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Health or trouble from the grocery store?

Can we trust any food-producing company and take their word as a guarantee for healthy and harmless food? I know that you are aware we cannot. We should not.

I’ve seen recently organic sour cream which wasn’t a cream, but a mix of different thickeners, taste enhancers and some other things. Hey, cream should consist only of cream! Shouldn’t it? That’s how it always was: when we separate the fatty layer from milk, we get cream. Not nowadays. Dairy products are the most chemically enhanced food, quite often: surrogate food. Dairy products are easy to replicate using all kinds of substances.

Can we trust anybody who swears their produce is organic, grown in organic soil without the use of non-organic fertilizers? Absolutely not. I have suspicion certificates do not land only on organic farms. Some former employees point out such issues. Only after multiple claims, food inspection would do something about it.

How healthy are they?

Where do they come from?

Look at the grocery store shelves: long rows of vegetables. Some are not that great looking (organic since so small?), some are as if from a colorful food commercial (these are the GMOs: the taste and flavor is sacrificed to longer shelf time and more attractive look), some are frequently soaked in the water or they call this process: sprinkled with water to appear greener and fresher. In other words: these green leaves are slowly rotting straight before your eyes.

Leafy vegetables and greens cannot tolerate such soaking: dill, parsley, coriander, lettuce, spinach and other greens start losing nutrients and getting damaged right after they are harvested. They rot literally on the shelf. How much vitamins and minerals have they managed to preserve that way? I bet not much. Especially, when we take into account how unstable some vitamins and amino acids are, for instance vitamin C. I also do not like how these greens practically disintegrate very soon even in fridge. They lack flavor, as well.

I believe selling unwashed potatoes, carrots, beets and similar root crops would feel offensive for aesthetically refined clients, but anybody who ever has grown some vegetables knows that storage time of root crops decreases dramatically after washing them. I just bought a bag of new potatoes. They were most likely packed wet, so some are already damaged. What happens after a week? They are all rotten.

Root vegetables have a protective layer which keeps them undamaged in the soil. When this layer is washed off, this vegetable becomes sensitive to any harmful bacteria and environmental issues. Washed root crops must be consumed fast. Also: avoid potatoes with visible green parts: that is effect of toxins due to improper storage or handling. When peeled, that should be ok, but generally, green color potatoes should not be consumed.

The other issue is too good-looking fruit and vegetables. If vegetables look very neat, are all the same size, have flawless shape and even color: they are most likely genetically modified.

We should require such food to be labelled, but Health Canada, for instance, does not think we should know that. They also emphasize that GMOs do not cause any problems, issues or concerns. Short sighted? More than that: they are protecting farmers that use GMOs in order their profits would not decrease. Insects and animals die out, but they are of no concern for human use, sure!

While greens and vegetables along with fruit that contain only naturally intended things are good for us, especially, if they are not stored for weeks or they haven’t been travelling to the point of sale for months, packaging material matters, too.

As we walk around the grocery store, we can see lots and lots of greens packaged in plastic bags, containers: baby greens, especially, pre-cut vegetable and fruit salads, lots of them. Generally speaking, it’s bad news. Whatever vegetable: it needs to breathe. Believe or not: they really do. When such greens are packed in a plastic container that is practically sealed, vegetables have no other way but to get damaged faster. So, they are washed. They are pre-cut for salads. They are pre-packaged. Who knows when they were harvested? That is all bad news. Such vegetable already loses nutrients in storage. Even without cutting, washing and handling. After washing these vegetables with special dirt removing mixes (it’s not clean water, believe me, because it wouldn’t be able tore move all stuff from leaves) they are dried and then placed in plastic bags or containers. Whatever way you look at it: I cannot see how they would possibly still have nutrients. Not to mention there is nothing fresh. Fresh, in fact, is: straight from the place where it was grown. There is no other fresh. Plus, toxins from plastic packaging, plus, handling with tools (cutting): that causes rapid losses of good things and fast increase I bad things, e. g., bad bacteria.

If you have access to a food lab, please test the vegetable for essential nutrients 2 times: straight from the garden and after a week in fridge. I don’t think you will ever use any pre-cut salads again.

It is too bad that large cities provide with so much life and entertainment, but getting really good food is such problem there because most often we are eating illusion about healthy food.

Congratulations if you can grow something in your backyard and you are in a driver’s seat if you can grow most of stuff which goes on your table.

Please, stay away from plastic packaging. Salad that is not prepared before the meal has practically lost not only its flavor and taste, but also most of nutrients.

While we do not have a decent food labeling system, we will never know what we are consuming. Never. Heavy metals, toxins, pesticides, chemicals: it greatly depends on soil, on farm, its location, climate and soil characteristics, greenhouse location, applied methods, processing plant, its location, its processing techniques and methods and storage and packaging facilities. This matters to a great extent. To a huge extent. Not to mention whether a product comes from a genetically modified seeds and plants. I can see at the present moment only: product of the USA, product of Mexico, product of Ontario. There is no sign of a specific harvesting date or location, nothing. I personally think this has to change. Our health very directly depends on the process of harvesting, sorting, washing, cleaning, transporting, storing and processing foods. Especially, that refers to foods that are deemed to be so healthy and nutrient-dense.

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18 Comments Post a comment
  1. And it’s so challenging to know what foods are really good for us. Every week, it’s a different finding.

    Like

    August 16, 2017
    • It sure is because everybody tries to convince us that their stuff is the best. The closer to the natural state and condition, the better. I’d say any vegetable is the best straight from the garden, farm or farmers market. At the grocery store, they’ve been around already for a while. Plastics are bad as packaging in whatever form they come. It’s just so that it is practically impossible to avoid them. Whenever there is a choice between glass jar and plastic container, we should choose glass.

      Liked by 2 people

      August 16, 2017
  2. I like that 😊

    Like

    August 29, 2017
  3. I’m an environmental chemist by profession and share your concerns!

    Like

    September 6, 2017
  4. I have finally caught up with you again, Inese! These are all valid concerns you state here. We try to eat as much of our own food as possible.

    Like

    September 7, 2017
    • Thanks Lavinia! I have been busy with traveling around Latvia and visiting my family, so there was no time for blog because everything takes me so long, and I am completely tired at night. I will have to do a lot of catching up.

      Like

      September 11, 2017
  5. This is a good and important post, it’s true that we don’t really know where our food comes from. At the same time, a lot of awareness is being raised about this, and it has already improved a lot, I think. I remember on my first visit to the US over 10 years ago, it was much harder to find healthy or organic food than it is now.

    Kathrin — http://mycupofenglishtea.wordpress.com

    Like

    September 11, 2017
    • Thanks Kathrin! We still need much more improvement. Most often, we only know the country of origin or supply chain which is also not 100% true. There is no indication about modified ingredients. It is good that we have quite a few ecologically clean product sites. I’m in Europe, Latvia at the moment, and their awareness goes much further. I will post some pictures and text later, too busy right now, but food is much much better here. People love growing their own stuff and they meticulously check ingredients on any product. Their labels give better idea about contents or origin of any product. We have a lot more to do to get to such a level of cleaner and healthier food. They have very few fast food places, and small towns do not have any. People drink mostly water, a lot of herbal tea, coffee as well, but I did not notice anybody walking around with some huge shakes or coke. They are very passionate about clean and organic food, so, yes, people can make good choices here. I’m going back home to Canada very soon, and feeling sorry to return to my local grocery store products which look like a joke compared to what I can buy here.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 11, 2017
      • Yes – and I love how the labels are getting more and more accurate. But you’re right that the situation could still improve.

        Like

        September 11, 2017
      • I also think we should avoid chemical foods, supplements and even medications as much as possible. The only thing our body needs is balance. The more balanced we are inside the more we can contribute to any positive change in the world. I mean, using lots of one vitamin or element just messes up our internal balance. When somebody takes too much artificial vitamin D, the body decreases its amount via interactions between magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A and K. Body doesn’t want something too much. That applies to everything: even good food will cause problems when somebody eats only it. However, modified organisms and uncontrolled intake of pure chemicals currently present the biggest threat because our DNA cannot recognize and accept the substances which consist of something alien to us, to our normal metabolism. Humans are able to adapt to changing environment and climate, but it is not that easy when we start lacking the internal building blocks.
        Thanks for your interesting comments!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 11, 2017
      • Yes! A well balanced diet is good, not too much of one thing. I don’t take any medication regularly, and hate taking it when I have to.

        Like

        September 11, 2017
      • That certainly helps. I think you are very aware of any potential dangers, and you are also pro-active. I liked a lot how you described your first week in the UK. Such energy! Good luck Kathrin, you deserve the best!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 11, 2017
      • Thank you very much!

        Like

        September 12, 2017
      • You are very welcome, Kathrin!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 12, 2017
  6. We grow a lot in our garden. When we purchase from the grocery store it is rare we get good quality and it costs a fortune! So frustrating.

    Like

    September 16, 2017

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