Saturday, July 10, 2010

Banning High Fructose Corn Syrup?

Could I be so lucky? What on earth would the snack-food industry do?

Today, while on his daily internet surf, D. found an interesting blog to share here:
The Ban of High Fructose Corn Syrup in the U.S.

If this country actually banned hfcs, it would be the end of food as we currently know it, at least the pre-packaged variety. There are a lot of other unhealthy ingredients that need to go, too.

And, apparently, the public is catching on and gaining momentum in their fight against them.

Read up on the push to ban artificial food dyes:
Group Calls for Ban on Artificial Food Dyes

While this is far from a new debate (there are articles available reaching back into previous decades), it should be a debate that we continue. I'm all for people making their own conscious decisions about what to eat or not to eat, but when our food is made with unnecessary additives, it seems that if the FDA won't police it, the public should.

In all fairness, there are lots of foods, snacks, and pre-packaged foods that do not contain harmful additives or unnatural substances. But, because they are not the norm, they tend to be expensive and hard to find.

Finding healthy, inexpensive food options should not be difficult.

I will also admit that "finding healthy, inexpensive food options" is not all that difficult for me if I stick to the perimeter aisles at the grocery store, hit the farmers market, or carefully sift through items at Sunny Farms.

Shopping Hint: If you notice, grocery stores are all set up the same: produce on one side, a butcher at the back, a deli, a bakery, the diary you move inward to the aisles, you find the chips and soda and crackers and frozen or canned items. The frozen and canned foods are further toward the perimeter. The soda, candy, and snacks are furthest in.

The idea is, stick to the outside, and you'll find your best options. However, sometimes, a bag of chips or a box of cereal sounds good. Maybe a soda. And while there are healthier options here, it shouldn't be so hard to find them. The fact that so many products can tout the "natural", "organic", or "healthy" logo simply because of lax regulations makes it hard to wade one's way through these snack choices.

I suppose I could just give them up all together, which is virtually what has happened. But, in a perfect world, where I was queen...

So, there you go...more labels to peruse and wring your hands over. Good times. Is your pantry calling your name? Be wary...some foods you think are perfectly fine hold sinister little secrets: applesauce, fruit cocktail, pretzels, English muffins, granola bars, baked beans, reduced fat peanut butter ( make it "reduced fat" they take a small amount of real peanut butter and then fill the rest up with fillers, sugars, and other additives - best to just stick with the real thing), protein shakes (unless you work out like a maniac, overloading on protein will only make you fatter), Vitamin Water and Gatorade (all sports/energy drinks, for that matter), yogurt, fruit juice, even vitamins!

Beware of labels that say:
* Fat Free
* Reduced Fat
* Low Fat
* Sugar Free
* No Added Sugar
* Diet

The things to be wary of are all the other ingredients that aren't being advertised on the front of the package. If it was already "good" for you...they wouldn't need to suck you in with these phrases.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't eat anything that hasn't come straight from the earth sans any human intervention or processing. I'm just saying, we need to be label-conscious consumers. For our health and the health of our children.


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