One of the things I aim to do is make our meals and snacks out of ingredients that are as close to the source as possible. I believe that the closer we get to the source of our food, the healthier it is. It has spent less time in transport (or storage, or being handled) which means it is fresher. The fresher something is, the more nutrients we get from it. And if we are able to go directly to the source (our garden) or close to the source (say a farmer’s market) then we might even be able to know much more about our food. How is is grown, where it is grown and what is in it. Or more importantly what is not in it (pesticides, antibiotics, herbicides etc.)
Recently I started using dry beans. I buy them at the same store as the canned beans I used to buy…but they are closer to the source as they are less processed. And less processed means less meddling with my food (and potential to add things like preservatives, and salt). I don’t like the thought of “extras” in my food. Especially when they are unnecessary and an alternative is readily available.
A recent article was published stating that there are over 4000 intentional food contact materials (FCM) used today. They do not know all of the ramifications of what those packages leak into our foodstuffs but they are concerned about the side effects of long term exposure. So my question is then, why wait to find out what the side effects are? If you can choose to get closer to the source, use less packaging on your foods and cook with less processed item why don’t you?
Digging a little deeper many of the FCM include formaldehyde (remember high school science class…the stinky stuff that pickled the frogs you dissected?), BPA (much media has been put forth on this on being linked to possible hormone disruption…cancer anyone?), amongst many others I don’t even recognize.
I was adamit to only use glass bottles of expressed milk for my baby (for the few times I wasn’t around to actually feed her.) I was terrified of the BPA in plastic bottles and links to hormone disruption. Only to find out that the canned goods I has been using my entire life were coated on the inside, with BPA. And even more scary, that acidic things (like tomatoes) were more likely to have the BPA leach into the food.
Fear mongering? Maybe. There is a lot of that in our society already. But why be scared when we can just choose to eat whole, recognizable foods instead?
When I lived in Bermuda one of my mantras was “If the bugs don’t eat it, neither should we.” (Bugs including mould…) And there were a lot of bugs there.
Luckily we’ve moved since then and don’t have to battle too many bugs. But the philosophy is the same. And everyday I get a little bit closer to cutting out processed foods. Maybe we’ll even get some chickens so we can have our own backyard eggs…on second thought I’m not sure if I’m there yet. But I am trying.
To get closer to the source.