If you have read my previous posts about how I have been trying to cook fresh foods and adapt a clean eating lifestyle, then you will understand how shocked I was when I discovered that everything I believed in was a lie!
Granted, if I would just stick to eating all fresh fruits and vegetables and make everything from scratch this wouldn’t have been an issue but having a busy household with 3 kids, 4 dogs, a cat and a lizard, it is not always practical for me to make EVERYTHING from scratch. So, you can imagine my shock, when, on Monday morning, I found myself shaking and near full-fledge panic attack, in the organic section of Kroger, cursing all that was previously thought to be “good for me.” More importantly, I lost faith in everything that I thought to be a healthier choice for my family.
The reason – FOODUCATE.
This handy little iPhone app that I was told I might get a kick out of using. Wrong! More like a stay on the 5th floor hospital ward! This thing drove me crazy. My normal 45 minute Monday morning grocery shopping trip turned into almost 3 hours and a trip to 3 different grocery stores.
This is the video of how it works: WARNING: most annoying song -ever!
You scan the label on your food item and it gives you an equivalent letter grade as to how well your food scores. Then, you can look up the product details and see just why your favorite food doesn’t score higher than a C- . They then list healthier food choice alternatives which just proved to annoy me because some of the items that I had been purposely not purchasing would be listed in the “healthier alternative.”
When shopping at Kroger, I always head to the produce first then off to the organic section. After making my way through the produce and choosing some fruits and vegetables and various berries I headed over to pick up some milk from the organic section. A firm believer in knowing where my cattle graze and not wanting to drink milk that is laden with hormones, I “thought” that even though I was buying chocolate milk for my kids, it was still a better choice. Wrong again. It doesn’t have hormones which is good and it is 1% milk fat which is a healthier choice. It is also a good source of calcium but what you may not know is that almost ALL flavored milk contains the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
Fooducate states that, “according to the USDA, every man woman and child in the US consumes approximately 80 pounds of added sweeteners per year. That works out to 25 teaspoons of added sweetener per day, or 400 extra calories.” I guess I could just dump 3 teaspoons of sugar in my kids plain milk each day – same concept, right? Having a household where only 2 of 5 members will drink plain white milk and my grandmother and father both having developed stage 2 diabetes, this posed a serious problem. Unfortunately, there are no “healthy” chocolate (or any flavor for that matter) milk alternatives. My beloved Horizon chocolate milk only scored a “C”.
So, there I was, hearing them announce over the intercom of Kroger, “Panic attack, aisle 2”. Well, that’s what they were saying in my head anyway. I couldn’t believe that, because it was organic, I was deceived into believing that I was doing something good for my family. It then became my God given duty to start scanning everything in the grocery that I normally fed my family just to see what a horrible person I was being. After 3 hours, 3 different grocery stores and being hauled off, strapped to a gurney, in an ambulance (this last part, once again, just in my head), here is what I found:
Two items that were originally on my list. Greek Gods Yogurt “B”. Go Lean Crunch “A-“. Horizon organic butter was listed as a “D”. “One of the worst products in its category”. A “D”? I have never gotten a “D” in my life! Now replaced with the average grade of “C” for Land O Lakes butter. Not happy with a “C” but since I have recently started making my butter into ghee, this grade was much better for me. Although I always strive for an “A” average, it was hard to find it on Monday. Most of my items were “C” or “B” with only two items the entire morning returning the grade of “A”- Go Lean Crunch cereal and Thomas’ 100% whole wheat English Muffins.
Three main things I learned that morning:
1) Don’t be fooled by bloated health claims. Veggie chips – are neither veggies nor chips for that matter! No chips are rated over a “C+” There is a reason for that!
2) The ingredient Xanthan Gum – this is an emulsifier that helps ingredients blend more effectively. Essentially they add this to items such as salad dressings to help them stay blended while sitting on the shelf. Know what it is? If not, I would recommend Fooducate and get educated on what you are putting in your body.
3) Perhaps I should see a doctor about those voices in my head 😉
Volunteer spotlight: Next week I will be volunteering on MLK day for “A Day On: not A Day Off”. If you are interested in all the activities going on in your city most local parks and rec departments have a volunteer network. If you need ideas on how to spend your MLK Day in Bloomington let me know and I can send some ideas your way. Until then, here is what you can do for a great Bloomington Organization: Make sure you vote every day!
|Volunteer Just 30 Seconds a Day!
Not enough time to volunteer? Problem solved! Middle Way House (MWH) just qualifed for a chance to win a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project, and now people are needed to vote online, every day until Jan. 31, at refresheverything.com/middlewayhouse. (You can also text 104741 to Pepsi (73774). Standard text rates apply.) Learn more…