Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You are making me crazy!!!!

OK. I started this blog to share some ideas. I wanted to get some tips and recipes together. I did not want to learn that I can't eat anything man made anymore. You email me with questions, call me at home, leave your comments and then I have to go and google. I google to find out answers to your questions if I haven't already googled them , then I google to make sure that I have all of the viewpoints possible, then..... I go crazy. I really didn't want to learn all of this. I didn't want to learn that virtually all of the foods in packages at the stores contain harmful ingredients. I didn't want to learn that no one is really doing anything about this and I certainly did not want to learn that this poison is even in baby food. I feel so ashamed that we have stood by and let this happen to what we have been blessed with on this earth to nourish us. I feel devastated that we have let these toxins take away the minds of our sweet children and elderly. I feel hopeless that the big companies will ever change this. But, with all of the emails and phone calls I get from you, I feel more energy than ever that this is a mission that we must all join in on. Before, nutrition was something to me that was important, so we can get our vitamins and get rid of headaches. Now, nutrition is something to me that is critical to stop the epidemic that is happening. If you think that you are somehow immune to this, reevaluate. I don't have time right now in my life to change the world, but I can go to the people who matter the most, the Moms. We may not be able to change the world, but we can change our homes and in turn perhaps save one little life at a time. Please spread the word. Please take the time to really think about what you are feeding your family. The more frustrated I get, the more passionate I get. You are all making me crazy with the googling you are making me do. Thank you for that.

With that said. Today's topic is Natural Flavors and Flavorings. This is something new to me. I thought that if it said "Natural", it must be good! I have blogged about foods to buy that I thought were great. Then I learned that most of them contain natural flavoring. I even went to the store today and even in the health section came away with only a bag of corn chips. I couldn't believe it. These companies know what they are doing. If you call them to ask what the flavorings are, they will not tell you. If they were really a food, it would be listed. Once again, I realized that I must make the food in my house. I will not worry when I go out to eat or go to a party, but my house will be a house free from contaminates.

To understand what "natural flavors" are, you can get real confused first of all by looking at the definition under the code of Federal Regulations:

"The essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis which contains the flavorings constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry , eggs, dairy products or fermentation products thereof whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.""

Did you get that? So, as long as it was once derived from any natural source, its OK to use and doesn't need to be labeled. Now, here is the good part. Flavorings are made by flavorist in a laboratory by blending either natural chemicals or synthetic chemicals to make flavorings. If it was a real whole food, it would be listed in its natural state.

Gary Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition says,

"The distinction in flavorings--natural verus artificial--comes from the source of these identical chemicals and may be likened to saying that an apple sold in a gas station is artificial and one sold from a fruit stand is natural." And,he adds, " Artificial flavorings are simpler in composition and potentially safer because only safety -tested components are used."

The natural flavors may have once come from a natural source, but they are so chemically processed that they no longer have a property that are probably safe to consume. This may not be in all cases, but you will never know in which case it is OK. Most of the time, it is a free glutamate that is another name for MSG. I have looked at every label possible on my previous list of good foods. It is even in Juicy juice! There has got to be something out there that is OK to eat. Please join me on a quest to find out what are the safe foods! Please use the additive list I gave you all and hit the stores. Email me when you find a "safe food". I will get a list together for us all. I know too much now to eat blindly any more. Like I said, moderation is key but our families get so much of the bad at school, at parties and at friends house that our homes should be the safe place. Please join me in the effort to change the world one bite at a time!


Mary said...

I'm glad to hear you have shared my frustration this week! All my "organic" foods have that darn natural flavoring! I appreciated what you said in your class that our bodies are made to fight the bad stuff, just keep pumping our bodies with as much good as we can. I have loved all of the recipes that I have tried from you. THANK YOU! I guess fresh and homemade are going to be used in my vocab a lot more.

***If anyone can find a dressing similar to Ranch let me know. My kids (and mom) have been dippers of MSG or should I say ranch dressing for sometime..time for something new!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shari. I have been a "lurking reader" for a few weeks now and appreciate so much your efforts and the information you share with us. Sherri O.

Shari Goodman said...

I am working on a ranch dressing too. I will figure one out soon as my kids would die without it!

M_&_Em's_Momma said...

I know how you feel, I feel the same way. The more I have learned over the years, the more despondent I have become over our food supply. But, we can keep supporting local farmers and local markets (like Guadalupe Farmer's Market!) and stop buying the junk. Nothing makes an impact like that of a shrinking bottom line to get the point across. I am so glad I found another person who I can talk to about this stuff!! Back to the kitchen! :)

Webb Family said...

Thanks for all the work you put into this. I found a cracker that is good. It's at Walmart & it's called Wasa,light rye crispbread. Well good for you, it's better with something on it. Yogurt with fruit or laughing cow spread(I know that has bad stuff in it) I have to ease myself into this.

Nichole said...

i just bought something that had natural flavoring the other day. I knew it was to good to be true. The problem is we dont know what all these things on the labels mean and so we buy it at the store with no clue whats really in it. It is so maddening that they can get away with it. I think we can make ourselves crazy over it just like you said. Baby steps are good. Thanks for all the information you give us. I know you put a lot of time into it.

cynthi said...

I LOVE your blog! I have just recently begun on this quest to healthy-up my family (one step at a time). I share your frustration with what has now become the typical American diet. Like you said, all we can do is start with our own family and spread the word. Thank you for the information you give us mothers--it's not found easily.