8.25.2009

Food. HFCS. Corn. Sigh. (no knitting)

I've been thinking a lot about food lately. I usually think about food in a "OMG, I love food" sort of way, but as I've read some things and watched others I get to thinking a bit more. Some random and probably rambling thoughts on food.

I recently watched King Corn - it was good, a bit slow in parts (they could have cut out a bit of the inbetween parts - them playing wiffle ball in a cornfield for example). Interesting - did you know that 90% of the corn grown in Iowa is inedible without processing?! Inedible. No just grabbing a husk of corn off the stalk and munching away.

After watching that documentary I've got High Fructose Corn Syrup on the brain. I am all for product development, engineering, advancing science to benefit the greater good, but this is one that has gotten a bit out of control. Recently I went to buy applesauce at the grocery store - Lorelai is getting into it and the last jar I have from when I made it last fall is rather watery. I picked up Motts. A brand I have known since I was a kid and of which I (used to) think positively. Know what's in applesauce? High fructose corn syrup. HUH? I was livid. I started looking at the other brands, the grocery store's "organic" line as well and then had an internal debate over paying more for less product that didn't have the HFCS... and luckily I found the Mott's Natural line. No HFCS. Apples, water and one other thing (ascorbic acid maybe?) Crazy. I also heard from another blogger somewhere that Jell-O individual cups have HFCS in them but the box stuff you make yourself doesn't. You really have to pay attention if you want to try and avoid it. Full disclosure: As I still here and type and ramble, I'm nibbling on keebler E L Fudge cookies - their ingredient list says it has less than 2% HFCS. Hrm. Well that's probably better than HFCS being the first ingredient. These were a complete impulse buy.

There were two great blog series over at ReadyMade.com (as if they didn't already provide so much inspiration for all sorts of projects!) - Amy went a week without processed foods...great links in there! And Katherine did a week without plastics. So interesting - imagine your daily routine and what would change if you went without plastics or processed food. I would love to try it for a day, maybe. Toddlers make things like that even more of a challenge.

Have you heard about the latest BPA issue - I'm quite annoyed - I bought 2 SIGG bottles thinking I was doing a good thing and because they were promoted as being BPA free. They have the old liners in them. I'm working on an email to them; what they did is very much not cool.

On the positive side of things I am able to grow my own food - some produce at least. No plastic, no processing (actually coooking, with minimal ingredients), no chemicals added. I think in the end, all my garden veggies are a variety of the $64 tomato!

No Blight Here Potato Harvest
No blight here!!

I've harvested my potatoes - I will certainly do these again - we've had them smashed and roasted and probably will have one more meal with them - I've even given 2 bags to my parents and in-laws. I've got cherry tomatoes all over the place - likewise - I've given them to my parents / in-laws and just been popping them as a snack. I am thinking about trying Wife, Mom, Knitter's roasted tomato sauce... Even with all that other environmental hoo-hah, it is satisfying to know that I can provide a little something for my family to eat. And it tastes better too. I even got my husband the tomato hater to eat more than one cherry tomato!! That's something!

Knits next time.

6 comments:

Virginia said...

Your cherry tomatoes and potatoes look so yummy! I am jealous. The gardening gene skipped my generation, so we're buying most of our food at the farmer's market these days (sadly, pretty $$) and are looking into joining a CSA (less $$, I hope!). But getting the processed/HFCS stuff out altogether is more or less impossible.

(And I'm sure you saw my contribution to Amy's series where I explained why I think putting the onus on consumers/moms/women to do it, rather than the companies producing that crap, is a bit misplaced!)

One tip: I am currently obsessed with Mark Bittman and think his approach is one of the more real-people-friendly ones out there. FOOD MATTERS is a great summary of all the King Corn/Michael Pollan eco-food issues, but it comes with a lot of really useful strategies and recipes for putting some of this into practice. (And he's a lot less preachy, more "do what you can do!")

And I just got his HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING book and oh my goodness, it's my new food bible.

Enjoy your toms! xo

accountantgrrl said...

I'm cheering you on here in WifeMomKnitterland! It did feel really good knowing EXACTLY what was in the tomato sauce I was making.

The directions called for 1 tsp. of sugar. I'm sure that if you are concerned about sugar, you can omit it. It was such a small amount in relation to the whole recipe that I put it in.

I should have another batch ready to roast tomorrow. I may make my own tomato soup this time. :-)

costumechick said...

Except for thursday nights, I lead a no-salt diet. this means I make all my food. From scartch. It's annoying at first, but so much better in the end. When I first started doing it, I read your "baby food" entries as inspiration, just so you know! Spag. sauce is super easy! You are going to love love love it!
what a weird comment. What I meant to say, "From one label reader to another: You go!"

theatreknitter said...

you and I are on the save wavelength again. I have actually been thinking about the amount of sugar I actually ingest in a day. Mainly after reading a very simple fact of the amount of sugar we are supposed to consume, and how much we actually do. . . . Trying to cook more and use less prepared foods and really hoping this is something I can get nto the habit of. We shall see.

Sunflowerfairy said...

Potatoes!?!! Oh man, I'm jealous. And to think I was proud of our parsley. lol

You know, I try not to eat HFCS. It's hard. I try not to feed it to my kid either. You have to read the labels on everything- all the time. There's been twice in the past that I checked labels- no HFCS, bought the items only to pick up the same exact things a few months later- HFCS. Grr. My favorite thing is jelly. Smuckers is "all natural" but uses HFCS.

That crap is not all natural- made from corn or not.

JuliaA said...

back in the far-away times, i was chubby in college. i graduated, and i was too busy to eat the sort of processed foods that i'd eaten before. i started eating butter, and creamy creamy soups. i worked in a restaurant, after all.

and i lost 15 pounds without trying.

i've developed a palate that kind of hates processed food. i like kashi, but it's too expensive. it's annoying to try to eat healthy on my ridiculous budget, because it's the processed foods that are cheaper. why?

read some michael pollan. i love that man. he's been writing about this stuff for years.

and a big agree (1) to the commenter upthread who mentioned mark bittman. i own his how to eat everything cookbook and it's lovely. if you read the cookbook, you get his general attitudes about food, and cooking, and eating, and imo, he's right on.

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