When it comes to eating healthy, there are a million different opinions. And many times those opinions evolve over time. However, I believe that we can't be that wrong from a pretty healthy diet if we eat our whole, natural foods as close to their natural state as possible, right?
For veggies, we know to try to eat organic. And if we can get them locally, then it's a bonus! Many times I think we, as a society, are under the impression that if it grows locally, it's better for us. Well, in my opinion it is...if it's not laden with pesticides or genetically modified. Sure, if you buy it locally you help reduce transportation issues (gas costs, pollution, etc.), but if you are putting chemicals in your body as the trade off, is that really worth it?
Now, all that being said, if you can't afford the higher priced organics, then make sure you really wash off your fruits and veggies before eating. I really believe that eating commercially grown produce that has been thoroughly washed by you before eating, is sooooo much better than eating one of those all-in-one processed meals you buy in a box or the freezer section.
As far as meats go...this is a scary area for me. Yes, the poisons that are applied to our growing produce is horrible but when you start thinking about meat, it makes me sick to my stomach to think of the way the meat is produced. The farmers actually think it's a good thing to pump the animal full of hormones, antibiotics, etc., because it's what the consumer wants, right? I mean, aren't we now trained to think that chicken breasts have to be ginormous or else there "must be something wrong" with it if it's on the smaller side. The growth hormones they give to the animals should be enough to scare everyone. A living, breathing, growing animal is given a hormone to help them grow faster and bigger than what nature intends. And then we, as a society, think it's acceptable to eat that type of meat. Does this scare anyone else? I mean, I love eating meat. But I'd MUCH rather eat meat from an animal that has been allowed to grow at a normal pace while eating its natural diet and be on fresh pasture as it wishes. Because everything that goes into that animal during its infancy, youth and finally mature life will then be consumed by you!
Would you willingly inject yourself with a growth hormone? What about your child? What about antibiotics just because? I'm guessing the answer is a big fat NO. So why are we continuing to support these farmers who doing these things? This is scary stuff.
We recently watched "Food, Inc." and were happy and horrified to watch it. It's a great documentary on our food in this country. It's so disturbing to watch and it makes me sad. I think it is something that should be shown in schools in their health classes to help educate the children at an earlier age. Yes, I know many of them will not be affected by it and will continue to eat fast food several times a week. But just maybe there will be some that are saddened by what's happening to the food supply in our country and be part of the change to help make us a healthier society.
We do our best to find pastured meats. Yes, it is ridiculously expensive, but guess why? Because there is such a small population of us that want it that for it to be worth a farmer's time and effort, the prices have to be higher to cover all of the costs associated. The conventional crap meat is much cheaper because unfortunately price rules over health in our society today and the vast majority of consumers will HAVE to buy it to feed their family because they simply cannot afford the higher priced meat.
Yes, I understand that the argument is out there that you and your family will be healthier because you have less doctor visits, etc. and the cost will be offset. Well....my family and I *rarely* had doctor visits that weren't well checkups, so we don't see the savings in that way. Perhaps down the road, sure, but now we are having to make what money we have work for us now.
We have found a great beef source. It's pastured beef and it's so much cheaper than some of the other grass fed beef farms around here, but the one big problem with it is that it's finished with grains. But it's the best choice we can make for our family right now. For $2.50/pound, it is a MUCH better alternative than the crap beef that is pumped full of hormones that is sold for the same price and higher than we get our beef.
We have a great egg source. It's a little pricey for us, but we eat so many eggs that I can't bear to eat the conventional eggs from chickens in houses. I want my eggs to come from chickens that actually see daylight and eat their natural diet.
We have not found a great source for chicken and pork. Well, that's not true. We know of several places to get pastured chicken and pork, but it is SO expensive that unfortunately we're not able to buy it right now.
It's such a difficult thing to get to know the sources of your food and realize that is less than ideal. Then you have to research and research to realize that much of the "healthy" foods you've been consuming is actually harmful to you. It's such a struggle and challenge to eat healthy as it is, but when you have to peel back the layers of what the truth is, it makes it that much harder.