Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Food For Thought.

In dealing with the Dr. this week I couldn't help but be offended when he suggested I take my daughter off all foods with high fructose corn syrup and any additives that I could not read on the box. I informed him she doesn't eat this any how at home. He looked at me confused and said oh well this is the first thing we tell families now that are experiencing digestive problems. He went on to say that my daughter needed to be eating 4-5 servings of raw vegetables and fruits a day....check I said. He replied well I have never met a kid that eats enough produce and then went on to talk to me as if I were two about what a serving size is. Yep....listen buddy I actually teach nutrition and am pretty far into living off the land as much as possible. He argued...I let it go.

It was frustrating to me to hear that our physicians now treat everyone as if they eat crap. Yep I said it crap. Over half of what they offer us in the grocery store is crap. Filler food....Food to be made on the go. Food that can sit on the shelves for months and months without going bad. Food coated in things not made for human consumption.

So I teach nutrition for kids at a school in our community. I love my job. I love teaching kids about what their bodies actually needs, whats healthy, how to eat with moderation in mind, and introducing them to new foods they have never tried before. It is awesome. I mean this is the first time in history "they" say that a generation of children may have a shorter life expectancy than the generations before. Our kids are now faced with problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems as children...most of which can be attributed to lack of a healthy diet and lack of exercise. Its scary but it can be changed. We can teach our children to eat different than the norm. To love their veggies. And make choices for themselves that help them to live long healthy lives. And this is what I get paid to do:) Lucky me!

I have been reading tons about additives in food lately. High fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, fast food, soy, corn and the like. Did you know flavored or seasoned sausage at the store has high fructose corn syrup in it as well as most ketchups? Did you know chicken nuggets have over 30 ingredients pumped into them? Did you know most frozen foods are coated in petroleum products to keep them preserved while they wait to be purchased? That unfermented soy products have been found to have links with infertility, early menopause, and cancer?

Its easy as moms to get busy and not take the time to read the label or make something at home, instead running through the drive through seems rather tempting. Heck we go out sometimes and my kids get a chicken nugget every now and again. But do I like that these are my options when faced with a day to busy to cook? Nope. Thats why we Jager's eat mostly at home as a family. When we go out we choose restaurants that serve local hippie food that is made from fresh ingredients. Its more expensive but I feel better about whats being put in our bodies and don't have to worry about it.

This is the choice we have made. Mostly because I value feeding my family with the healthiest food possible for the cost out of my pocket is far worth it in reflection of the possible long time effects of what is offered to me as a convenience.

It is hard for me sometimes to not become offended at the mention of what might be the norm. I want to jump up and down and say not us, not us, not because I feel this makes us better but because some of the things that are classified as "food" these days absolutely terrify me. Its also offensive when people make reference to how busy they are so they can't possibly justify spending time on making a meal for their family most nights. Well listen up people I know busy and so do most of the other moms I know so busy is an excuse not a get out of jail free card. There are plenty of whole foods meals that can thrown in your crock pot or made the night before after you put your kids to bed or made in far under an hour when you get home.

Its a choice eating this way. Not always the easy one but definitely the one that makes the most sense to me.

I hope me being offended hasn't offended anyone else. I do hope it has given you some food for thought. Given you reason to ask more questions about where your food comes from and how it was prepared. And challenged you to read the label(if you can't read an ingredient combined with not knowing what it is don't out it in your body). Now not everything your read is true and some things are totally sensationalized and somethings are biased being as they are put out by the very company that crates the ingredient so of couse they won't say anything bad about what they grow. Awareness is the key to wisdom and knowledge is power:)

And in the words of a wise Farmer Friend of mine.....these are not rules just convictions of mine. I am not at all the authority on any of this.


Ed / Julie said...

I think a lot of the problem today is ignorance...we just don't understand nutrition the way we should, which is why it's SO GREAT that you're teaching kids about it. They would never learn this information otherwise and their parents probably don't know it, either! Now they can make an informed decision about the food they consume. Go, Jessica!

Ed / Julie said...

The other ignorance problem I was going to mention (& got distracted) was that moms who are cooking meals are often overwhelmed by the not-knowing how to prepare fresh foods to make them tasty for their families. Many of us were raised just as the convenience foods were hitting the shelves and don't have a clue how to cook something that isn't in a box. We know that fresh is better for our families, yet we don't know how to put it on the table and make a meal out of it. We know to give carrots to our kids in their lunches and to serve a salad or side of veggies, but beyond that? That ventures into a whole new area for many. We do pretty well with it over here, but the winter always gives me trouble because the choices are more limited as far as the fresh fruits & veggies that are available and tasty!