Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How Healthful Is Our Diet?

It used to be that cooking from scratch alone was enough to be absolutely confident that your family's diet is well balanced in nutrients and will keep your loved ones healthy and content. But home-made food is only as good as the ingredients used to prepare it.

Having done enough research on the agri-giants like Monsanto to spoil my mood for the rest of the week, I suddenly had a realization that my family might have fallen victim of grave indecency in today's food production system. Just yesterday, I bought Liberte Greek yogurt, having read the ingredients list to make sure it contained the minimal amount of fillers and absolutely no modified milk ingredients. I was happy to see that neither were present on the list and bought an expensive four-dollar five-hundred-gram tub. 

My confidence in the nutrition my family receives remained unshaken until my husband discovered a new smart phone application called Buycott that allows to scan bar codes, found on everyday products like a box of cereal, a carton of milk and a bottle of your favourite salad dressing. It then links individual bar codes to manufacturers and causes they support or oppose. We quickly found out that the yogurt I just purchased is produced by Les Produit De Marque Liberte Inc., which donated $1,135,300 to opposition to Proposition 37 (now officially defeated, partially due to heavy financing of the opposition, $45M in total*) that calls for mandatory GMO labeling. 

This goes to say that paying attention to the list of ingredients alone is no longer sufficient. And this saddens me, because the very government that is charged with protecting our well-being chooses to give in to the emotionally handicapped, power-hungry corporate behemoths. Perhaps, it does not have a choice and the politicians responsible for overseeing our food production have been placed there by the same corporations they are supposed to superintend. A bright example- one of many- is the overlap between of the members of the Federal Government and Monsanto stakeholders**.

In the light of what appears like- and is- a conspiracy to make us unhealthy, there are a few rules of thumb I follow when it comes to feeding my family. To the maximum of my ability, I buy organic, I buy local, and I buy from small companies. And with those ingredients, I cook from scratch, making sure we consume a healthy balance of raw fruit and vegetables and lean meats and fish. Over time, I learned to bake my own bread, churn my own ice-cream, and now make my own preserves, sauces and dressing. What seemed time-consuming and complex turned out to be very manageable and oh so enjoyable, when I realized how big of an impact I had on my family's well-being by making a maximum effort to fuel us with quality food.

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