What our food industry is trying to doThe “pink slime” controversy has opened up the portals that have been “sugar coated” by large corporations for generations. Finally, there might be a ray of sunshine in how people view the food they put on their tables for their families to eat, and what they eagerly pick up at grocery outlets because the price is “on sale.”
By: By Arleen Schindler, Superior Telegram
The “pink slime” controversy has opened up the portals that have been “sugar coated” by large corporations for generations. Finally, there might be a ray of sunshine in how people view the food they put on their tables for their families to eat, and what they eagerly pick up at grocery outlets because the price is “on sale.”
When you have hungry appetites to feed every day, time gets to be part of the equation. Quick foods, fast foods, or whatever name is given, the fact remains that “haste makes waste.”
Stopping for a few burgers and fries will satisfy those waiting at home, but there are “dues” to be paid for this convenience. Unless you are privy to going into the kitchen of each establishment or even dumpster diving to read the labels on the boxes of their supplies, you put your trust in the fact that the commercials or even your taste buds tell you that this food tastes awesome, and everyone will enjoy the meal.
However, with awareness becoming quite a big step in our American way of eating, we can no longer bank on the fact that we have all the facts, and that TV commercials tell it like it is. They don’t — truth doesn’t sell — and profits are not made when inquisitive shoppers begin putting more thought into what they buy.
The ray of sunshine from all this is that families are geared up to buy food that is good for them, is just as tasty as that box with a burger, fries and a toy is, and that knowing what is in your food is worth the time and effort to read, listen and read more.
Our nation has health issues, weight issues and a growing problem with infants growing into adults with both these issues. Something is wrong but the media and industry will not tell you what it is.
Take yogurt for example. There is more sugar in some yogurt products that rival Lucky Charms cereal or a fluffy spun candy treat at a carnival. But “yogurt” has a healthy ring to it so a shopper picks it up and feels good about the choice. There is a problem of getting people to put down that can of pop and drinking more water, but with today’s economy, why pay a 500 percent increase over tap water because of the convenience. Yes, more people are choosing water over soft drinks, but they are also paying a hefty price for the crime of choosing good over bad. What can a person do with such circumstances bombarding them on every turn? Do the words “I won’t take it anymore” have a reassuring ring to them?
It may take more work. It may take more time, but believe the work and time you put into making sure your food choices are what they should be, voicing your concern through your wallet, that there are “hidden” gems in the food you buy that you do not want, or were not aware of will make you a “winner” in the long term. Also, try a great family event — cook up a storm of fresh wholesome food with family and friends. Even little ones will find pleasure in the colors and aromas of vegetables and fruits and will find that a homemade pizza tastes even better than any “cardboard” variation they have ever had.
If you are sincere about creating a personal, a family, or even a community effort of choosing foods that are healthy for all concerned, will hopefully put a stop to obesity in children and adults, as well as tell the terrible “c” word —cancer — and other diseases to take a hike; food is the connecting answer.
Ask questions, read literature, especially from nutrition sources such as hospitals, and don’t let any “pink slime” cross your lips or your family’s dinner table.
In the beginning it may take a bit of effort; however, when you come home with food that is chemical free, additive free, and free of artificial colors and flavors, maybe that fresh tomato will bring back memories of what a tomato should taste like. Maybe that snack tray will put your mind at ease because the younger generation will not get a “sugar high” and you just might be able to live a more fun-filled, healthy, energetic lifestyle than you ever imagined.
So, think about it, talk about it, shop for it, and don’t take “no” for an answer.
Food is a basic of life, and life, well, it should be the best we can make it, and we should not give it over to corporation greed, profits and marketability. We are in charge. Our families are important to us, and their future lies in our choices of today, tomorrow, and at every meal. We can make a difference, but more importantly, we must make a difference if tomorrow is to be healthier, happier and more rewarding.
We are the equation that will turn things around, and remember, if not every one of us now, then who? That garden shovel, rake and pack of seeds is filled with good food, exercise and a sense of satisfaction in a finished product that is beyond words.
Arleen M. Schindler is a resident of Solon Springs.