There is nothing simple about a shopping trip at the grocery store any more. Each and every aisle offers a challenge to shoppers. You cannot simply pick up a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. You have to read the label to be sure that you are getting what you think you are.
I am not the only one who reads labels. Often I get caught in an aisle behind others who remove products to read about the ingredients and the health implications.
Foods are being genetically engineered these days. What does that mean for the consumer? It means that just because the food looks like what you are expecting, that may not be what it is at all. The ingredients may be anything but what you think they are.
I appreciate good nutrition. Eating provides our bodies with the fuel necessary to run. In many cases the body does not recognize substitutes. When it is craving a food or ingredient it will not be satisfied with something that is artificial. Have you ever wanted something to eat but you didn't know what? I read that if you don't know what you want you should not eat anything. In time your body will let you know what it craves.
I am not sure that people know how to eat healthily any more. They are consumed with cutting calories and convenience. The Bible tells us that animals and plants were put on this earth as food for humans. There is nothing bad about meat protein. It is all a matter of balance and exercise. All food must be eaten in moderation.
Factor in the means of cooking and you have another problem with the current nutritional trend. We need to eat more like our forefathers. We need to prepare foods in the time tested ways.
That being said if we eat like the old-timers we are also going to have to exercise like they did. Either we will have to engage in physical labor or just get out there and move.
Back to the grocery store. When you go to the milk case these days as most of us do on each and every trip to the supermarket you have to read. Things are labeled, but not as clearly as I would like to see.
Most of you know that we were a dairy farm family. My children grew up drinking raw milk. In fact one of them could not tolerate formula so the only thing that saved the day was the raw milk. The milk was tested at each and every pick up by the dairy. We knew what the levels were and they were not dangerous. My children did not like to buy their lunches because they did not like the school milk. It tasted funny packed in those small cartons.
When you glance at the refrigerated case where they have the milk you will notice an array of products. Read those labels. Many of the "healthy" alternatives do not have the amount of nutrition that real milk has. Be an educated consumer.
In a recent article that I read in a magazine it compared the manufactured types of "milk" to the real thing. According to the findings there is little comparison when it comes to milk. Oh, some of the products are flavored and supposedly taste better. Be sure to read what is added to make it taste good. Often there is artificial color as well as artificial flavor.
This is not meant to be an expose' about milk, but it is meant to inform consumers. It is meant to get you to think about what you put into your body and those of your family members. I could not believe the "milk" products I found when I "googled" milk! Try it for yourself. Although many bear the name, there is nothing dairy about them. There is little nutrition either.
Then, there is the cereal aisle. There are more brands of cereal available now than ever before. There are those that are gluten free, those with artificial colors, those with whole grain, and those with artificial sweetener. Consumers need to make choices based on their needs. They can make a cardboard box taste good these days so beware!
I do not purchase many pre-packaged things. The words on the labels should be enough to scare anyone away. I have to think that the manufacturers have figured that out because now I hear many of them advertise that there are no preservatives or artificial flavors. If you see words that you do not understand, call the manufacturers on them. Many products have toll free numbers that you can call for information. Complain if you feel you need to.
Soup is another thing that I like to make from scratch. When I cook from scratch I control all of the ingredients. I do not add preservatives except for salt because I do not need them. A batch of soup goes pretty quickly around here. I control the amount of salt I add as well. I like that. While I want the soup to taste good there is a point that I will not exceed. Once again moderation is the key.
I do not care if you indulge in a burger and fries every once in a while as long as it is not your diet staple. I do not care if you try that flavored beverage that tastes good, only do not substitute it for milk.
Get to know your food producers. The quality of food that you can purchase through places like the local farmer's markets is worth the extra price you pay for them.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org