I have a strong belief in the power of nutrition, so when my Dr. first told me I have an autoimmune disease I started researching food, nurses are the best, and worst, patients. We try to fix ourselves first, adjust our own medications, and do our own research. One of the first things I was given was a list from Mayo Clinic on foods to avoid, and foods to eat more of. I won’t bore everyone with the whole list, but the first item is artificial sweetener, second is corn syrup, and I read all labels carefully. I brought home a dark chocolate/peanut energy- high fiber bar, as it said soluble corn fiber on the label. Later I looked it up, soluble corn fiber is another name for corn syrup! So then I started looking and decided to share.
The producers of corn syrup, due to the bad reputation this “food” item is getting, decided to change the name to “corn sugar,” but corn sugar is already taken by dextrose. Corn syrup is in many American foods including but not limited to: pasta sauces, soda pop, cereals, bread, protein/energy bars, lunchmeat, yogurt, canned soups, cake mixes, condiments, and flavored instant coffees. Corn syrup is known to disrupt normal appetite functions and may have mercury content, which is a known neurotoxin. Corn is also the leader in genetically modified (or manipulated or mutated) foods on the market. I will not go into GM foods here as I have acquired way too much information, it needs its own article.
rBHT, rBGH, and rBST are hormones to increase milk production in dairy cows, they are also injected into beef cows, chickens, and pigs along with antibiotics and other items to enrich flavor, promote growth/weight gain, and control conception.
CAFO’s or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, are the small pens where animals are kept and fed and given hormones until they are ready to be slaughtered, eggs are gathered from these places as well. These places are detrimental to animals which results in decreased nutritional content, there is also excess manure which can cause health problems in animals and the people eating them. American meat products have been banned in Europe since 1989.
So what’s a savvy shopper to do? The more I know the harder it is to eat and enjoy food. Read labels. Carefully. Be aware of name changes and how sneaky food producers can be. Buy organic or cage-free whenever you can, it’s more expensive, but you know what’s in it. Many dairy products are starting to label themselves as hormone free, and these are often cheaper then other products. If having your own garden isn’t an option consider joining a garden coop, buy at small markets and roadside stands, demand reasonably priced organics and locally grown from your supermarkets. This is being done to our food to make some people more money, and because we let it happen. They can only sell what we buy.
Staying away from processed foods, sugars, the above mentioned things, has really made a difference in how I feel. I also had less trouble with Spring allergies than ever before. Eating cleaner is a work in progress, and has ruined me for some foods, they taste like chemicals to me now, I still crave soda on occasion, and donuts, of all things, but if I break down and have them they taste funny to me. I like to buy a new food every month and learn to cook it. Believe me, it’s fun, and food should be fun… not scary. Happy Eating!
About the author:
MamaSteph has 2 kids by birth and several by love, she is a nurse and enjoys finding healthier ways to make comfort foods, gardening, enjoying nature, and living life to the fullest…For a list of her blogs please click here.