- i can handle extra fat in my diet but raw sugar (now that i cut most refined out) really makes my brain foggy, me shaky, etc. email me what you have! i watched 'julie and julia' last night and thought of you... it was great!