Why I Choose to Cook at Home

I want to first start by clarifying that this not an article meant to judge or make anyone feel bad. This is an important issue to me and I wanted to share my perspective. can-stock-photo_csp15040789

As a kid I grew up on a farm and was surrounded by fresh produce. Huge varieties of fruits and vegetables. We had meat that we raised and butchered, and fish that my grandfather caught every weekend. We ate everything fresh in season and for the off season our freezers were full of produce and meat. Honestly I took for granted living in this environment. As an adult I did not think about my food sources, I assumed that it was produced in the same manor that my family had done it. I feel very naive admitting to this. It was not until college when I started doing researching and realized that mass produced food is really nothing like the food small farmers produce.

In factory farms the animals are often raised in such tight quarters that they can not even move. They live their life in filth and are given antibiotics to combat the diseases! When we consume those animals we take in those toxins. 

I learned that many of our fruits vegetables are genetically modified to resist insects. Mansantos the top producing company of the preside “round up” engineers seeds that have the pesticide right in the genetic code of the food! The seeds produced by the fruit and vegetables don’t even produce viable seeds for planting the next season!

I took a course in nutrition this semester and further educated myself on the science behind food. I learned the negative effects of certain types of engineered fats, known as trans fats. In our bodies these fats causes inflammation, increased “bad cholesterol” and decreased “good cholesterol” and contributes to heart disease and cancer. That Soy oil the top used “cheap” oil in restaurants and processed foods leads to obesity, infertility, and inflammation in the body.

I am a mother and wife and I am the shopper and cook in our house. I take this responsibility very seriously and I am always educating myself and attempting to implement good nutrition. 

I am not perfect! Yes we eat sugar. On occasion (rarely) I may fry foods in my awesome deep fryer. My motto is everything in moderation. To be honest I am overweight and working towards a healthy weight, while making sure my daughter never faces that issue in her life. I want my family to live a long healthy life and feel that food is an important aspect of that goal.

The number one thing that I do in my home is to cook at home and to eat as little processed food as possible! Here is why!

I have a bachelors degree in Political Science and the number one thing that we were taught was to question the motivations of each person/company/organization ! What is the goal of that person/organization/business to do what they are doing and does their underlying motivation fit with yours. 

A restaurant’s goal is to make money. It is not a crime or a bad thing, its just the truth. We all know that when we buy food from a restaurant it is a business transaction, not a personal one. 

My goal when feeding my family is health. I do care about the cost because I have a budget but my most important goal is providing food that will improve the health of my family and provide us with the energy, nutrition, and taste that we desire and need.

For our family we have decided that we will eat the majority of our meals made at our home with ingredients that we trust.

Organic non-GMO fruits and vegetables, Healthy oils, humane free range meats and eggs. Milk, cheese, and yogurt made from cow’s milk not treated with steroids. We eat out at restaurants very rarely, usually for special occasions so less then once a month. My nutrition class reinforced the idea that food is really the building blocks of our whole bodies and honestly I do not trust restaurants or factories to care as much as I do when it comes to the health of myself and my family. Their goal is profit, and using lowering the quality food is often a tool for increasing that profit. Using GMOs, preservatives, cheap oils, high levels of salt, and unhealthy flavor enhancements increases the taste of the food but at a cost to the consumers health. There are hundreds of example were GMO’s, too much salt, poor oils, and preservatives are used so I can not list them all but here are a few.  fast_food_kills

Subway is often hailed as the healthier option- One look at the ingredients for their egg for their breakfast sandwich tells us a different story. Their “eggs” are really a strange concoction that includes eggs and “premium egg blend.” Some things that are in this special blend include glycerin, a solvent found in soap and shaving cream, dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone that can also be found in Silly Putty, and calcium silicate, a sealant used on roofs and concrete.

Resturant Salads-Unsurprisingly, most fast food restaurants don’t list the exact ingredients in their lettuce — you wouldn’t think they’d need to — but many places dust their salads with propylene glycol to keep the leaves crisp. While considered safe for consumption, propylene glycol can be found in antifreeze and sexual lubricants.screen-shot-2014-01-04-at-9-57-11-am

Gerber Babyfood-In the United States, all of the mainstream baby formulas that are not organic are made with GMOs. Families that are unable to afford organic baby formula have no choice but to feed their babies GMOs. Forcing toxic Roundup laced GMOs on infants is unacceptable.

Here are a list of common ingredients in processed and restaurant foods. 

INGREDIENT
WHY IT’S USED
WHY IT’S BAD
Artificial Colors
  • Chemical compounds made from coal-tar derivatives to enhance color
  • Linked to allergic reactions, fatigue,asthma, skin rashes, hyperactivity and headaches
Artificial Flavorings
  • Cheap chemical mixtures that mimic natural flavors
  • Linked to allergic reactions, dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity and asthma
  • Can affect enzymes, RNA and thyroid
Artificial
Sweeteners

(Acesulfame-K, As-partame, Equal®, NutraSweet®, Sac-charin, Sweet’n Low®, Sucralose, Splenda® & Sorbitol)

  • Highly-processed, chemically-derived, zero-calorie sweeteners found in diet foods and diet products to reduce calories per serving
  • Can negatively impactmetabolism
  • Some have been linked to cancer, headaches, dizziness and hallucinations
Benzoate
Preservatives

(BHT, BHA, TBHQ)

  • Compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid
  • May result in hyperactivity, angiodema, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, tumors and urticaria
  • Can affect estrogen balance and levels
Brominated
Vegetable Oil

(BVO)

  • Chemical that boosts flavor in many citric-based fruit and soft drinks
  • Increases triglycerides and cholesterol
  • Can damage liver, testicles, thyroid, heart and kidneys
High Fructose Corn

(HFCS)

  • Cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar
  • Sustains freshness in baked goods
  • Blends easily in beverages to maintain sweetness
  • May predispose the body to turn fructose into fat
  • Increases risk for type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke andcancer
  • Isn’t easily metabolized by the liver
MSG

(Monosodium Glutamate)

  • Flavor enhancer in restaurant food, salad dressing, chips, frozen entrees, soups and more
  • May stimulate appetiteand cause headaches, nausea, weakness, wheezing, edema, change in heart rate, burning sensations and difficulty in breathing
Olestra
  • An indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked
  • Inhibits absorption of some nutrients
  • Linked to gastrointestinal disease, diarrhea, gas, cramps, bleeding and incontinence
Shortening,
Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils

(Palm, Soybean and others)

  • Industrially created fats used in more than 40,000 food products in the U.S.
  • Cheaper than most other oils
  • Contain high levels of trans fats, which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, contributing to risk ofheart disease
Sodium Nitrite and Nitrate
  • Preserves, colors and flavors cured meats and fish
  • Prevents botulism
  • Can combine with chemicals in stomach to form nitrosamine a carcinogen

  We are what we eat! So I make sure that the food my family consumes is healthy, safe, and made from natural wholesome ingredients. Our health is worth the extra effort it takes to cook our meals at home. Nothing tastes better then homemade because it is always made with love and thought. No restaurant or company will ever care as much as I do for my family. download

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One Year Blog Anniversary!

I’m Back! download

I think that it is only fitting that the day that I returned from my forced one month hiatus, because of my college courses, is also the day of my one year anniversary blogging. One year ago today I started this blog! I sat down and wrote! I pushed down the fear and I just let it all pour out! I I gave myself the permission to be honest, raw, and genuine. To not be afraid of what others thought about me or my writing. It flowed out! Memories, opinions, recipes, pictures and so much more! I told my story, sent it out into the world and it was not so scary! In fact I learned that people actually wanted to read what I had written. download

This year of blogging has been absolutely amazing for me. I have met so many other writers. Learned new things about other cultures and families. Have seen a window into other’s lives. In this year I have moved back to California from Michigan and started my path in school towards becoming a nurse. My daughter has grown and learned new skills. Our family is flourishing.

I thank all my wonderful readers for all of your encouraging comments. This month of not writing had been very hard for me! I found myself yearning to write. To express my feelings, observations, and desires. To not have the time to do this was very frustrating. Looking back to my pre-bloggin days I wonder how I survived.

How did I NOT write !

My blog is humble. I don’t advertise, I dont have all the niffty blogging tools. I just write!

In one year I have written 132 posts, that is roughly 2.5 posts a week

In one year I have had 64,457 visits to my blog 

This part makes me the happiest,

In one year of blogging I have had 1,099 comments, almost all of which were positive! thank-you-for-reading

I want to thank my readers! Your encouraging words and wonderful insights make writing such a joy!

School is now done for the semester, crossing my fingers I passed chemistry, because it was the hardest class I have ever taken ! I am overjoyed to have the time to write again, so expect lots of new posts, pictures, stories, and recipes! I cant wait to catch up on all of my favorite blogs and reader’s comments and emails.