Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prioritizing....

You can go nuts trying to live an ultra green life. Depending on where you live, your desires, your knowledge (along with your quest for knowledge) it can simply get the best of you. It can become a full time job if you apply it to all areas of your life! It can be hard to speak about specific changes to someone who has no clue....it's like green kindergarten. If you overwhelm these people you either get blank stares or excuses such as "we don't have access to 'those stores' and my favorite, "I can't afford that type of food"-- spoken by the upper middle class citizen driving their Lexus.

So yes...you can go nuts greening up every little area of your life. We need to prioritize. That happens to be the answer to the "I can't afford it" excuse. Don't get me wrong-- it makes me angry that it generally costs more to eat wholesome, healthy food over McDonald's. It's sad. Truely poverty stricken families are just trying to meet their basic human needs of food and shelter- this is another conversation that gets my blood boiling...we'll save that for another time. The fact remains that most of you reading this are reading it on your laptop in front of your flat screen LCD TV. Eating chemical, hormone, antibiotic free food would just take re-prioritizing what is important to you and finding a way to afford it. We all did that in order to buy our flat screens, didn't we!?!? Here are some suggestions... skip a hair highlight or two, stop buying your kids so many toys, scale down your clothing budget, stop buying so many 'convenience foods' and processed crap your kids don't need and put the money toward hormone free meat! It can be done easily if it's something that is important to you. The more you do, the more you learn the more important it becomes. It's a vicious natural living cycle!
In keeping it simple here, I'll just address a few important food choices. This is pretty basic and easy to do....

* Start with organic dairy and meat.
Almost all industrial farmed cattle are injected with hormones and antibiotics (most of which are banned in Europe). Bottom line is you don't want carcinogens in your food. These hormones are stored in the fat of animals and providing a nicely concentrated hormone disrupting effect in your growing, developing child. The USDA says the residue in meat should be "less than one percent of the daily hormone production of children", but this same USDA has no testing in place to enforce this. These are the same hormones that many studies are now liking to breast cancer, ovarian cysts, early puberty, infertility among other concerns. Logic here...why would we think these added hormones are safe? Why would we think they have no affect? All hormones have an affect!!! It's a very balanced system, our endocrine system, why are we messing with it?
On an ethical note, dairy cows are some of the most inhumanely treated, tortured animals of the industrial farming community. Organic meat and dairy is an absolute for my family.

*Choose Organic for fruit and veggies most susceptible to high levels of chemical residue:
Strawberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, pears, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, bell peppers, spinach, salad greens, rice, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers.

*Read ingredients!!!! Just say no to Red #3!
There are studies linking coloring additives to ADD/ADHD. They are in everything...even Yellow #5 is in Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo! Most are made from coal tar. What??? (Norway has banned these)
Look for these additives and stay away.
* Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
* Propyl Gallate
* Sodium nitrate/nitrate
* Sulfites
* FD&C Blue #1
* FD&C Blue #2
* FD&C Green #3
* FD&C Red #3 (Erythrosine)
* FD&C Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
* FD&C Yellow #6
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
* Acesulfame-K

* As hard as it is....get as much (if not all) high fructose corn syrup out of your diet! Just because it says "fructose" in the name does not mean it is (or even similar to) the naturally occurring fructose sugar in fruit. It is a highly refined liquid made from corn starch. It has a long shelf life and it's cheap to make. The problem lies with the fact that it does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin which helps to signal the brain that you're full. It goes straight to the liver to be stored as fat and increase the production of triglycerides! You eat HFCS's, never feel full and increase your fat/triglycerides.... Wow, here you are big pharma- your silver platter- numerous chronic illnesses that HFCS have have a part in exacerbating!

Make these few steps a priority.