As you can see, our slider blinds are no longer lost! Well, actually, they are, but the company rush-ordered a new set to us, so in just under two weeks we had them and got them up. Much better than the dusty fabric vertical blind that was hanging there before. So kudos to selectblinds.com for rushing our order and giving us a discount for the mishap, and to Yellow Freight for not losing the package this time.
Anyway, in my absence, I did some reading online and have come across a few disturbing articles about food. We all know the general hoopla about not eating too much fat, sugar, carbs, meat, and on and on. But there have been stories circulating that talk about a recent study linking the artificial butter flavoring you find on microwave popcorn with triggering Alzheimer's disease. CBS News has this story, which basically says that the butter flavoring chemical (known as diacetyl or DA), which is also found in many other foods that have butter flavoring including margarine, candy, and baked goods, acts the same way as the protein that causes Alzheimer's, creating clumping on nerve cells. (Additionally, if you breathe the stuff in, it has been shown to have ill effects on the lungs.)
Then there was this article from NBC News (thanks, Jen from itty bitty bag for tweeting this!) questioning what is "natural flavoring", which is found in loads of foods, including those labeled organic. Natural flavoring can be a natural element like an essential oil, but it can be bonded with a synthetic one to produce a certain flavor. I'm not sure what's organic about that. (P.S. Diacetyl is sometimes be labeled as natural flavoring.)
So after being slightly horrified from these two articles, I decided to take a look through my refrigerator and pantry, just to see what I could see. From the top: Smart Balance organic, Stonefire Naan, V8, Great Value Apple Juice, Quaker rice cakes, Cabot cheese, GoGo Squeeze applesauce, Blue Diamond pecan nut thins.
See that pesky "natural flavor" show up a few times? I also found it in every single brand of yogurt we had, which really bugged me because we eat a lot of yogurt.
Anyway, this got me thinking about what we eat and what exactly is in the foods we eat. I like to think that we eat pretty well. Most of the meals we eat are homemade, but I am definitely a snacker, and I do buy some packaged snacks, though I try to go for "healthier" versions if I can. And still, apparently, there's junk in them (see the rice cakes above, which are always said to be a decent snack).
Between the butter flavor study and the natural flavoring explanation, some chatting with the hubs about it, and really thinking this past week about what we eat, I've decided that I want to make some changes to what my family eats. I want to buy more things with fewer ingredients, and ingredients that I can pronounce and understand what they are. I want to attempt to make whatever I can by hand and not resort to (as many) prepackaged foods. This week I hope to share some of the small changes I've already made, and I'm hoping to have an excellent guest post on the subject as well.
I'd love for you to share thoughts on this subject! How do you eat? Are you a packaged food eater, or do you stick to whole foods? Are you trying to eat healthier? Are you concerned with additives put into food?