Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food Journey and Confusion

I get confused. I am trying to change the way my family and I eat. This has been, and still is, hard. I am still trying to figure the best way and make that way work for my family. I know we make many mistakes. I know I can't control what my teens eat outside of the house. I know school lunches are not the healthiest meals. (Some day I will post about what the school calls turkey.)

What is a person to do? 

What is best?

I had to figure some guidelines. I know there is a lot of preservatives, additives, chemicals, and whatnot that food companies have added to foods to extend the shelf life of the food as well as improve taste. One of my biggest struggles is with sugar. I know I need to cut my sugar intake waaay down. Food companies do not help this struggle when they add "high-powered" artificial sweeteners to foods that do not need them. In turn, we crave those foods more because they have these sweeteners in the food that create a chemical effect in our bodies to fuel those cravings and make us want the food. Then we wonder why we gain weight.  

The first rule I learned and am still trying to put into practice is: Do Not Eat Ingredients You Can Not Pronounce

The second rule I learned is: Even If You Can Pronounce It, Do You Know What That Ingredient Is and Where It Came From?

The third rule I am working on is: Can This Food Be Made By Me? 

The fourth rule is: Buy Your Meat Locally. Know Where Your Meat Came From.

One product I am going to pick on to illustrate rules one and two is McCormick's Seasoned Meat Tenderizer. 


This product has no nutritional value to speak of. A quarter teaspoon yields 300 mg of sodium. The makers of this product  recommend a teaspoon of tenderizer per pound of meat. The list of ingredients look like this:

Salt

Monosodium Glutamate (Flavor Enhancer)

Dextrose
A form of glucose which is a simple sugar.

Onion

Paprika

Annatto (Color)

Spice
(Which spices?)

Garlic

Calcium Silicate (Added To Make Free Flowing)

Bromelain (Tenderizer)


Well, I don't want this on my meat! Yikes! The monosodium glutamate would be enough for me not to buy it. The fact that salt is listed first and MSG is listed second with dextrose listed as third. Why do you need sugar in a meat tenderizer? You don't. The only seasonings in this are salt, onion, paprika, garlic and some mystery spices. You can mix that up at home. You can soak the meat in vinegar to tenderize the meat. 

I buy my meat locally from the meat locker and from farmers. I like the fact I know where my meat is from and that the meat did not go through a lot of machine processing. I would not want to taint my meat by adding chemicals when I paid good money for locally produced meat. So no commercial meat tenderizer will touch my meat!

Think about what you eat and hopefully my guidelines will help you in your food journey and possible confusion over food choices!

This post is linked to the Living Well Blog Hop

Have a good day and thanks for reading!

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