Food Inc.

For those of you who haven’t watched Food Inc., please do!

It amazes me how much the food industries get away with, especially in meat productions. This film has the potential to open American’s eyes to make them more aware that those everyday products they are buying in the super market have been processed and most are genetically modified in some way. These products are doing damage to not only our health but also to the environment, animals and the everyday life we live in. We figure that with the new technology erupting in our fast paced world that they would figure out safer ways to handle the foods that are getting passed along but instead it is doing more harm than good. The FDA is not conducting enough inspections than they used to, so this poses a serious threat to our health. Most of our products come from corn simply because America is always going for the cheapest and fastest way to produce without thinking of the health problems that could occur. When a cow consumes a high corn diet, E. coli can be produced. This ultimately leads to an outbreak of deaths or illnesses on human and animal lives. Also, because of the run off from factory farms, E. coli is not only found in beef, but also leafy greens and even products such as apple juice. The food industry is not realizing the harm it is doing to the country. These companies believe the best way to have their farms is to produce the most amount of food even if it is unhealthier than the natural way of producing and making people sick.

It also amazes me that the USDA doesn’t have the authority to close down plants that produce contaminated meat. Corporate meat processors are against Kevin’s Law arguing that it would increase the cost of food and is unnecessary. Four hundred animals are slaughtered in one hour and most of the big companies such as Tyson and Purdue would not even allow the film producers to view the chicken houses because of the animal cruelty and unhealthy ways they are making our country have the largest production of food in the entire world. Most people in these companies would not even be interviewed because they know what they are doing is wrong, but they are able to do it because they are in charge of getting food to our plates in large quantities in a short amount of time. Food companies are getting paid to overproduce food that goes to waste and it amazes me how not enough people care. As long as Americans are eating and have food on their plate, their happy. This is why food industries remain the way they are today.

Also, poor families can’t afford healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables simply because they are more expensive than the average fast food the nation turns to for quick and cheap access. This is leading to type two diabetes and putting children at a much higher risk for developing other chronic diseases. If our food system was smart enough to stop our nation from being the most obese nation, it would lower the prices of healthier foods so that poorer families could afford eating healthier and be just as nutritious that others who have the money to be are.

The food industry is also using humans as machines. Meat packing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Also, this is why we see most immigrants are the ones working for these companies. The companies are making more money because they work for less than the average American would want to make. Most of these immigrants are getting arrested and caught in the end, but the industries don’t care because they know they will get more to work for them.

Another shock to me was that farmers are not allowed to keep their own seeds and must use a genetically modified seed or Monsanto gene. Farmers that are caught by Monsanto not using their gene and using their own original seeds will most likely be fired or shut down. It is amazing how far our food industry has become to being unfair. We also see that most of the government has been involved in the food industry before, which is why we see there is no change being made because they all know the ways companies need to be produced in order to get a large quantity of food to the people.

Consumers can change the way the money system works. For example, Wal-Mart was able to change their milk products to a safer level simply because of the amount of customers who were buying a certain type of milk rather than other milk provided. As of March 2008, Wal-Mart’s Great Value milk no longer contains rBST, which is a dangerous growth hormone injected into cows which could risk consumers overall health. From this film, I have learned that stores base their products on consumers wants and if customers were able to change the way we eat and not buy the products that are harmful to our health, we could ultimately change the growing problem of sicknesses and diseases caused by these foods. The only way to do this though, is to make the public more aware and knowledgeable to the point where we can all make a difference and become larger than these companies who are mass producing and making our nation sicker rather than healthier. Food Inc. is definitely a film that all Americans should watch because not only does it have interesting facts, it tells you the truth and makes us more aware of the foods we’re putting into our mouths everyday.

What are your thoughts or comments?!

 

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Perfect examples to curb your cravings!

Chic en Chocolat

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We all know the set-up. It’s 2 pm, you’re watching your favorite shows on Netflix, not a care in the world. Then…all of a sudden you realize there are some Girl Scout Thin Mints calling your name in the pantry. As much as you’ve tried to keep a healthy balance in your diet, your desire to satisfy your cravings can seem overpowering at times. What’s the secret? Well, there’s keeping yourself fuller longer by eating 5 to 6 snack-sized meals a day, but here are some additional tips for helping you to banish those cravings!

Create a distraction

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Before you grab that big bag of Lays potato chips, take a second to sit down and distract yourself. Write a To-Do list, make a phone call to your friend, play dress-up with your closet, (or my personal favorite, paint your nails!) This way, your mind is swayed away from thoughts of…

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Integrative Nutrition, Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness

A few quotes from Integrative Nutrition, Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness. These are great, and so true!

“We live in an era of “time poverty,” where we’re caught in a constant state of “hurry sickness.” We consume massive amounts of caffeine to speed us up, eat fast foods to save time, work while eating to stay productive, but we never catch up. It is possible to shift these behaviors.” 

“America is a great country. We have the security, freedom and lifestyle desired by many people around the world. But Americans are overweight, unhappy and unhealthy. Every year healthcare costs increase while overall health decreases; people continue to eat poorly, gain weight and depend on medications and operations to maintain their health.”

“Every day, 2,500 Americans die from cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease,
heart attacks and stroke.”

“We get more prescriptions and less guidance on how to create long-term health. We spend an exorbitant amount of money on medications and operations while virtually nothing is spent on prevention, education and holistic health.  Medical experts are basically saying, “Live it up, do what you want and when you get sick, we’ll give you a magic pill that will make it all go away.”

“The disparity in government funding points out an awkward truth about the USDA: what it urges people to eat does not match what it pays farmers to grow.”

“What I find so curious is that with all the money we spend on medical bills and pharmaceuticals each year, our life expectancy is nearly the same as Cuba’s. To be exact, life expectancy in the United States is 78.0 and in Cuba it is 77.1. How is it possible that with all the money we spend on doctors’ visits and medications our life expectancy isn’t decades beyond Cuba’s, which spends next to nothing on healthcare?”

“American fast-food restaurants are sprouting up worldwide. McDonald’s announced its plan to open 700 new restaurants in China by 2013.”

“In one way or another, almost all the sources of information we would expect to support our quest for overall health are contaminated for reasons of financial gain.”

“The success of stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and the incorporation of organic sections at Wal-Mart illustrate that consumers are concerned about their health and the quality of their food. When individuals, like you and me, stand up for improving our own health, things do change.”

For more information: https://s3.amazonaws.com/integrativenutrition/Publishing/IntegrativeNutrition2ndEdUpdate_PDF.pdf

ABC’s to eating healthy

A…is for alcohol in moderation

B…is for breakfast

C…is for calories versus kilojoules

D…is for digestion and bowel health

E…is for eating around exercise

F…is for fruit and veg

G…is for green drinks

H…is for H2O

I…is for iron-rich foods

J…is for journal keeping

K…is for know your portions

L…is for low-fat animal products

M…is for mono- and poly- unsaturated fats

N…is for nuts and other healthy snacks

O…is for omega-3 fatty acids

P…is for protein with each meal

Q…is for quick & healthy dinners

R…is for read the labels

S…is for salt and sugar (cut down!)

T…is for treats (control intake)

U…is for unprocessed foods

V…is for variety

X…is for xylitol and natural sweeteners

Y…is for yo-yo dieting (not recommended!)

Z…is for zinc for an immunity boost

For more information about the letters: http://www.news.com.au/news/eating-healthy-as-easy-as-abc/story-fnelnuip-1226475393626 Australian and international copyright

When you pack your lunch, know the nutrition you are getting

An article by Molly Kimball who is a registered dietitian in New Orleans:

Protein: Molly recommends a portion of lean meat, fish, or poultry the size of the palm of the person who will be eating the lunch. “Palm-sized” is often about four ounces of lean meat, fish, or poultry for women, six or more ounces for men, and two or three ounces for kids. Every ounce of meat provides about seven grams of protein, so if you’re incorporating non-meat protein options such as beans, veggie burgers, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as your protein source, check the protein content on the nutrition facts label. A veggie burger with 15 grams of protein, for example, provides the protein equivalent of two ounces of meat. A carton of Greek yogurt with 20 grams of protein is roughly equal to three ounces of meat.

Fruits and vegetables: Incorporate at least one type of antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits with each lunch.

Healthy fats: For meals and snacks, aim to include some type of fat: nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, guacamole, hummus or olive oil. Just be sure to keep an eye on portion size

Calcium rich foods: This is especially important for kids and teens, since they’re in their peak years of bone-building.

Whole grains: You may opt for whole grains in the form of sandwich breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice or sweet potatoes, or you also can get your whole grains with snack-type foods like certain crackers, chips and even cookies.

  • Triscuits. With three grams of fiber per serving, whole wheat, oil, and salt are the only three ingredients in Original Triscuits.
  • Baked Tostitos Scoops. They’re surprisingly whole grain (whole corn is the first ingredient), with two grams of fiber per serving.
  • Glenny’s Soy Crisps. These baked crisps have a taste and texture similar to mini rice cakes, but they’re higher in protein and fiber.
  • Kashi Honey Almond Flax Granola Bar. With more of Kashi’s rolled whole grain blend and roasted almonds than any other ingredient, these 140-calorie bars have seven grams of protein (the equivalent of one egg), four grams of fiber and five grams of sugar.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt – 0 percent or 2 percent fat (e.g. Chobani, Fage, & Oikos). Protein-rich with zero added sugar, they’re also a good source of probiotics, calcium and potassium.

 

For more information: http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2012/09/pack_a_nutritious_lunch_with_t.html

Friendly Bacteria in the diet

A lovely article written by Jill Weisenberger:

Trillions of microorganisms inhabit your intestines. There are 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells in your whole body! Fiber-rich plant foods give bacteria a fighting chance. Fiber feeds the healthy, hungry microbes, so that’s one of many reasons you should have lots of high-fiber plant foods, including grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, on your plate. Eating wisely is likely your best strategy for boosting the beneficial bugs. Fermented foods provide healthy bacteria. Eating fermented foods that contain live cultures can add healthy microbes to your intestines. The most common fermented food in the U.S. is yogurt. But read labels carefully when adding fermented foods to your diet because not all contain live cultures.

How to boost friendly bacteria

Eat more whole, fiber-rich plant foods, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Include fermented foods, such as live cultured yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut in your diet.
Consider taking a probiotic supplement, beverage or food.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120913/LIFESTYLE05/209130316#ixzz26pOwX8lb

Healthy snacking at work

Keep your desk and the office refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks that will help you curb cravings and avoid temptations..

Almonds: Keep a plastic bag with a handful of almonds in your desk for a snack you can graze on all day. Almonds are full of protein and the good kind of fat, so they’ll keep you satisfied longer.

Yogurt: If your office has a refrigerator, bring yogurt to work. This snack is believed to “rev up your body’s fat-burning engines, speed weight loss”

Peanut butter: Unless peanut butter is a serious snacking weakness for you, keep a jar in your desk to spread over a graham cracker or English muffin. Peanut butter contains the good kind of fat and will keep you full much longer than junk food.  Just be careful to use only a small amount to avoid packing on extra calories.

Apple slices and low fat cheese: it’s a snack “packed with fiber, water and antioxidants” that also keeps you full longer because of the cheese.

Tea: Get your caffeine boost from tea, which has antioxidants and helps you balance water weight.

Low calorie cereal bars: Try to pick cereal bars that are lower in calories and rich in fiber, rather than ones loaded with chocolate and sodium.

In order to help curb cravings:

  • Snack on healthy foods
  • Get up and move around
  • Get enough sleep

For more information: http://www.mastersinhealthcare.com/blog/2009/50-easy-ways-to-lose-weight-while-you-are-at-work/ Masters in Health Care

Processed foods are easier to overeat!

When you take a look at the media, where mostly every commercial is supporting unhealthy eating.. there’s no wonder why we eat so many processed foods!

The best snacks are ones that have many different nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Appropriate snack portion size varies, depending on the kid’s age and activity level. If kids are eating healthy snacks, like cut-up fruits and vegetables, they’ll naturally stop eating once they’re full

Processed foods, the ones that tend to be low in fiber, are much easier to overeat than healthier options because the lack of feeling full afterwards.

It’s also important to make sure that you or children aren’t eating in front of the TV and computer because it’s easier to be distracted by what you are actually consuming– so you end up eating more than you should!

Finding new recipes to make with children, and making food from scratch are all ways to help stay nutritious and become creative at the same time!

Here is a sample recipe: 

Granola Fruit Nut Crunch

Prep time: 5 minutes; total time: 25 minutes; serves 6.

Provided by Chrisetta Mosley, author of “Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box.”

2 cups old fashioned or quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup whole or sliced almonds

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons honey

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup dried apricots, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the oatmeal, coconut, almonds, oil and honey until combined.

Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool on sheet pan.

Once cool add dried cranberries and apricots. Serve immediately, or the granola can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For more information: http://www.columbian.com/news/2012/sep/10/after-school-snacks-get-healthy-makeover-dietician/ By Marissa Harshman  Columbian Staff Reporter

Dark Leafy Greens: Essential Superfood!

The nutrients found in dark leafy greens provide a host of health benefits that can ward off disease and actually help you live longer, and they are easy to prepare.. This is a great article written by  who is  a nationally known registered dietitian based in New York and the creator of a proprietary high-fiber nutrition program for weight loss, wellness and for treating.

Kale

Kale is a great source of Vitamins A, C, and K, plus it contains calcium and potassium. Additionally, kale contains carotenoids – specifically, lutein and zeaxathin. Consuming both may help prevent Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

This green is not only delicious when steamed, but it makes a fantastic crunchy chip.

Swiss Chard

This is a delicious green loaded with vitamins and minerals containing 13 different antioxidants, including kampferol-which helps protect the heart, and syringic acid -which has been shown to help control blood sugar levels, making Swiss chard a great green for diabetics.

Collard Greens

Collards contain vitamin C, E, K, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. Collards also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which help detox the body and lower oxidative stress, decreasing the risk of cells becoming cancerous.

Mustard Greens

This bitter, but delicious dark leafy green has been shown to help lower cholesterol by binding to bile acid and pulling it out of the body. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as important antioxidants.

Turnip Greens

This green is higher in glucosinolates than kale and contains vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K, calcium, copper and iron. Turnip greens also contain fiber that helps lower cholesterol.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/10/dark-leafy-greens-essential-superfood/