Attack of the Mutant Food

Thanksgiving is approaching so naturally, I've been thinking about food. And how unnatural it has become.

Don't get me wrong, I love to eat. And there are times when I'm pleased as punch about such modern marvels of science as Twinkies and Cool Whip {what is that stuff anyway?}. But I'm a Seattle granola-girl at heart, and with the recent slew of documentaries we've been watching combined with the farming and sustainable living wisdom that trickles down to me from my father, I've become completely horrified by how unrecognizable food has become.

We've become reliant on a very delicate economy in order to eat. And the food we eat is so far removed from the way our forefathers ate, we're killing ourselves and our farmlands. It's a mess.

Want to learn about corn subsidies that make fresh fruit more expensive than processed foods? Or about what highly addictive High Fructose Corn Syrup is and why it's in everything? Watch King Corn.

Want to learn about genetically modified seed? How it's putting farmers out of business promoting the use of pesticide? How about the way cattle are fed corn, which causes an epidemic of e. coli in our meat? The inhumane and unhealthy conditions of feed lots and slaughterhouses? The way animals are now bred to grow so large and fast, that chicken's legs can't even support the weight of their own bodies? Watch Food Inc.

Want to learn just how bad fast food is for you? Or how McDonalds is similar to tobacco companies? Watch Supersize Me.

Want motivation to shop local? Watch Walmart: the high cost of low prices.

After we did just that, I spent a day looking at the food around me like it was poison. Then I got past that and decided to just do what little I could. We planted a garden. We found a way to get local, organic produce from a farm {just a mile away!} through a system called Community Supported Agriculture. We get our eggs from our own cage free chickens, but we decided to only buy Wild Alaskan Salmon, grass fed beef and local, organic, free range heritage chickens {no more Tyson!}.

I have to be realistic. I still buy cereal and graham crackers and stuff, high fructose corn syrup and all. But I also try to cook more. And I'm mindful.

And knowing is half the battle! {YO JOE!}



hannah said...

Thanks for sharing this post. It is something I feel so strongly about. I have recently been trying to find a better source of where to buy our meat. Thanks for the info.

Amberly said...

I loved this post. It reminded me of an interesting book I read called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Check it out.

Rachael said...

just a thought on HFCS--we cut it out (along with partially hydrogenated oils) two years ago, and it really hasn't made things difficult. Once you figure out the initial "what can I buy" thing, it's so easy. One tip: most generics use HFCS. And Goldfish, thank heavens, are "safe"!

**I also second the recommendation for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle--and if you haven't read The Eater's Manifesto, check that out for sure!! I think it would be right up your alley.

Apis Melliflora said...

I remember reveling in the way food worked within the culture when I lived in Switzerland and France. More local, less processed, fresher. Those were some of my happiest food years!

Valerie said...

Oh my heavens, that "Yo Joe" at the end cracked me up, and reminded me of my afterschool GI Joe watching days with my older brother. In fact, the only "lesson" at the end of an episode that sticks out in my head is the one about always wearing your seatbelt, even if you are just driving across the parking lot. Ha! Thanks for the movie recommendations. I've heard of all of them, but I know I need to make some changes. On my Christmas list this year is to get a membership at a local co-op.

Anonymous said...

Finally someone said it!!! It was like my heart finally got the words visualized for it. You have such a gift. I understand the poison thing completely! I have wasted so much money over not reading labels beforehand. Because after I know what the food REALLY is or where it REALLY came from I'm disgusted. Even the taste turns bad.

I loved your post!

Anonymous said...

If you want to go in on a grass-fed beef together I know a couple of families that would join us!

Kiki said...

Awesome post (my sentiments exactly)! Love how you show your sources of inspiration and what you are doing to eat authentic, but also keep it real...we are living in the modern convenience driven world, after all :) Yo Joe (that killed me)

LisAway said...

It is scary! That's one thing I love about living here. Well, maybe not exactly. There are FAR fewer processed foods and cooking means using mostly fresh ingredients. Still, I was so disappointed when, after we watched a documentary about chickens and their lives we decided (as if you have any choice after seeing those sheds PACKED full of the little guys (girls) to check the kind of eggs we were getting. In the EU they have to stamp a number on eggs showing what country they come from and how the chickens are kept. ALL the eggs I found in two major supermarkets were the very bad kind! I was so surprised. And there's no free range chicken to be bought here, but I'm seriously shocked at the size of chicken breasts in the states, and hopefully the smaller size of the ones you get over here means something good, at least (in all my weekend drives through the Polish countryside I've never seen a chicken half big enough to have breasts the size that you get in America.

Oops, I keep going on. I should have emailed. Anyway, I'll take a look at these links. Thanks!

prashant said...
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