My Feeding Frenzy

I’m in a feeding frenzy these days. My foodie fixation is not merely health-driven, but also politically based. Here’s a run-down of what I refuse to eat (and why) and what I subsist on:

2013-Dirty-Dozen-EWGWhat I Stay Away From:

Animals – I’ve finally embraced my vegetarianism (no meat or seafood) and fully appreciate the privilege to not consume meat in any form. Each day I consider myself lucky to be able to make this choice and still get all the nutrients I need to survive (thrive really).

Chemicals – I’m not talking about organic chemicals here, but those foods stuffs that are completely artificial and have no nutritional value like gum, soda, and fast food. It makes me insane to see my mother chewing gum all the time… I literally look at it as poison.

Food Additives – These are substances that are added to foods to preserve and enhance their flavor and appearance. I’m referring to substances like MSG, food colorings, nitrites, and added sulphites that are found is most processed foods.

Biggest offenders are those foods that have an abnormally long shelf-life like packaged and cured meats such as bacon and lunch meat, juice concentrates, frozen TV dinners, and all fast food.

GMOs – The term genetically modified organism (GMO) means an organism has been genetically altered in a way that does not occur naturally through fertilization and/or natural recombination. GMOs are used in both our plants and in altering animals.

While most of Europe is designated a “GMO-free Zone,” here in the U.S. we’re a bit behind the curve. Thankful that many grocery stores are starting to label “No-GMO” content. To help me while shopping, I sometimes refer to this “Do Not Buy” list of all the name brands that use GMOs:

Palm Oil – Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil found in 40-50% of all household items like baked goods, confections, shampoos / soap, cosmetics, and cleaning products. It’s found in almost all crackers, cookies, candy, and potato chips. Most notably, the Girl Scouts have stop using palm oil in their cookies after a worldwide petition.

More than 80% of palm oil is produced in Malaysia and Indonesia by cutting down the rainforest and re-planting the forest with palm oil plants. The rainforest is important for all kinds of climate change issues, but is also the home of endangered orangutans that have seen more than 90% of their habitat destroyed.

organic tomatoes, photo by GoErinGoWhat Am I Eating?

Ok – so that was a pretty long list of what I’m not eating. Here’s what I am eating these days:

Organic Foods – Fresh veggies and fruits. I especially buy these 5 organic items: apples, potatoes, soy products, corn, and papayas since they are notoriously GMO ridden.

Natural Dairy – From pasture-raised, grass-fed (no GMO feed) animals. (While most food products called “natural” aren’t regulated, dairy items are.) Here I refer to butter, cheese and yogurt mainly. I drink almond milk instead of dairy milk.

Lentils & Beans – Can’t get enough of ‘em! I cook my own and usually in a big pot to use in wraps, salads, with curries, everything really!

In addition to watching what I eat, I also pay attention to how I prepare my food. Most importantly, I don’t use a microwave to prepare meals nor do I cook with non-stick pots and pans. I prefer cast iron pans or at least stainless steel. And I try and store foods in glass (not plastic) containers. I, of course, drink my water from an aluminum bottle while on the go.

A Simple Feast

Whew! While it might seem like a lot of work, my new eating regime is actually really simple. I eat mainly organic locally-grown foods which I prepare fresh daily.

Most importantly I’m feeling really good and healthy these days. And that’s worth all the potato chips in the world!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2014 and is filed under Food & Drink.

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