When grocery shopping, a lot of people pick up items & buy them without turning them over to read the ingredients. People go for what’s on sale & what looks tasty. Luckily for me, my parents aren’t like that. We ate healthy with lots of organic foods growing up. They passed their healthy eating habits onto me.
When I go shopping, I read the ingredients of every item before I buy it. I wasn’t always this diligent. I used to buy some things without reading the ingredients. I had usual items I’d buy & didn’t give thought to the ingredients in them – it was a strange disconnect between healthy eating & these processed items that I’d buy.
Last year for lent we decided to give up artificial ingredients in their entirety. And that began our health food revolution. Largely our diets didn’t change. But, we did cut out those snacks & treats that I was buying without thought & have replaced them with healthy alternatives.
Next time you go grocery shopping I challenge you to read every item’s ingredients before putting it into the trolley. If you can’t pronounce or don’t understand what an ingredient is, then leave it there. You will be so surprised to find how many nasty additives are in foods! Even foods that claim to be healthy on their packaging.
I’ve started following Food Babe on Facebook. Vani investigates ingredients big companies are using & exposes them. She has managed to get things changed! Many of the additives are made in labs & have no resemblance to food whatsoever & shouldn’t be consumed.
If I bought a processed snacky food item, then I’d be expecting there to be nasty additives in there. But what about buying something that claims to be all natural with natural ingredients? What has shocked & disgusted me lately is the hidden truths behind many of these “natural” ingredients.
For example, if you buy vanilla ice cream with “natural flavouring” if you are like me, you assume that’s made from vanilla beans. Brace yourself now… castoreum is used for vanilla, strawberry & raspberry flavoured items. What’s castoreum you might ask? Well, it is emitted from sacs within a beaver’s anus. Yes, you read that right. Beaver butt. Castoreum once processed has a nice vanilla smell (barf) which is why it’s used in foods & also in fragrances.
Castoreum is a slimy brown substance that beavers secrete to mark their terrority. Humans use it as an additive & label it as “natural flavouring.” If the label says “vanilla extract” you are safe – no beaver juice there. Beware of labelling that says “natural flavouring” or “natural vanilla flavouring.”
Yes, castoreum is kind of natural but come on now! Is beaver slime meant to be eaten?! I think not! And if the ingredient list was honest & said what it was – no one who read the ingredients would buy that product!!
And, think of the poor beaver – he has to be anaesthetized & milked!! Typing this is making me sick to my stomach. But, we can’t ignore what’s in our foods. We can’t take for granted that the food regulators of the world want what’s best for us.
If people read ingredients, researched ingredients & stopped buying products that aren’t 100% food then producers would have to change their ways. The demand dictates supply.
A healthy diet is essential to a healthy life. The foods that we eat fuel our bodies. Putting chemicals & other non-foods into our systems just can’t be good for our long-term health. There are a lot of considerations when it comes to healthy eating. Starting with cutting out any ingredients that you don’t know what they are has been a great start for us.
Will you take the healthy ingredient challenge? x