I’m tired of being scared. Scared of microwave emissions through our cell phones, scared of additives through our foods, scared of the mercury in my cavity fillings, and scared of the government listening in on my phone calls. In all these “fears” are nuggets of truth, and one of those truths is that we are surrounded by toxins that are getting into our bodies more and more everyday.
My fridge boasts some of the same old foods I’ve always eaten, and a lot of new foods I’ve taken to eating since I’ve been spending time “Getting Back to Natural.” I am truly scared of the foods I was eating and have fed my kids. I am truly scared that our waterways are nothing but toxic chemical-laden rivers of death, to us and to the wildlife that tries to live in the river, not to mention that the water has to go somewhere and it’s usually to our oceans, also totally polluted. I am scared of my fillings and if I weren’t breastfeeding right now I’d have them replaced with something less toxic. But considering that the cavities in my back teeth are enormous, I wonder if it would be safer to leave them as is, or just be toothless.
Back to my fridge. I have strawberries, apples, cherries, peaches, grapes, pickled asparagus (that I pickled), and watermelon. On the counter I have homemade bread and bananas. Two children from my extended family came to visit recently, and I kid you not — the kids said they could not recall ever having eaten a strawberry before.
I wasn’t as shocked as you might think since one of those children also tried to peel her grapes years ago when I fed them to her. They didn’t like banana bread, or watermelon, and it was a chore trying to make a meal that they would eat. It makes me sad, but also fearful that their only food intake is Dr. Pepper, Coke, Doritos, fried chicken, and Oreos. They look healthy, but how functional can you be on sugar, sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, antibiotic laden chicken, and more sugar?
One of the books that has started me down this “natural” road is The End of Food: How the food industry is destroying our food supply — and what you can do about it.
I don’t want to instill a constant fear into my children about their food, but at the same time I want them to be aware that Aspartame is a cancer causing agent, that preservatives aren’t health foods, that partially hydrogenated oils are bad for you, and that processed MSG isn’t “natural” and never was. I want them to be aware that the marketers of food products are selling us something. They aren’t concerned with what happens to us after we ingest their products. They don’t care what health ills we might have in the futures thanks to their chemically produced product. They want to sell us and they do that through “convenience.” It’s convenient to buy a box, add water, toss it into a microwave, and eat.
But let me tell you, you may as well go outside and eat dirt, it’s more nutritious. The box usually has a three-inch listing on the side of ingredients, and almost none that you can pronounce. The microwave changes the chemical composition of your foods into nothing, stealing every bit of nutrition that might have been in it to start with.
Since “changing” into this highly-obsessed healthful mother, I’ve gotten rid of our microwave. I’ve started buying a boxed (some things in a box are worth buying) bread mix for my bread maker (can’t get past the non-stick coating on the bread pan unless I make it by hand), stopped most dairy products, and try to buy organic milk and cheese and the best meat I can afford, although I’ve cut meat down to a once or twice a week meal also. I peel apples if they aren’t organic, but I’ve failed to find non-conventional grapes on a regular basis, and I can’t afford the organic cherries. They get soaked (a lot) before eating and I count on country sunshine to help create Vitamin D and de-tox our systems. And I’ve started my own garden.
As I ate my instant oatmeal (Maple and Brown Sugar) I wondered if the “artificial flavoring” was really code for MSG. I called Quaker Oatmeal and actually got a real live human, who knew what I was referring to, and she told me that their product does not contain MSG, and that there was a law that required all MSG to be labeled as such. I had read that if the ingredient was less than 2% of the total that MSG didn’t need to be on the label. Apparently this has changed, and it does have to be claimed now. That makes me feel a ton better about the Quaker brand food, although I did forget to ask where the flavoring came from and if they made it themselves or if it were bought from another source.
I guess I can always call them back.