by Wendy Gabriel
GREEN TIP: Avoid food packaging that has been known or suspected to contain toxic chemicals that can leach into food. Eat whole foods, make your own meals (out of whole foods) and avoid industrial processed foods.
In 2009, Jane Muncke, a researcher with Emhart Glass, conducted a study of 50 legal food packaging substances that are known endocrine disruptors. She concluded that “food contact materials are a major source of food contaminants,” that many toxic chemicals and suspected endocrine disruptors can leach from food packaging, and that many chemicals that can leach from food packaging remain unidentified and unstudied.
Incidentally, food and beverage packaging is also a major source of waste, accounting for 55% of global packaging waste.
Source: The Daily Green
We’ve already discussed why to avoid foods that come in cans:
Now let’s talk a little about why we should be avoiding industrial processed foods.
One example. Kellogg recalled as many as 28 million boxes of cereal because a chemical is suspected to be leaching from the food packaging into the cereal. The company issued the recall last Friday on its Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks breakfast cereals. The Food and Drug Administration states the reason for the recall as “uncharacteristic off-flavor and smell coming from the liner in the package.” Other sources call it a wax-like substance, and parents are being warned that it may cause diarrhea or vomiting, particularly in sensitive children (the recalled cereals – Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks – are sugary staples of the Kellogg line, marketed with cartoon characters primarily at children).
Source: The Daily Green
The recent Kellogg cereal recall points up another problem with industrial packaged foods. Not only do most non-organic cereals contain genetically modified ingredients, the cereals are made by an extrusion process that renders the grains unfit to eat and the cereals usually have unhealthy amounts of sugars, sodium and so on.
How do you avoid toxic chemicals at breakfast?
Make your own. Granola, old fashioned porridge, oatmeal, bacon (from organic, pastured pork) and eggs (from organic, free-range chickens), pancakes, organic plain yogurt with organic fruit, muffins… the list is endless.
Always remember, preparing food and eating it should be a pleasurable experience not a bothersome chore. We need to shift the way we think of food. It’s amazing to prepare a delicious, healthy meal and have the people you love savor every bite. It’s extremely unsatisfying to microwave some processed food and serve in during the nightly news.
“It’s better to pay the grocer than the doctor” was the saying that my Italian grandmother would frequently use to remind us of the love and attention to detail that went into her cooking ~John Forti
Janet Flammang, a political scientist, writes in her book The Taste for Civilization: Food, Politics, and Civil Society “Significant social and political costs have resulted from fast food and convenience foods, grazing and snacking instead of sitting down for leisurely meals, watching television during mealtimes instead of conversing”—40 percent of Americans watch television during meals—”viewing food as fuel rather than sustenance, discarding family recipes and foodways, and denying that eating has social and political dimensions.” The cultural contradictions of capitalism—its tendency to undermine the stabilizing social forms it depends on—are on vivid display at the modern American dinner table.
In a challenge to second-wave feminists who urged women to get out of the kitchen, Flammang suggests that by denigrating “foodwork”—everything involved in putting meals on the family table—we have unthinkingly wrecked one of the nurseries of democracy: the family meal. It is at “the temporary democracy of the table” that children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civility—sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending—and it is these habits that are lost when we eat alone and on the run. “Civility is not needed when one is by oneself.”
My Green Sides’ web pick of the week:
A site full of wonderful recipes (all tested by the site’s founder, Elise Bauer, or her family/friends), tips and tricks, and some great cookbook reviews.
Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at WDAY.com.