Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Black List Gets Longer

As I go podcasting, podcasting, podcasting down the road, I hear yet another interview of a book that sounds great. In Defense of Food is by Michael Pollan. An author who you may have heard of through his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma (the famous book that dissects the Twinkie and we discover that it's made out of almost NO food at all. It's basically derived from rocks. Also some great stuff about the true contents of Chicken McNuggets.) In his new book, In Defense of Food, I loved that the author talks about how there is food, and non-food out there in the grocery store. He calls non-food, "edible food like substances." His "manifesto" is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It's the type of common sense that clever food marketing has brainwashed out of us. The best example that gave me a good heads up for my kids was "Go-gurt." It has so many fillers, that it's not even yogurt anymore. He says in the 70s, there were regulations in place that would require that type of product to actually be called, "imitation yogurt" instead of "yogurt." But the food industry lobbyists were more powerful than the consumer advocates, and now they don't have to use the word "imitation" and we unknowingly are feeding ourselves & our kids all these yucky chemicals & "edible food-like substances."

  • Why buy Go-gurt, when next to it on the shelf is yogurt that actually contains real yogurt & a lot less sugar & chemical food dyes? (If you're interested, do a google search on food dyes in relationship to ADD & ADHD.)
  • Why feed your kids "fruit snacks" when you can feed them REAL fruit? Either fresh or dried.
  • Why feed your kids "cheese-its" or gold fish when you can feed them string cheese or cubed cheddar cheese?
What's on your black list? I would love to hear more of those things that seem harmless to most of us, but that if we were a little more knowledgeable about that ingredient list, would never appear in the shopping cart. Ok, I won't say never. For people who don't know me very well, I don't want to give the impression that eating perfectly is what I do.* We won't say anything about the candy bar and bakery item that DID make it's way into my shopping cart this afternoon. But at least we by-passed the Go-gurt! :)

Here are the links to Michael Pollan's books:

*Our family's 3 meals & 2 snacks are from menu mailers & are pretty flawless. And I've learned a lot throughout the past couple years about making better choices with all that stuff. It's just the desserts that trip me up!


Dana Broderick said...

Yes, we buy the fillers much too often! There is so much junk out there. It is really scary what we feed our children! (and ourselves)

I need to start downloading poadcasts now that I have an ipod. Are they free? Anyway, I need to figure that out.

Natalie C. said...

Oh, most podcasts are definitely free. Check my sidebar for some that I like. Also, you can search for the ones you're looking for (or by any topic you are interested in & you'll find goldmines of stuff) on itunes in the itune store.

tjhirst said...

Thanks for the heads up on this book. I have heard of something similar, and mostly try to keep this in mind while I am grocery shopping, which I did today. I find that when I buying food to put in the kids lunch is the time when I am most susceptible to these kinds of non-food items. Like fruit snacks! My kids think they replace the orange or apple when they make their own lunch. I think they replace the Little Debbie's for dessert.

By the way, I found you because of a comment you made somewhere about Finland. We're connected to that beautiful place, too.

melbo said...

I really want to read these books now. Thanks so much for the tips.

Jenny said...

I think you hit my major black listed items - fruit snacks, gogurts, lunchables - none of it real food! Two ingredients I notice that are at way out of control levels food is sodium and sugar! It's really unbelievable. Oh - and sugar cereals. I don't want to offend anyone but I really don't know how people give their kids a bowl of lucky charms or cocoa puffs and call it breakfast! Why not eat a candy bar? I'm by no means a symbol of perfect eating - I have my vices (ice cream mostly) but I try feed my kids better than what I eat :).

Kenny and Linsey said...

I'd never even heard of, but I clicked on the link and am soooo excited. I have such a hard time with menu plans, this is going to be a godsend.

We had "go-gurt" for awhile but the colors were so unnatural and the taste was nothing like yogurt, so no more!!!

Ryann said...

You giving me a great food education. I swear that everything you are listing is in my kitchen right now! I need some serious re-educating!

MwH said...

Love this post. . can't wait to read the books. . . My problem is getting organized enough to plan ahead enough to have real food snacks. Hard! The thing we've been doing lately is ordering produce from this place called Washington's Green Grocer. They deliver it to your door weekly, bi-weekly, or on call. LOVE IT! They do all organic or mixed and the produce is divine. We've been eating a lot more fruits and veggies since getting this delivered every other week.