Sunday, June 19, 2011

Food Labels and the Missing Fine Print

A rather interesting article was in the local Hartford Courant today.  The article was written by Consumer Reports and explained that insects and toxins are allowed in our food. Shop Smart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports just recently announced some interesting finds that food labels won't contain.  Here is a list of those findings:

Can I Get a Little More Protein With That?
The Food and Drug Administration will allow companies that grow, harvest, and process food a little leeway when it comes to bugs and other crawling critters.  They deem this as naturally occurring defects.  This means that a certain amount of full and partial bugs can be added for that extra protein kick, as well as a few rodent hairs mixed in for flavor.  YUMMY!

Obviously, if bugs disgust you as much as they do me, return the product if you happen to find one.  I remember seeing a few live ones inside a loaf of bread while in line at the grocer.  I kindly let the cashier know that I didn't want the extra protein and he got me a bug-free version before I left. 

Your Not Seeing Double

It is quite possible that you may be consuming a clone without knowing it because the FDA doesn't require labels on products that contain genetically engineered plant material or meat for the most part.  It also doesn't require it on milk from cloned animals.

Products that are widely sold under this category are corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton.  Organic is the best option if you want to avoid seeing double here.

You Are What You Eat

It is possible that the chicken or steak you carefully picked out from your grocer's meat case is full of it.  Some animals on our farms today are consuming other animals, bones, feathers, and you guessed it, waste.  Those labels that say no additives, no antibiotics, no hormones, or no steroids might be full of it too because those statements cannot be verified, so the findings state.

The best option here is to buy organic.  I know the price of organic meat is crazily through the roof, but believe me when I tell you-- there is a difference and you can taste it.  I just started to buy organic meats and I will add a post in the near future on tips to stretch your dollar when it comes to buying them.

How Sweet, Fresh Meat-- NOT!

Consumers have been fooled into thinking that beef should be red and that salmon should be bright pink because that means it's fresh, when in fact, a gas or additive is packaged with it allowing the meat product to look fresh for a month or more.  I don't think I have to worry about Freddy coming for me because that beef I'm about to cook just might resurrect itself.  Talk about your scary movies-- YIKES!  All kidding aside, most of the oxygen in the packaged meats is replaced with other gases, including carbon monoxide.

The only way to avoid this problem is to ask your grocer if their meats happen to be packed with carbon monoxide.  And don't forget-- this happens with produce too.  You can avoid it there if you buy local or shop your frozen foods section.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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