What's really in our foods and...do you know;do you care?

I actually started this blog post on August 3, 2012 and I cannot believe it is over a year later when i am finally getting around to sharing it. Although maybe I can as I've noticed, and accepted lately, how I so often try to skirt around the hot topics that tend to cause controversy; god forbid I were to ruffle any feathers.  Well today I'm taking a stand and willing to let feathers fly because something has got to drastically change in our food system or I truly believe we are not only going to live shorter lives, but the time we do have on this planet will be heavy on sickness, unhappiness, brain fog, lack of motivation, depression and light on health, vitality, joy, excitement...you get my drift.

Do you know what's in the foods you're eating?  Scary fact is, sometimes the very thing we consider food is actually not food at all. According to Webster's dictionary, food is:  material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy.  Unfortunately so often is the case in our world today what we consider food is actually very far from this.   Below I have a few slideshows of common breakfast, snack and lunch foods showing the difference between labels and how you can take a stand by choosing the oatmeal, the cheese, the yogurt, etc. with less ingredients.  I don't believe it's coincidence that children today have higher incidences of autism, ADHD, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.   I am not saying parents are bad for feeding their kids these foods; many of the foods I took photos of I loved eating as a child, but I think it's time we start looking at the truth behind the foods we are eating and also realize how food directly impacts our health.  Food is supposed to nurture us; sustain us and feed us.  We live in a society that is so fast-paced and detached from what really matters that we've totally lost sight of how important food is in our lives; not just as a source of nutrients, but people have been coming together around dinner tables for eons to celebrate not only food, but life and those in it.

This post comes on the forefront of one of the hottest (not to mention most expensive) political bills in recent years - Initiative 522 - to label or not to label foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's).

Living in Washington I am seeing firsthand the onslaught of ads - vote yes - vote no - vote yes.  I don't watch tv very much (like I actually have bunny ears on my tv...did you know they still have such a thing??), but each time I turn it on these last few weeks, the commercials quickly fill the screen.  For me, I don't understand how or why anyone would vote no on this initiative; I mean unless there is some really whacked out hidden agenda somewhere deep within, doesn't it make sense that as citizens of this country we know what exactly is in our foods?  Don't you find it ironic that the companies shelling out BIG BUCKS in opposition of this bill are big-boy chemical, pesticide companies and - don't shoot the messenger - companies pretty much in the business of making junk food?  I'm not saying junk food in and of itself is evil; lord knows I had my fair share growing up and I still indulge at times in foods I consider junk, but I am saying that we, as consumers and as a nation and as a community have the right to know what exactly we are putting into our mouths.

Together these powerhouse corporations like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgroSciences and Bayer CropScience (notice a theme??  Since when did food and chemicals go hand-in-hand?)  have joined forces and spent nearly $17 MILLION  I find it ironic that these companies are literally shelling out millions of dollars just to keep its consumers from knowing what really is in their products.  Transparency?  I think not. What I think these companies are afraid of is what consumers will do in Washington when they realize that 90% of the products sold in grocery stores is genetically modified.   Would you rather be on the side of the bill supported by these companies or on the side that is supported by companies dedicated to environmental practices, healthy living and honest foods like Whole Foods, Patagonia Dr. Bronner's - even Chipolte supports this bill!  Here we are supposed to be one of the leading countries in the world and yet 60 countries are ahead of us in labeling (and some even banning) GMO's in food.

When are we, as a nation, going to stand up for ourselves and realize that we don't have to be little puppets on a string to our government?  We can take a stand by choosing what we spend our money on and we can take a stand by voting.  There are food companies out there that are still making a profit and having a viable business while offering a legitimate and healthy food.  I understand that there is so much more to the problems facing our country regarding the food and healthcare systems and that for many people these processed, GMO-latent, 'foods' are their only choice.  Yet I hope that by taking actions like labeling GMO's in foods, conversations like this will become more commonplace causing people to stand up in support of health and real foods.

If you live in Washington I urge you to get out and vote today and make your voice heard and no matter where you live I invite you to take a look at all the labels in your house; do you know what's in the food you're eating and do you care?

In peace, love and delicious living,

Jamie

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Common Breakfast foods...

Common Snack Foods...