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Old 01-05-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
400 posts, read 1,851,287 times
Reputation: 418

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I am not interested in being a vegan or vegetarian as I love fish, beef and chicken and eggs. Besides, what vegans won't admit is that the fillers they're eating in place of meat, are actually more unhealthy than real chicken, beef or fish. But that whole debate is for another thread. This thread is about my concern with how the food industry makes it hard to eat unprocessed foods because of how they mislead consumers with false marketing and how they load supposedly organic food with synthetic and processed ingredients.

Really, what I'd like to know though: is a realistic endeavor to completely remove refined sugar, floor and processed methods from one's diet? Can that be done?!

I've watched the following food documentaries already: Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., Super Size Me, and The Future of Food. But NONE of these films answer my "refined foods" question.

These days I think it's nearly impossible to eat 100% real food. Food is either genetically altered or packed with preservatives, and food labels and food packaging contradict each other.

Take orange juice, for example. Did you know that a popular brand with the initials M.M. claim on their orange juice carton "100% not from concentrate," but if you read the ingredients on the back, it reads, "100% concentrate." How dumb do food marketers think we are?! And further ingredients include potatoes and gelatin, not to mention all that processed sugar. So I no longer drink orange juice or any fruit juice because it's just sugar...there's no nutrients. If I have to eat 6 oranges a day to get my required Vitamin C, then I will.

I am so frustrated with the food industry as it's nearly impossible to know if what I'm eating is actually real food and if it's good for me. I want to eat real food so that I can feel better and look better.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:06 AM
 
1,882 posts, read 4,438,733 times
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We actually do pretty good, but also have some processed stuff. I'm not going to grind my own wheat to make flour and will buy some canned veggies(or frozen) to extend shelf life.

I guess I don't get too confused with the marketing and labeling. Orange juice is processed, even if you make your own. The companies also can't cater to the 1-10% of people that want "special"(as in, other than normal) products, they do have to make money.

Remember that most, if not all, are out to give a fair product at a fair price. If your that worried about plant genetics and what companies are "try'n to hide", then your best bet is to raise it yourself. Then you know for a fact what you are getting. Or visit a farm and learn about how it's raised and then buy direct form them.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
400 posts, read 1,851,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Cave Man View Post
We actually do pretty good, but also have some processed stuff. I'm not going to grind my own wheat to make flour and will buy some canned veggies(or frozen) to extend shelf life.

I guess I don't get too confused with the marketing and labeling. Orange juice is processed, even if you make your own. The companies also can't cater to the 1-10% of people that want "special"(as in, other than normal) products, they do have to make money.

Remember that most, if not all, are out to give a fair product at a fair price. If your that worried about plant genetics and what companies are "try'n to hide", then your best bet is to raise it yourself. Then you know for a fact what you are getting. Or visit a farm and learn about how it's raised and then buy direct form them.

Just my thoughts.
Thanks for your reply to my post, Capt. Cave Man. While I get that food manufacturers need to make a profit, they aren't being responsible as the food product they put out is full of, well, synthetic and processed chemicals and antibiotics that actually cause harm when ingested.

And I appreciate your suggestion to raise my own food, but let's be realistic here. Not everyone has the money or resources to do that, so it doesn't really answer my question, "is it possible to eat purely organic food bought from a co-op or grocery store?"

And every spring and summer I do visit the farmers markets where I buy what produce is available. Also, I've heard from friends that it's a waste of money to invest in a vegetable co-op where you receive a crate of random vegetables locally grown, because you have no idea how long those vegetables have been out, and you can't really plan your meals until you get that crate.

Good suggestions, but they don't really help me. Thanks though.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:43 AM
 
25,626 posts, read 34,734,443 times
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The only way is to grow it and make it your self from all heritage seed and feed stocks. Including animals

Cradle to ladle control so to speak.

Too much for me.

I can control about 90% through my choice of purchases. In life 90% of anything is about as good as it gets.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,253 posts, read 60,789,986 times
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The point is you can't eat packaged food.
Hit an organic grocery, look for 'non-GMO' on whole foods only (that means fruit, veggies, grains/beans, and meat).
And that's all you get to eat.
The only OJ you get to have is the stuff you squeeze.
That seems like a waste, though...none of the fiber, all of the sugar.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
400 posts, read 1,851,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
The only way is to grow it and make it your self from all heritage seed and feed stocks. Including animals

Cradle to ladle control so to speak.

Too much for me.

I can control about 90% through my choice of purchases. In life 90% of anything is about as good as it gets.
But what if you live in an apartment like me? I know there are community gardens in my city that I could rent a lot from, to grown my own vegetables. I have thought about doing that too this coming summer.

The only reason I hesitate to, is that it can be very expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
The point is you can't eat packaged food.
Hit an organic grocery, look for 'non-GMO' on whole foods only (that means fruit, veggies, grains/beans, and meat).
And that's all you get to eat.
The only OJ you get to have is the stuff you squeeze.
That seems like a waste, though...none of the fiber, all of the sugar.
What is GMO? I'll have to look that up on the Internet.

And why are co-ops so expensive compared to grocery stores just because the food is supposedly "organically grown?" I don't want to pay $10 for 2 apples.

Yeah, the OJ conundrum got me. I have no idea other than eating a few oranges daily, as how I'm going to get my Vitamin C and fiber.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:25 AM
 
25,626 posts, read 34,734,443 times
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Meh commercial OJ is really not good for you anyway. Eating genetically altered oranges are much better. LOL

For a city dweller on a limited income it can be tough.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:29 AM
 
5,002 posts, read 6,030,923 times
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Organic farmers and producers generally have more waste than pesticide/herbicide using farmers because they lose more crop in the field before harvest and they have a lower yield at harvest because of not having soil pumped full of synthethic fertilizers as well as having less produce that is eye-appealing for the consumer, so more of their product is not accepted by the commercial grocers to try to sell to their customers.

GMO stands for genetically modified organism, so tomatoes with fish genes inside them to ward off attacks from insects, for example.

You can work with a CSA farm so they will be able to give a reasonable time frame for the fruits and vegetables they will have during a season. There will be some variation, but farmers have a time frame in mind for harvest for each of their crops within about a 1-week window, depending on which temperature Zone the farm is in. This is the time of year to get in touch with a CSA for the upcoming farm season so you can find one that grows things you like and you can get a good idea for when you can start expecting peas, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, etc.

I'm fortunate to live near a very good organic grocery that does enough business that they are able to get bulk discounts to bring the price of their food down to closer-to-conventional grocery prices.

As far as getting unrefined, unprocessed, un-pesticided, un-herbicided foods, remember to check out the frozen organic veggies at your regular grocery store. Most plain frozen veggies, whether organic or conventional, are frozen simply steam-blanched with a little salt added. Consider investing in a good juicer to get as much nutritional goodness out of your fruits and veggies as possible.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Northern CA
12,770 posts, read 11,075,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest Maven View Post
But what if you live in an apartment like me? I know there are community gardens in my city that I could rent a lot from, to grown my own vegetables. I have thought about doing that too this coming summer.

The only reason I hesitate to, is that it can be very expensive.



What is GMO? I'll have to look that up on the Internet.

And why are co-ops so expensive compared to grocery stores just because the food is supposedly "organically grown?" I don't want to pay $10 for 2 apples.

Yeah, the OJ conundrum got me. I have no idea other than eating a few oranges daily, as how I'm going to get my Vitamin C and fiber.
Get a good Vitamin C supplement, it's just smart no matter how good your diet is. If you're selective about what you eat, you may end up eating less, which would not be a bad thing for most of us.
What you pay now can save you later with illnesses and doctor bills, so it's an investment in your health.
Learn as much as you can about how to be healthy, then make informed decisions.
GMO news, articles and information:

Worth mentioning is aspartame, a terrible ingredient in sodas, gum, diet foods. Avoid it if you can, along with high fructose syrup.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:35 AM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,928,634 times
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We strive to do the same thing. It can be done, but there are costs, more than just financial.

The grocery co-op is an excellent suggestion. We do a lot of our weekly food shopping at our local co-op, and yes, it's more expensive, but the quality of the food, particularly the fresh produce and meats, is more than worth the price.

We also shop regularly at our local Farmers' Market, and we've got favorite farmers for various foods. We get beef, pork, chicken and eggs from one farmer, hand-made tortillas from another, root vegetables from a different one, flour from another, apples and cider from yet a different one, and so on. Not every city has a Farmers' Market, I realize, but they are more common than they used to be, and in buying directly from the folks who are producing the food, it is possible to ask about things like feeding methods, fertilizers/pesticides, and so on. It may mean a longer drive and more time spent, and the prices are likely to be at least somewhat higher than the mass-produced food at the supermarket, but if you want minimal processing, there is no substitute for buying directly from the farmer.

And for the past decade, we've had a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share as well. This is a program that has grown in popularity over the past quarter-century or so, and in south-central Wisconsin, there are about three dozen different farms that offer some kind of CSA share. Basically, you make an agreement with the farmer to pay him or her a set price per year, and in return, you get a portion (a share) of whatever they harvest as it comes in from the fields. Each farm has its own list of produce, its own season length, and its own options for purchasing, so it takes some time to do your homework and find a farm you like. Also, and this gets into the cost side of things, in buying a share of the farm, you are buying a share of their fortunes for the year - both good and bad. There have been some years when our CSA farm had such a bumper crop of corn that we ate it for months after freezing it up, and then there was the year when they got a foot of rain in one August weekend and basically lost all their crops for that fall. The price is the same either way - that's part of the deal. You share in what it's like to be a farmer, and that means that just like the farmer, you are at the mercy of the elements.

Now for the costs.

Food that is produced sustainably with minimal pesticides and processing costs more. It doesn't travel as well, it doesn't store as well, there is much more waste, and as a result, you are not going to find Wal-Mart Superstore prices at your local Farmers' Market or food co-op.

Buying minimally processed food without preservatives means that you are largely going to be buying food that was produced within a few hundred miles of where you live. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, of course; our ancestors did that for centuries. But with the advent of preservatives, pesticides and world-wide freight carriers, we have become accustomed to being able to have strawberries in December and asparagus in January, and a surprising number of people simply are not willing to give that up. So that is a cost, too, because if your area is in a drought, you may just have to do without melons that year. Or if your state has an early warm spell followed by a sharp freeze, you may wind up doing without apples.

There is a cost in time as well. When you buy processed food that basically just needs to be nuked in the microwave for a few minutes, you can get a meal on the table in record time. Buying ingredients, preparing them, storing them, combining/cooking them and saving the leftovers to eat at a future meal all takes a lot more time, and some folks either can't or won't spend the time to do that.

Each of us needs to do our own cost/benefit analysis. Is the extra cost in time, money and convenience worth the benefit of eating minimally processed food? Or is life so hectic that it's worth eating processed, preserved food in return for the benefit of having maximum convenience and variety? That's a very individual decision, and I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer. It's what works best for you.
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