Apparently, eating the way I do is very complicated. Actually, I don’t notice it’s complexity until asked to mesh it with others with more conventional habits. To me, it’s pretty simple. Indeed, it’s the way I want to feed my kids. Here’s the basics:
  • No sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, no “fake” sugars like aspartame or splenda.
  • Why not? Sugar is so refined and processed. It feeds yeast and candida infections, causes cancers, heart disease, and more. HFCS actually causes an immune response in the body, and has the rare distinction of converting straight to adipose tissue (fat) as opposed to first becoming glucose (useable energy). In the 70’s, aspartame was denied FDA approval over many issues. Out of 6 monkeys in a study (fed aspartame), one died and six had grand mal seizures. It ate holes in the brains of baby mice. It caused numerous brain tumors. Things like uterine polyps and ovarian neoplasms were later found to have been covered up. When liquid (think diet coke) and stored above 85 degrees, aspartame turns into DKP and formaldehyde. Yummy. Splenda, while not penetrating the blood-brain barrier like aspartame (creating neurotoxins), is still far from a good idea. It’s made with chlorine. The inventors of Splenda admit around fifteen percent (15%) of sucralose is absorbed by the body, but they cannot guarantee us (out of this fifteen percent) what amount of chlorine stays in the body and what percent flushes out. And this is assuming they’re not lying like the aspartame pushers.
  • Instead: Natural sugars (should be limited, too). Honey, pure maple syrup, sorghum, even rapadura and sucanat. Stevia is a plant substance that is 300 times sweeter than sugar and no calories. You can buy it as a ‘dietary supplement’, but the FDA won’t approve it for use in food. Of course, thousands of years of South-American natives eating it isn’t enough evidence. Not good evidence like the aspartame studies.

  • No (or very limited) use of factory-farmed animal products. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, etc.
  • Why not? Do a google search for “factory farming” and see what pops up. You won’t eat it either. I don’t relish a large percentage of my meal consisting of fecal matter, bacteria (dead or not), bad fats, etc. I don’t want my daughters pumped full of synthetic hormones via their hamburgers. The nutritional difference between something raised the way God intended and the way the Bottom Line prefers is huge. The kinds of fats are far different. The levels of fat-soluble vitamins (e, d, etc) are much higher in the ‘right’ kind of food. Milk from grass-fed cows is nutritionally far superior than that of grain-fed ones (organic or not). I just don’t want to feed my kids poison.
  • Instead: Home grown, local, or organic meats, eggs, dairy. Personally I’m still not on top of it with the cheese yet. I do purchase brands that have pledged to not use BST, as I’m not big on the whole ‘genetically engineered hormone’ thing.

  • Nothing “white”. Yes, call me prejudice. White flour, white rice, white sugar (as discussed).
  • Why not? All are worthless or destructive. Your body doesn’t know the difference between white flour and pure sugar. They metabolize the same.
  • Instead: Whole grains. Not, “made with whole grains” or “good source of whole grains”. Just whole grains. Which usually means you buy the grain whole, and do with it what you will. You can even buy it rolled. It’s still all there.

  • No (or as few as possible) conventionally-grown fruits/vegetables/grains.
  • Why not? Again, I don’t like to eat poison, or feed it to my kids. Whether that poison is sprayed on, infused into the soil (and taken up into the plant), or genetically engineered to be manufactured by the plant itself, I don’t want it. This includes bug killers, weed killers, petroleum-derived N, P, K for fertilization, things like that. Soil is important, and moreso the critters who live there. Chemicals of all kinds destroy it. Remember that when they do an “organic vs. conventional” study and plant them both in the same plot of soil they’ve been ruthlessly destroying for a decade. No wonder the conventional ones grow bigger.
  • Instead: Organic, or even better, homegrown or locally organic. There are a lot of ‘envelope pushers’ in the organic industry, now that the Big Guys are getting their hands into it. And please don’t eat anything from China, organic or not.

  • No, or as few highly-refined vegetable oils as possible
  • Why not? They’re bad news. Another man-made solution to a problem that might not have existed has led to even worse problems. Google ‘vegetable oil refining’ and see what you find. Again, high-heats denature and change important parts of food. And I’m not too excited to eat something who’s refining process advertises “continuous bleaching” and “continuous deacidification and deodorisation”.
  • Instead: Extra-virgin olive oil. Extra-virgin least-refined coconut oil, and expeller-pressed sunflower oil. Oils that don’t take an acre of crop to refine down to a tablespoon. Oils that exist in high-percentages, that we were meant to eat. Butter.

  • No soy.
  • Why not? It’s evil. Okay, not inherently wicked, perhaps, but still not good. Lots of plant estrogens. Again, I don’t want my daughters wearing bras when they’re 7. Lots of phytates which bind to and remove important minerals from the body. Lacking in some important aminos (not a big issue if you still eat meat). Oh, if you’re going to naturally ferment it and add it to foods like they do in Asia, go for it. That helps break down the wicked stuff.
  • Instead: Just don’t eat soy.

Aside from complexity, it’s leading to moral dilemmas. We’ve been invited to go camping this weekend with some people, and I’m not sure how to work out this whole diet thing. Among the others are those who would gladly eat beer and twinkies all day, also those on calorie- and/or fat-restricted diets. The first group has it’s obvious problems. The second, while they’re conscious of what they’re eating, have differing priorities and the food is usually full of the toxins and additives that I truly believe are unsafe. But what do I do when my kids are handed a drink of this stuff, or a plate of it? The first moral issue is ‘do I offend my brother by publicly deeming his offering as unfit?’ or do I earnestly pray for protection? The second moral issue is ‘how do I educate my kids without either a) their being confused by others’ differing standards, or b) their garnering a morally-superior attitude towards others?’ That last part applies to SO MANY things, really. Not just food. Dress, attitude, language, service, etc.

Back to the complexities. My above rules mean I must make many things from scratch. I can’t eat cold cereal, conventional meat, eggs, milk, canola oil, soybean oil, all-affordable-oils, store-bought bread (except one expensive brand)… good grief. Not a big deal, when I’m at home. This campout however, may require a trailer-full of my ‘snobby food.’ Snobby food which might well be disdained. If these aren’t your values, it makes no sense to pay $10-$30 per quart for oil in which to fry an egg. A pressurized can of toxic biscuits probably tastes better than my crumbly attempts at using soft white wheat and Real Butter.

So again, what to do? Take all my own stuff and pin a sign to my kids’ shirts that says, “please don’t feed the monkeys?” Make plenty to go around, but risk it being hated and/or wasted? Maybe that’s a bad attitude on my part. Perhaps I need to have a heart to bless others despite the cost. My frugal side says, “they don’t really care about the work or expense that went into this. They’d be as happy (or happier) with xyz from the deli.”

The other problem is our grocery budget. It seems I spend a lot on food. Way more than in our early days of marriage when I *hangs head in deep, deep shame* actually bought hamburger helper on sale for $1 apiece. And bought the cheapest version of anything. Now it is nearly opposite. I pay thru the nose for things I deem ‘safe’. Oils, for instance. Organic food. Animal feed that isn’t full of cow-brain. What is right? It seems like we have to choose between stewarding our money and stewarding our temple.
I don’t think these dilemmas are going to be solved in this post. I will be praying and thinking on these things for a while though, especially as I try to prepare for this camping trip.
And I’ll save the whole camping/pregnant/peeing every hour dilemma for another post.