By: Lisa Mariscal
It is just as important to keep toxins and chemicals out of our bodies. Unless you have had a reason to look at your food, for example, because of weight loss, health problems, or children, you are probably unaware of all the processed foods you eat as well as the chemicals used in our everyday foods.
Due to on onset of unexplained migraines, I made a trip to my doctor. After blood tests, a CT scan, and a plethora of questions, with none explaining a trigger for the headaches, my doctor suggested I try minimizing my processed food intake and go organic. Hmm, where would I start? As any Hot Mom does, I started with the internet, pulling up pages of information. Then I moved on to family and friends to gather information. I was shocked at what I found.
90-95% of what you eat daily is processed, treated with pesticides, genetically altered in some manner, or contains additives or preservatives. For example, those pretty colors that make fruit punch red and jello green and oatmeal blue are made from petroleum (crude oil) which is also the source for gasoline. They are labeled as “Yellow No. 5”, “Red 40”, “Blue No. 1”, etc.
As for artificial flavorings, they are a combination of many chemicals, both natural and synthetic. This can include hundreds in one flavoring. Vanilla flavoring (not to be confused with pure vanilla), also listed as Vanillin, is the waste product of paper mills. Makes those cookies sound yummy right? BHA, BHT, and TBHQ are not required by the U.S. to be listed, and instead may be shown as anti-oxidants (not the natural, healthy ones) since they prevent fats from oxidizing, but these are yet another synthetic made from petroleum. The list goes on. So what does this mean for you?
In regards to you and your family, numerous studies show that certain synthetic food additives can have serious learning, behavioral, and/or health effects . When refined sugar is ingested in the absence of the calcium necessary to digest it, calcium is drawn out of the bones and tissues where it is stored. The depletion of calcium from the bones and tissues on a daily basis weakens bones, potentially leading to osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases. Wheat flour can have an even worse effect on the body if you are one of the millions of people in the United States with wheat intolerance. In addition to spewing toxic waste into the tissue and joints, triggering acid reflux, and causing the body to turn on its own bones and tissue in an effort to access stored nutrients so it can digest a substance that is not digestible, it also upsets the body chemistry, resulting in degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, weight gain and osteoporosis.
Another example is FDA-approved rBGH, a genetically produced growth hormone injected into dairy cows which is linked to a 400-500% higher risk of human breast, prostrate, and colon cancer. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
So how do we keep our bodies “green”? First, start by educating yourself. Read articles, then read food labels. Next, buy organic when possible. Many stores now cater to organics and “whole foods” (foods that are not processed by any means) such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Dominick’s also carries, in some areas, their brand “O Organic” which has had rave reviews and is less expensive than some other organics. And last, take it slowly. Changing from all-processed to partial will take patience and some creative recipes.