Dear U.S. Government,
Can you please make it illegal for companies to hide scary shit in our food so I don’t have to become a detective? Thank you.
I think this pretty much sums it up for most Americans who care about their health. We know we’re on our own if we want to navigate the healthy food spectrum. “Avoiding” seems to be the name of the game.
The grocery store becomes a virtual land mine for moms whose children have serious food allergies or issues. If you know that the ingredient “casein” is another name for dairy, then congratulations, you deserve a medal and a bottle of wine. It’s not enough that we are pushing a grocery cart full of screaming kids through the store, now we have to decode our purchases like we’re on a life-saving mission. It’s all become too much for this latte-sipping warrior mommy.
I don’t want to ingest toxins and food coloring that have been proven to cause cancer and I certainly don’t want to feed it to my kids. The harmful pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics in our food is alarming and scary and it’s overwhelming. How is this even allowed? Who’s looking out for us? Europe bans most chemicals that are legal here in the United States I don’t really want to move to Europe but I don’t want to feel like I’m on a covert operation every time I go grocery shopping either.
The toxic terrain of the produce section is the first anxiety-inducing area of this dubious domestic battlefield. I avoid “the dirty dozen” at all cost as if they’re part of some sort of Colombian drug cartel. I must find the USDA organic symbol quickly and move on before the children finish their cheddar bunnies and all hell breaks loose.
After I successfully navigate my way past the produce, I’m on to anything in a box, bottle or package to translate, analyze and decipher past the hydrogenated oils and artificial dyes so I can feel like I’m winning. I haven’t even reconciled the gluten-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free, non-GMO, grass-fed and free-range options yet It’s a miracle that I make it to the dairy section with the kids out of cheddar bunnies. Hold on to your celery sticks shoppers, my troops are restless and want to go home right now.
Just when I think my mission is complete, there appears to be new “invisible enemies” lurking in the market aisles. Carrageenan is hiding in my favorite almond milk creamer. Is nothing sacred?! This thickener is found to cause intestinal lesions and colon cancer; two things I’d like to start the morning without, thank you very much.
Ractopamine is another deadly opponent and a meat additive that has been banned in 160 countries, but not here. Not even China will allow it and Russia put a ban on U.S. meat because they wisely didn’t want to ingest it. This destructive chemical makes meat more muscular and bulky but has been proven harmful to humans’ cardiovascular system and causes birth defects, hyperactivity, stubborn weight gain, and results in reproductive and endocrine system problems. Avoiding carbs? Don’t bother, that ractopamine in your meat will help you keep the weight on like it does in pigs. Can’t a girl just get a drug-free crispy piece of bacon anymore?
The FDA, which really should stand for “Food Death Allowed”, should be protecting us against this slow poisoning that will then be treated with pharmaceuticals. While the U.S. government is cashing its checks from the drug and pesticide companies, we are caught in the middle of this silent edible warfare.
So what can you do? Educate yourself and buy organic when you can. Local farmer’s markets and food co-ops are also a great source for organic seasonal food. There may also be local farms in your area that sell grass fed meat. You can store different cuts of meat in your freezer to have on hand and at a better price when you buy in bulk.
Your health and well being are your responsibility. I know it can be costly and that really makes me mad. We should get a refund from the government for the extra cost of having to purchase organic food to avoid these toxins. It’s easier to pretend that this is all hype and isn’t causing a problem to our health. I get it. But you have to wake up and smell the fair-trade coffee. You’re the five-star general of your own family and your own body. You’ve got this.
So take your reusable shopping bags and kiddie troops and conquer that edible battlefield. I raise my Chai latte and salute you, warrior mommies everywhere!
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