We’ve all heard about how much better it is to eat clean, natural foods rather than processed, packaged, and refined options. And we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are the best kind of food to eat in order to avoid preservatives and artificial ingredients. But what most of us don’t realize is just how dirty much of our food actually becomes before we eat it! From transportation to production, the food source isn’t always as clean as we think it should be.
What do clean labels really mean
Clean labels are something that many people rely on to ensure their food source think is healthy and safe for consumption. However, some companies will use misleading terms such as natural or organic that might mislead a consumer.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a database of these label claims and their meanings so you can make the best choice for your family.
What should you be looking for on labels?
The first thing you should look for on a label is the country of origin. This will let you know where your food was grown and how much of the produce may have been shipped around the world before reaching your plate.
Next, check to see if any pesticides were used in the growing process. Organic foods are grown without pesticides and fertilizers, but any other fruits and vegetables that haven’t been specifically labeled can contain these chemicals.
Another thing to consider is whether or not artificial ingredients were used during processing. Foods that are chocolate flavored or natural flavoring could contain anything from high fructose corn syrup to artificial flavors and colors, so it’s important to read all food labels carefully before buying them.
If you’re not sure if your food source is GMO-free, there are a few ways to find out. First, look at the ingredients list on the package. If any of the ingredients are partially hydrogenated oils or corn syrup, then it’s likely that GMOs were used in production. Second, try looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified label on the packaging.
This label has strict standards to ensure that all products certified as non-GMO actually are non-GMO. Third, pay attention to where products come from and avoid anything imported from countries like China that have lax GMO regulation laws.
Making sure your meat is organic and ethically raised
There are many ways to make sure your meat is organic and ethically raised. The first way to do this is by buying meat that is labeled organic, which means the animal was fed organic food, had access to outdoor pasture, and wasn’t given any antibiotics or hormones.
Buying meat that has been raised in a sustainable manner such as pastured animals, also helps ensure the animal had a better quality of life while it was alive. Animals that are not raised sustainably often live in overcrowded areas with no access to outside grazing land and are fed grains instead of their natural diet of grasses.
One way to be sure if your food source is clean is by checking the labels on your produce when you buy it at the store.
Less packaging fewer chemicals
It’s true that we’re exposed to more chemicals and pollutants than ever before, but there are a few steps you can take to minimize exposure. The first is to avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols).
Also, opt for products without polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polycarbonate. And finally, make sure your food is fresh – frozen vegetables and fruits have more preservatives than canned or dried produce.
Don’t forget about drinks
It’s not just the food we eat, but also the drinks we drink, that have a lot of importance on our health. For example, many people turn to soda to quench their thirst and provide them with energy. This can be disastrous for your health because sodas are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients that can give you diabetes and obesity.
The same goes for other drinks like iced tea or sports drinks; they might not have sugar, but they do have a lot of unnecessary chemicals in them which might be worse than the sugar!
Baking items from scratch
Every time I make bread, I’m reminded of the time when I went to visit my grandmother in Mexico. She had recently stopped baking with wheat flour because she was afraid of the risks it posed for her diabetes and we had to get used to eating things like corn tortillas, beans, rice and homemade bread.
I remember the first loaf that she made from scratch- its aroma filling up our kitchen and its taste being so different than what we were used to. It was hard at first but soon we all got used to eating foods without additives or preservatives which is why now whenever I bake a loaf of bread, I think of how proud my grandma would be that she helped me learn how to make something delicious by scratch!
A few foods to always buy organic
When it comes to pesticides, you’re better off buying organic for many of your fruits and vegetables. It’s hard to track the pesticide residue in conventional produce because the US government doesn’t require testing. If you’re not sure what foods are safe to buy conventional, here are a few that are generally okay to buy non-organic:
-Onions -Avocados -Sweet corn (unless they’re being grown near a field that is being sprayed) -Pineapples (unless they’re being grown near a field that is being sprayed)
More places are starting to sell clean food items
More and more people are concerned about the source of their food. While some people don’t think it’s an issue, others want to know where it comes from and how it is processed. If you’re one of the people who has concerns, you may want to look into buying clean food items.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for foods that have been grown or raised cleanly:
Farmers should not use pesticides on their crops or animals, which could lead to traces of chemicals in the food
The animals should be free-range and fed with non-GMO feed
The vegetables should be organic, which means they are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides
Interesting News Around Clean Eating
An interesting news item that I read today was about a study of the bacteria on people’s hands. The study found that many participants had high levels of fecal bacteria on their hands, which can be transferred to food and cause diarrheal illness.
Another interesting finding was that some participants had pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) on their fingers, which is a dangerous foodborne microbe responsible for millions of cases of diarrhea each year. It is important to note that it is not just the dirt and grime on our hands that can make us sick; it’s also the microbes we carry around with us!https://inkfreenews.net/