Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Made With Real Sugar"

We are obsessed with food. There I said it. We are obsessed with food. I could get all Freudian with you and come up with my own explanation as to why this is the case for many of us...but I won't. But for a variety of reasons we Americans are obsessed with what we put into out bodies....but for some reason we are far less concerned with what goes into our food that goes into our bodies.

Over the last year I have had three "come to Jesus" moments when it comes to the food I eat and what I feed my kids. A bit more than a year I ago I was standing in my erstwhile girlfriend's kitchen puzzling over a carton of eggs. On the packaging there was the claim that the eggs I was about to turn into a omelet were from chickens fed a vegitarean diet. This got me thinking about what we feed chickens. Now I raised poultry when I was a kid and will tell you that chickens will eat whatever they can find...including each other...however...I made the mistake by doing a little research into what we feed chickens and cattle....well......does the phrase Soilent Green mean anything to you? In addition to feeding them feed that includes loads of antibiotics and corn....their feed also includes rendered chicken and sheep and other animal byproducts....nice.

I have friend who works in Cambridge, this leaves her exposed to all sorts of crazy is one of them; that deforestation and global warming will accelerate due to increased acreage devoted to corn production to meet increased global demand for beef. Now...I do believe that I have a God given right to my Saturday night steak...but I also know that cows eat grass...not corn...or other cows for that matter. I have rolled this idea in my head for a while...that our demand for beef is destroying the environment. Its not as crazy as it seems as Brazil is becoming a world leader in the cattle and poultry industries. You figure it out...cattle are fed corn and both require land...lots and lots of land...and what covers most of the land in Brazil? You got it...the Amazon Rainforest. What is the motivation for deforestation in got derived from raising and feeding cattle...and here we are talking about cattle ranching on an industrial scale. Maybe not all ideas coming out of Cambridge are crazy.

The other day I stood in the soda aisle at Stop and Shop and bought a two liter bottle of Pepsi Throwback. The bottle has the old school Pepsi labeling and in bold letters proclaims that its made with "real sugar." Over the last twenty to thirty years food manufacturers have replaced basic ingredients like sugar with corn syrup or worse still...combinations of chemicals and food byproducts to mimic the tastes and flavors we have come to expect in our food.

We have strayed from eating basic know...the food pyramid stuff we were all taught in school. Instead our food is processed, preserved, packaged, and premade. You don't want to read the ingredients on a can of soup or a box of crackers...let alone for a tub of butter substitute. I would actually think this to be true...that we need to pay less attention to the food that goes into us...and more to what goes into our food. Give me real sugar and real butter and vegetarian cows every time.

1 comment:

  1. There's a group out there putting forth the "Paleo" diet. If a paleolithic man couldn't have eaten it, you shouldn't. Meaning - eat natural, unprocessed food. I convince myself, however, that a paleo man would woof down an entire tube of Chips Ahoy of given the opportunity.