I feel pretty educated when it comes to nutrition. Not that I always am smart about my choices, but if I eat something not-so-great for me, at least I UNDERSTAND what makes it not so great.
It's so confusing to the average person though: A hodgepodge of reports by "professionals" gets thrown out to the public with crazy conflicting info. People assume that things marked "low fat" and "lower calorie" are better for you than the less chemically altered full-fat versions.
Then there's the whole cost issue. The sad truth is, many people CAN'T AFFORD fresh fruit and veggies. Right now in my area, for $7.00 you can get:
Which in my house, would be gone in about 15 minutes and be simply a "snack" considering each of us would get roughly one handful of blueberries
SEVEN items off of this list:
Which, skipping drinks, could feed 2-3 people a "MEAL" (albeit a really unhealthy one)
I'm fortunate that I can afford fresh fruits/veggies, but even I have to limit it. I introduced asparagus to my girls recently, and they loved it, but at 6.50 for ONE BUNCH, it's something i have to consider a "treat" rather than a regular dinner item. How sad is that??? And I would much rather (as would they) have them snack on berries than chips, but when an entire bag of chips costs less than a handful of berries....most people have no choice but to add in the foods they know aren't so great simply to make the food stretch and keep within budget.
I know it will get better when the farmers markets open (soon!!) but that is only 3? 4? months of the year. It will be better when we plant our garden, but again, that's only 3 months out of the year. Right now I pick and choose on the organic items: Chicken and beef is always organic. Always organic cage free eggs. Organic milk is a 50/50 thing only because there is a huge disparity in the cost of regular vs. organic. I'm trying to replace a couple items the kids like with organic options (things like graham cracker snacks, etc)
So I do feel a little more ahead of the game than most, but then I watched Food Inc. last night, and wow. I didn't realize it was quite so bad. I had no idea that pretty much ALL beef (non-organic anyway) in this country has been altered to the standards of MCDONALDS because they are the #1 purchaser of beef. I knew that the burgers at McDonalds were crappy, but I had no idea that going to a higher scale restaurant, you are getting ground beef from the SAME company. I knew how ecoli was introduced into food, but I had no idea the food industry cared so little about taking the necessary steps to PREVENT it, and instead of simply feeding cattle what they were DESIGNED to eat (grass) for a mere week to rid them of them of the dangerous bacteria in their stomachs, they decided it was better to "wash" the meat with ammonia, and keep force feeding them corn.
I had no idea that soybeans in this country are almost ALL genetically modified, and the main producer of seeds is pretty much WORSE than the mafia, and threatening and bankrupting farmers who dare to try to plant NON-genetically modified seeds. And the government is behind this 100%. They're behind ALL OF IT, because of the funding provided to them by these manufacturers, whose ONLY concern is profit.
The 4 main chicken producers are no better. They force farmers to raise their chickens in squalor, then hire illegal immigrants to do the grunt work. Once the immigrants have been working there too long, immigration comes in and deports them, and a new wave of illegals is hired in. All so the few people at the top of the chain can make gross amounts of money.
It's frustrating. It really is. I really truly believe that most of the health problems we've seen rising, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer...they ALL are being aided by the food industry. And the people who can't afford organic or local products are simply doomed.
Anywho. This blog isn't really going anywhere, I just needed a really good vent. On the plus side, I did discover that one of my many cousins (40! All from my moms side) is a farmer about 7 hours north, and I can purchase fresh, organic, grass fed beef & chicken from him. Hurrah!