A quick recommendation from me for a wonderful book. This book is full of information about the artificial ingredients in our American processed foods. You will find details about the FDA approval process, the industry that makes it’s living dreaming up new ways to impart flavor into flavorless foods, the current state of the industrial food production system. I recommend that you read “Pandora’s Lunchbox” by Melanie Warner as soon as you can. Here is a link to Amazon’s kindle version, which is what I own.
Along the way, she finally comes to recommendations that can restore balance and safety to the foods you eat, that you feed your family. One of the more important, but harder ones is that you buy real food at the store and cook it yourself. Chapter 11, Sit and Chew, is the best chapter of the book, and I excerpt from it here:
Eating well is in no way a luxury of the rich. We certainly can’t all eat at fancy restaurants, but affordable nutritious food is more available today than it’s ever been. Eggs, fresh meat, real cheese, plain yogurt, wholesome grains, half a dozen different kinds of beans and nuts, dozens of different fruits and vegetables— they’re are all available pretty much any time we want them. The modern supermarket shimmers with a perplexing array of complex pseudo-foods, but it also holds the keys to the most nutritious and varied diet Americans have ever had access to. (Imagine our turn-of-the-twentieth-century ancestors contemplating the colorful bounty of supermarket salad and sushi bars.) The only trade-off (yes, there is always a trade-off, with real food as with processed food) is that we have to carve out a little more time and energy— though not much more— to do some of our own food processing. As Barbara Kingsolver wrote in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: “Cooking is the great divide between good and bad eating.”
Warner, Melanie (2013-02-26). Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal (pp. 219-220). Scribner. Kindle Edition.
It is incredibly important that you stop eating processed foods. Many of the health problems in your family are directly related to untested chemicals that you are eating at every meal. Sure, they are tested to see if they kill animals outright, but none of them are tested far and wide to see if they make you fat, or anxious, or tired, or react with your real medicines. Artificial ingredients are not real, they are meant to simulate real, but once inside of you they become very real, and are changed by the machinery inside of you into real things, with real effects. NOBODY knows how this will turn out in you. If you cook your own real food you won’t have to count on someone, some day, to figure any of this out.
I spoke with a middle-aged woman named Laura in New Hampshire, who was also amazed at how switching from sugary, refined, prefabbed meals to fresh ones had transformed her life. She’d overhauled her diet after hearing about a workplace program offering health coaches, cooking advice, and nutritious foods served at her corporate cafeteria. Like Darcy embarking on the ten-day-challenge, Laura needed a push and a little support to do it. The more people I talked to, the clearer it became that this is something we all need. In truth, it’s hard to see how America gets off its suicidal diet without interventions emphasizing the importance of real food.
Warner, Melanie (2013-02-26). Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal (p. 216). Scribner. Kindle Edition.