Mens sana in corpore sano,” said the Romans; “A healthy mind in a healthy body.” You cannot have your children perform optimally in school if their body is not healthy; neither can you as the teacher. It then behooves us to eat reasonably healthy to keep our mind focused.
Here are ten things you should know about the food you find at your local grocery store:
- Your food has bugs. Buggy foods include pasta, nuts, peanut butter, dried beans, grains, coffee beans, even chocolate. Also canned tomatoes, and some fish. What to do? Return the product and check your shelves. If you find bugs in your pantry, empty your cupboards and vacuum the shelves. Use sealed glass containers, not cardboard, plastic wrap, or foil. Store the containers in the fridge when possible.
- That meat is not that fresh. You can’t judge by its color anymore. Meat may be packaged with carbon monoxide that keeps it looking fresh and red for over a month. Also dyes like Yellow No. 5 and other preservatives can cause allergies and have been linked to tumors. What to do? Read the ingredients, stay away from preservatives, sodas, processed foods, and shop at your local health store.
- Processed meat off the menu. Stay away from chicken nuggets and the associated pink slime. It’s mixed with ammonia, sodium, preservatives, flavorings. What to do? Again, scan the ingredients, stay away from mechanically separated meat.
- Watch out for BPA. Most people have Bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine. BPA is contained in plastic bottles, cans of food, and other plastic containers. It is a neurotoxin and also affects the prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children. What to do? Stay away from canned foods, use plastic containers with recycle codes 2, 4, or 5.
- Stay away from cloned food. The FDA, bless their heart, storms raw milk dairy farms every other day, but does not require disclosing cloned food on labels. Genetically modified (GMO) versions of foods like corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton are widely sold in the US. What to do? Buy organic, from companies that you know are not using GMOs. We purchase our milk from Organic Pastures and stay away from soy and canola anyway.
- Watch out for fortified foods and vitamins. Vitamins are good, but the cheap synthetic vitamins you find added to your cereals and bottled up on the store shelf are controversial. What to do? Stick to healthy, organic foods. If you want to get those multivitamins, look for raw ones from whole foods. We get the Garden of Life Raw One.
- What did that steak eat? When it was a cow, of course. Livestock feed can include like cow meat and bones, fed to chickens, pigs, and farmed fish. Cows might be fed processed feathers and waste from the floors of chicken coops. What to do? Stick with organic meat. Claims about lack of additives, hormones, steroids are less reliable because they cannot be verified.
- Labels lie. Just because your cereal box says “natural” or “no trans fats” and “whole grain,” that does not mean what you think it means. It might just contain a smidgen of that “good ingredient” or it might have .5 grams of trans fats, which is a lot if you eat several servings of your cereal (who eats only one serving when, according to the box, it’s the size of an ant?). What to do? Stay away from processed foods. Stick with God-made ones, possibly organic.
- Artificial dyes are everywhere, from petroleum-based synthetic dyel Red 40 and Blue 1, found in cereals and blueberry bars, as well as strawberry shakes at major fast food chain stores. What to do? Are you still buying processed junk food?
- Is that fake food? Cheese crackers anyone? Or blackberry pomegranate-flavor multigrain fiber crisps? Riiight. No real food there. Maybe not dangerous, but definitely lacking in the nutrients you think you are getting. What to do? Stick with God-made, real food