Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's in the Food?

One of the real reasons I dragged my family down this local food slope had to do with my concerns about the very things discussed in this video. Most processed foods contain half a dozen ingredients that are not recognizable as food by the average person.

Perhaps some of it is that they name the food additive, kind of like the way botanists and good foragers refer to the plants they collect - by the Latin name so that there will be no confusion as to which plant they are referring to. You know, it's the scientific name of the ingredient rather than the common name. Like, maybe, referring to milk from a cow as Lac Lactis rather than "milk", because "milk" can also refer to milk of magnesia ... or whatever.

Or it could be that it's some really wacky chemical concoction that we should probably not be eating, because, over the long-term, it's poisonous.

Mostly, I think, they are just now beginning to understand the long-term effects (obesity, diet-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease) of food additives. Or they've always known that something could happen, but believed that it would be isolated cases - like the numbers of kids who have an immediate adverse reaction to vaccinations - and that not that many people would get really sick. You know, a few sickos is acceptable collateral damage, like losing a few soldiers in a battle that results in taking the hill.

Or I could really let my brain go crazy, and wander down the Oryx and Crake path and believe that they've known all along, and that the food additive companies have been working in concert with the pharmaceutical companies. The food additives cause disease and the phrama companies develop drugs to combat those diseases ....

Things, in my head, can get really convoluted, and to combat all of that, I just decided to be proactive ... and change my diet to minimize my and my family's exposure to those food additives.

The problem, for us, is that we still, occasionally, enjoy a meal out, and it can be difficult to find a restaurant with the same standards I have. There are a few. Chipotles has pledged to serve non-GMO food. Elevation Burger sources grass-fed beef, and their French fries are cut from whole potatoes right at the restaurant site (I've seen them do it) and cooked in olive oil.

Unfortunately, it's still pretty expensive to eat out, and the best option is always to cook at home.

Cooking is easy, and it's easy to cook good, wholesome foods, as illustrated in this video . Corrina Rachel, host of the "Stupid Easy Cooking" steams some broccoli and potatoes. Including prep time, it might take a half hour, and that's including a 20 minute cook time (at first, I was afraid she was going to use the microwave, and I was so thrilled when she didn't :)).

I often refer to myself as a "Suburban Soccer Mom", and while my children are dancers, not soccer players, the label still holds in that I'm a woman who lives in a suburban area whose children are involved in a very time-consuming activity, and I spend a lot of time driving them to their activities. I want to eat well and I want to feed my family good food, but I appreciate quick and easy meals.

There is a lot of motivation to pick-up those boxes of dump-in-a-pan-and-they're-done kinds of meals, but having come as far as we have ...

First, the idea of eating that food is a little scary.

And, second, it just doesn't taste very good anymore.

We run into the same problem - lack of taste or odd/off taste of the food - when we eat out.

This weekend Deus Ex Machina will be traveling out-of-state with our girls to a regional dance competition. We can't leave our nanofarm untended for a weekend, and we've not had a lot of luck with hiring a farm sitter in the past. So, one of us has to stay home. We take turns. Last summer for Nationals in Vegas, I went. For this weekend's regional competition, Deus Ex Machina will go.

It would be incredibly tempting to just eat out all weekend - for me, anyway - because buying for one is cheap ... but not as cheap as cooking, even for one.

This weekend, I'm going to revitalize this Eat In Challenge from 2010. The rules are easy - if it's not in my pantry, I don't eat it *period*. It will be much easier for me than for my family, who will be on the road, but with a little preparation, I could probably help them "eat in", too, by taking the next couple of days and cooking them some food to take with them. Deus Ex Machina and I have already been talking about the canned chicken we have, and if I find the recipe for those muffins I made during the 2010 Eat In Challenge, my girls could have something they would probably be eating anyway - only homemade with real ingredients and no extra sumpin' sumpin' the name of which we can not pronounce.

Eating well doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't require a huge gourmet kitchen (which I, definitely, do not have), nor does it have to be terribly time consuming. But it does take a little more thought, and maybe a bit of extra planning.

Feel free to join me this weekend for the Eat-In Challenge. I'll blog about what my family takes with them on their road trip, and what I end up throwing together here at home.

Happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. Have done this for same sort of reasoning. We found that a cooler that plugs in to the vehicle (with an adaptor for a regular outlet too) was a great buy. Usually plugged it in to cool for 24 hours in advance or put it into the cold room. Still used freezer packs on top if meat in cooler. Chill all contents well before packing