My favorite subject!I love to cook and I love to eat (doing the dishes however, not so much!) and I love growing a large garden. While I prefer to eat home grown or locally raised, the Upper Midwest isn't known for avocados or bananas and our growing season is relatively short. That leaves me to purchase US grown and organic whenever I can. Fortunately this is a growing market, and having country of origin shown in the grocery stores helps me make educated choices.
Now a HUGE issue for me is GMO crops including the health risks relating to them, from their effects on the human body to the chemical damage to the soil they are grown in. While 'we' have been told for years that these foods will end world hunger and improve over all nutrition, more and more studies are showing negative effects in laboratory animals, particularly in the area of reproduction. So I try to use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide whenever possible.
Then there is our friend high fructose corn syrup. Is it bad , is it OK? I think we can be sure it's not good for us (ie healthy), particularly when you consider the vast amount of processed food in which it is an ingredient. Another questionable substance, aspartame. This one hits close to home for me since my last bad habit is diet Mountain Dew and I really don't want to give it up.
I am a fan of everything in moderation. I use real butter, believe ice cream should actually be made with cream and that chocolate is indeed the food of the gods. At the same time I don't dismiss all convenience food. There is a frozen pizza in the chest freezer (let's face it, there are just some days when that is about all I've got the energy for) and condensed tomato soup can be a good base for a quick meal. So I aim for a bit of balance, try to eat healthy,but still have food taste good and don't feel too guilty about a cheat here and there.
Now the FDA wants to tell me I don't have the right to eat what I want. The FDA stance in response to a lawsuit over the sale of raw milk actually states
"The"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
We do pasteurize our milk unless I'm making hard cheese, but that is my choice! I'm not fond of the idea of big brother telling me I have no right to make that decision. Our lovely lame-duck (or insert your favorite three letter word for donkey) governor recently veto-ed a bill that set up a trial period for direct sales of raw milk from local dairy's. In his letter of explanation he clearly stated his decision was based on over whelming dis-approval of the bill by the dairy industry, again folding to big business rather than listening to the people. The bill had passed by a large margin, but not quite enough to over ride his veto so it will have to wait until he is replaced.
Now you may say, 'ewwww, raw milk, why would I want to drink raw milk?' and I understand. Many folks believe that the live organisms killed by pasteurization are actually beneficial and they prefer it to the sterilized product sold in stores. Like I said, I pasteurize our milk but I hate the idea of being told what I can and cannot eat or drink and that a citizen doesn't have the right to enter into a mutually agreeable contract, also a stance set forth by the FDA. At what point in time will it all stop? How much governmental control do we need? There continue to be large out breaks of food related illness with the government meddling, the bean sprout contamination being the most recent. If a family were to purchase contaminated milk from a farmer, the spread would be very limited and source easily located without shutting down an entire industry.
I haven't even touched on pesticides, insecticides, additives, dyes and preservatives, not to mention the humane (or not as the case may be) treatment of animals in food productions. The bottom line is that I hope we all become more involved in learning about the food we eat , understanding where it comes from and exactly what it contains.
In the mean time, EAT WELL!