Oh man, the strawberries are fuzzy|Real food vs. Chemical Additives

Posted on February 23, 2010

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I’ll get to the strawberries, but let’s start at the beginning…I had to do some grocery shopping this week. I do it every week, but this week was different because I was given a specific task…to find foods that have some sort of ‘front-of-label’ marketing on them (listing calories & fat on the front, or a green check mark stamp that is supposed to tell you it’s a healthy choice) that I would actually eat. The problem here was that I choose not to eat 95% of the foods that contain this kind of marketing, because foods I eat don’t need to put nutritional breakdowns on the front – because those foods are pre-packaged, chemically-enhanced foods. This shopping was being done for a story I’m a contributor to regarding the FDA stepping in to control these labels.

But there I was, amongst the fat-free pudding cups & lean cuisines, trying to find something I’d actually eat. As I stood there thinking, ‘why in the hell would someone buy this stuff if they knew the preservatives & chemicals that were in in it?!’ I bought some bottled water that had a ‘smart choice’ stamp on it. But there was a time when I too bought into the pudding cups, lean cuisines, diet pepsi’s with a green “smart choice” label on it. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition at that time, and it showed….in my pantry, and in my waistline.

“But if I buy chicken breasts, and I don’t eat them all on time, they’ll smell funny & then I’ll have to throw them away!” So instead I’ll just buy lean cuisines or those frozen in a bag meals & since there’s meat in there, that will work just as well…..right? WRONG. DEAD WRONG.  First off, the meat in those frozen dishes are never actually real meat. They will inevitably have stabilizers (chemicals), preservatives (chemicals), gluten, wheat, glues, and other ridiculous things that are NOT meat in them. And all of those things create inflammation in your body, which will force your body to store more fat, break down faster, and run metabolic systems poorly. Second, those things taste disgusting once you taste how meat & veggies are really supposed to taste, I don’t care HOW convenient they supposedly are.

So many people don’t buy real food because they think it’s a waste of money because of how fast it breaks down. “But the strawberries are fuzzy!”…That’s exactly what you WANT to happen!! It’s your own dang fault if you didn’t eat them in time, but you should be excited that your strawberries rotted. If you want something that doesn’t rot, go eat a Big Mac – which a dietitian I knew bought & kept on a cake plate for more than 2 years & it never molded or rotted. Which would you rather ingest? Something that lives, dies & rots in a normal time span or some zombie-like-undead food-like-product that even after ingestion could have the power to live on forever in your intestine? That’s just gross.

I even caught myself saying this once recently when we got hooked up with a good supplier of pastured ground turkey meat. I made half the tray of meat one night & went to get the other half the next night, and it was already starting to turn an ‘off’ color around the edges. ‘Hey!’ I said, ‘it’s going bad already!’…and then it hit me that the turning color was a sign of just how fresh this meat was. All the other ground turkey meats we’ve ever gotten last about 4 days once opened….how, I’m not so sure, other than what must be preservatives because this meat always starts to go through the breakdown process within 24 hours of opening it.

But that’s a waste, you say? Too much meat & produce going bad? Then that’s not the foods’ fault, that’s your fault for not figuring out how to plan better. That’s an easy fix. Learn how to cook the whole tray of meat for leftover lunches or fast dinners the next few nights. Plan your produce for lunches & dinners so that what spoils first gets eaten first & so you ensure you’re going to prepare enough meals to eat all of what you bought. You spent the money, why waste it by buying real food then not getting to it in time?

Got the meat, got the plan but still not finding yourself eating the food before it goes bad? Perhaps you just are not adapted to the flavor of REAL FOOD yet….if you’ve been eating pre-packaged, processed foods for a while, your palate is trained to like the flavor of not-from-nature sweetness, savory-ness, and other non-natural flavors. Chemicals make food feel & taste like things that are not real in nature. You are going to have to re-train your palate. Start by using Stevia or honey instead of sugar or Splenda. Use seasonings exclusively for 2 weeks on your meat to re-learn what real meat tastes like, and to learn how spicy/tangy/savory you like your meat. I had to do this once in the 1st month of a Candida Diet & got very used to it, very quickly. It was just the habit of dipping my meat into a sauce that I had to break, and with good seasonings done right, and meat cooked well – not until it’s dryer than sand!- it’s really fairly easy.

If you buy food that cannot turn fuzzy, just know that you’re not eating real food. If you choose things that have long shelf-life, just remember that you’re eating something that is dead but is being propped up like some Weekend at Bernies’ movie remake. Start buying things that can turn fuzzy, then plan to consume them before they become fuzzbusters.

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Posted in: nutrition