While the Evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz isn't speaking metaphorically, I am. Lets talk food... (I know... AGAIN! I'll lay off soon, maybe.)
One thing I DON'T want to be is preachy. This goes a little beyond food, so stick with me. Here's the deal. We do have some platypuses controlling us when it comes to our food supply. I was one not too long ago who was convinced that while there were good choices and bad choices for food, there more than likely weren't any truly toxic choices. I mean the government keeps us safe from that, we have the FDA. (Remember, the government's a platypus... PINK SLIME, need I say more?) And the corporations producing the food, while wanting to make a profit, certainly aren't tainting our food supply with unsafe chemicals or chemicals derived from PETROLEUM just to save a buck! (Yeah... Corporations are a platypus.) And I will be the first to admit that as a parent, I wasn't willing to do the needed research to make the best choices for my family. (Parents are a platypus, and I was the Perriest of them all <-- you need to be a P&F fan to get that.) And if by some chance there were toxic chemicals, and awful things in our food supply the media would jump on it, because they love to "out" people, right? (Yeah, the media's a platypus.)
It isn't the job of the government, the corporations, or the media to make the best choices for your family. It is your job. We have taken one huge step by eliminating gluten (not a toxin for all, but toxic to my son) and now we have taken baby steps on many other areas. And as a fellow parent, I plead with you to do your research! Make it a priority to understand what is going into your family's mouth and how it is affecting their health and their behavior. If anyone is interested in learning more about what I've learned, I am glad to tell you. If you want to do your own research, here is a list of things to look into (watch your sources on both sides. Follow the
- A great start to eating REAL FOOD and learning more about it is to get involved in a community (online or otherwise) that is like minded and learning. I have discovered there can be some snobbery in some of these communities, but look past the few that have an attitude about it, and take some time to learn. My favorite food blog is Kitchen Stewardship. Katie is a real life mom who is passionate about healthy eating and learning. She doesn't act like she knows it all, but doesn't pull any punches about what she does know.
- Understand what high fructose corn syrup is, how it affects the brain, and how it differs from corn syrup. Hint.. chemicals are involved. HFCS is no longer present in our home for the most part. This doesn't mean if a grandparent or someone else wants to give our kids a treat that we will freak out if HFCS is in it. We're just trying to get it out of our daily lives.
- Look into food preservatives and food dyes (or petroleum, as I've come to discover). Dr. Feingold has done some great research. (Food dyes are next on my eliminate-from-my home list, and we're off to a great start.) This also doesn't mean that we will flip out if they have it else where. Again, we're trying to improve upon our every day diet, special occasions and such we don't want to get uptight over.
- You may think of soy as a health food. If you are a crazy label reader such as myself, you have noticed it is in everything! Look into soy and GMO, and you will see how this can have lasting effects on us and our children's future.
- When it comes to produce, look into the "dirty dozen," and you will see why buying some organic produce is well worth it. Note: SOME. Organic is expensive, and I get that. If that is a factor (which it is for us at times) you can buy natural cleansers for your produce and they greatly help with getting the chemicals off your produce. I also buy some organic baby food for Elizabeth, but mostly when its on sale, I stock up on it.
- Watch "Food Inc." to find out why you should be very careful about what brand of meat you buy. Check your library or Netflix.
- Look into how processed/cured meats contain nitrates. Nitrates have been found to cause cancer. So hot dogs, bacon, lunch meat, pepperoni are all things to mindful of. The happy news is there are nitrate-free options for all of these things! The small extra cost is worth it, I'm glad to spend a few more dollars on some meat to cut my risk and more importantly my family's risk of cancer.
- As a rule of thumb, the fewer ingredients the better. And if you cannot identify or pronounce ingredients, look into them before eating them or feeding them to your babies.
I don't want to be preachy, and I don't want this blog to become a food blog. But I would be amiss if I didn't share what I know. Plus, its my blog and this is what's going on in our lives right now.
I realize that we have crossed a line. We went from laid back, mostly, kinda sorta healthy eaters, to those people who have totally lost it and become obsessive about food. Not true. Well, yes, we are those people, but we don't obsess over food except at the grocery store. But doesn't everyone there? No, we aren't obsessive. Our kids don't even know we've made these huge changes (except Elijah because he's old enough to realize it.) They quit asking for junk or fast food because we took it away as an option. It has been a smooth transition. Again, this isn't to say that we don't occasionally make exceptions. This is long term. It isn't saying they can't eat jelly beans. The main things we are 100% exception free on are the foods that Noah has allergies to. But as parents, we now have an understanding we didn't have before, and now we are held to account as to what we do with that information. I cannot in good conscience continue to feed my kids chemicals and other junk knowing how it is affecting them and how it will affect them in the future. As their parents, we are responsible for every area of their lives right now. And I can no longer pretend that what they eat doesn't matter.
"Hey... there's no platypus controlling me. There's no platypus controlling me!"