Monday, November 10, 2008
It's a Fresh Mouth check up. Since we birthed this challenge nine months ago, we thought it would be a fitting time to check this baby and the fridge out.
Here's a pic for an impromptu visual of daily eating. I didn't clean so ignore the dried milk streaks on the shelves and the errant crumbs.
This is a snapshot of our survival. We eat a lot of dairy - yogurt, cheese, milk - as well as organic meat, a lot of applesauce and peanut and almond butters, salads, veggies, a ton of burritos with beans, chicken, veggies, corn tortillas and salsa.
The top 10 fridge finds in our house would be:
- Peanut butter
- Tortillas and bread with five ingredients or less
- Green beans
- Lean organic red meat and chicken
And we eat our weight in hummus, bananas, berries, apples, whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce.
We've also reintroduced some other foods like cookies and chips over the months. But when we buy them we stick to the ingredients we recognize and we stay away from HFCS, hydrogenated oils, too many preservatives and any artificial sweeteners. We indulge in Costco madeleines. These are great, and here's the ingredient list:
Butter (Cream [milk], water, natural flavor), sugar, eggs, enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), contains less than 2% of each of the following: vanilla extract, salt.
Dirk bought Oreos the other day, and I got mad. I let the kids keep them, but told them they were all hydrogenated oils and HFCS. Dirk said since we eat Newman's Os it was the same thing.
Dirk, Dirk, Dirk, I said.
Oreo Ingredients: SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, BAKING SODA, CORNSTARCH, SALT, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLIN-AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE.
versus the Newman's Os:
Organic Unbleached Flour, Organic Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Organic Palm Oil, Canola Oil (Expeller Pressed), Organic Cocoa, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate, Soy Lecithin, (an Emulsifier)
Aidan and Patrick were reluctant to eat as many because of the taboo ingredients and because I tantrumed, and Jack only ate a bite and left his cookie on the stairs. He didn't like it at all.
But you know what? I actually found it and ate it. Yeah, I admit I ate the squishy wet Oreo from the baby's mouth that landed on the floor. It's a mommy reflex. I wanted to enjoy it, but I didn't.
And it had nothing to do with the fact that it was baby moist either. Since we started Fresh Mouth, we can't get past the fake stuff . Doritos look like food from aliens, and the salt in prepackaged rice dishes make our lips swell from sodium. I wanted to like my Oreo and miss it and evoke childhood dips in an icy cold milk glass, but it didn't happen. I spit it out and tossed it.
Nugget o' the Moment: "Yeah, Dad, those have high fructose corn juice on them." - Patrick to Dirk about HFCS.
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Hey," says one mom to another.
"Wow, you don't care what the kids eat, huh?" says the mom skeptical of the dye-laden "fruit drink" in the other mom's hands.
"Excuse me?" says the other mom.
"That has high fructose corn syrup in it."
"You know what they say about it?" says the foppish skeptic.
"Like what?" says the sober server of all things fake.
"I mean ... " says the inquisitive mom stammering as if she's an idiot for second-guessing the ingredients in her kids' food.
"That it's made from corn? Doesn't have artificial ingredients. And like sugar it's fine in moderation?" says the mom upholding the party line of the lobbying corn association.
"Loooove that top, " says the compensatory mom who would rather divert the topic than delve in to the details of ingredients.
Then cue our omniscient narrator who says, "Get the facts, you're in for a sweet surprise ... " She wants us to know HFCS is a-okay. The deus ex machina of all things fake sweet.
Nothing like debating the merits or detrimnents of an artificial ingredient is there? That's what the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) wants us to think with this ad. Not really a sweet suprise or is it? The CRA has kicked off an 18-month campaign called "Sweet Surprise" to give High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) a makeover.
High Fructose Corn Syrup stinks. Forget its gigantic environmental footprint. Consider the study by researchers from Rutgers University presented at the American Chemical Society annual meeting. The researhers tested 11 soft drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. What did they find? Well, they detected high levels of compounds normally raised in the blood of people with diabetes which are called reactive carbonyls. The compounds have been linked to diabetic complications such as tissue damage. The interesting thing is reactive carbonyls weren't detected in soda sweetened with table sugar.
Why eat this chemically altered sweetener? There's no point. Michael Pollan urges us not to eat anything our great grandmothers or grandmothers wouldn't recognize or eat. So, think. Would your Gaga or Meemaw or Grandmother eat High Fructose Corn Syrup?
You could argue the most offensive drug like crack is ok in moderation. Come on. It's such a simplistic, meaningless argument.
My Gaga loved me. She was good and honest when she needed to be. She wasn't sickeningly sweet. And she sure wouldn't have knowingly fed me High Fructose Corn Syrup. I am my grandmother's grand-daughter. I'm keeping it out.
Nugget o' the Moment: "And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly, every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison in a way that most people don’t even know." - Michelle Obama on the discovery of her own kids' diet.