Monday, April 17, 2006

What are we eating?

Have you ever driven across the country in the summer on 80? What do you see? Corn. Corn corn corn. Well, I read a review in the Chron a few weeks ago about this book, The Omnivore's Dilemna, and now I'm listening to the author talk about his book on Science, amazing stuff. Did you know that ecoli is caused by feeding cows corn? And that if they stop feeding the cows corn for 5 days before slaughter, and feed them grass, we wouldn't have to irradiate beef? AMAZING. He says that we are eating SO MUCH CORN that it is starting to cause malnutrition in people who are actually well fed. That's what happens if too much of your food comes from one source. If you look at the products you eat, corn is in almost every single one. Our meat is fed corn, our processed foods almost all contain corn based sweetners, bread, canned foods, etc. Practically the only things we eat that don't contain corn is our fresh veggies. You know, except for the corn.

Now, I love corn. Corn on the cob, corn in my soup, etc. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about corn by products that take TONS of oil to produce. Not good stuff.

He talks about a lot of other things besides corn, like eating locally produced veggies and fruit, to cut down on the amount of oil required to get the food to the table, and to encourage farmers to keep their farms up and running. Eating family dinners. Looking for grass fed meat if you can find it. Cooking meals, rather than convience foods.

So here's his advice, if you want to take it:

Eat locally produced food. If it comes from Argentina, don't eat it. If it comes from a thousand miles away, within your own country, don't eat it. Tomatoes in the winter? No. Strawberries now? No.

If your great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as a food product, don't eat it. That means cheetos and gogurt and on and on.

I can't do it. I love my strawberries when I want them, and cheetos...give me a break. But I can go to the farmers market and buy local things, and I can look for grass fed meats...don't know if I can AFFORD them, but I'll look. Maybe we can all try, a little bit, and maybe we'll be healthier for it.

I highly reccomend listening to the podcast of Science's very interesting. Try to leave your preconceived notions behind. I don't read much non fiction, so I probably won't get the book, but it's highly reccomended if you DO read non fiction.


Tracy said...

Thanks for the 4-1-1. It's amazing what we DON'T know about the things that we put into our mouths. It's like not being if you're actually filling your car tank with the right kind of gas. Scary.

Ms. Mamma said...

I read alot about this kind of stuff as SF and I are vegetarians and my mother is a celiac(intolerance to wheat). Everything we eat is basically crap and organics are too expensive for most people, esp. if you have a large brood. Now Corporate America wants to change the 'definition' of what is organic so they can slap it on more of their junk. It won't end because 'most' people are completely unmotivated to change anything in this country as long as they have their remote controls, cordless phones and are 'happy' in the status quo. It burns my bisquit, but at the same time, you won't find me starting a major uprising anytime soon. So I do buy local and organic, I try to do what I can in a very small way. Good post!

Anonymous said...

The mind boggles that humanoids continue to eat the burnt flesh and body parts of a dead animal and continue to look for a way to sanitize it.Feed it grass and it becomes grass fed body parts and burnt flesh.As do the testicles, bowels, and rectums. Furthermore,it takes 7 pounds of whatever feed to produce one pound of flesh when you run it through an animal. Cost effective ?

Body parts and burnt flesh of dead animals?
Just say no.

Gina said...

We can thank the federal government for their corn subsidies.

I have read that many doctors theorize that one of the main reasons for the rising weight of America is due to the excessive amounts of corn syrup in almost all of our foods.

Lately we have made a HUGE effort to not buy things with corn syrup as an ingredient.

Dang. Except for that Easter candy.

J said...

I's even in Cheerios. That's a bit excessive, don't you think?

Jill said...

There's help available for people who actually eat chee-tohs. Truly. There really is. :)