Reflections on the Myth of Moderation

by brenda on January 24, 2011

Saturday morning I woke up early to write The Myth of Moderation Part 3: Processed and Chemical Ingredients. The idea has been in my mind for a while now, but I knew it would take a few hours to research and prepare.

At first, as I was researching and highlighting chemical ingredients, I was excited. I felt like an investigative reporter (my husband said I should be one ;)) and I enjoyed finding and exposing facts that most people aren’t aware of. As the post went on, I started feeling sad. Most people have no clue how much of the “food” they eat really isn’t food. Most people, people I love, my friends, my family–they’re eating this stuff.

They’re eating Trisodium Phosphate, which isn’t allowed to be used in laundry and dishwashing detergents anymore because of the damage it was doing to the large bodies of water it was ending up in. They’re eating it in their Cheerios and other processed foods.

They’re eating Calcium Propanoate, which causes Autistic symptoms and ADD in rats. They’re eating Carrageenan, which isn’t allowed in infant formulas anymore because it’s been proven to cause ulcers and digestive cancers. They’re eating Propylene Glycol (antifreeze!). I could go on and on and on….

They’re eating this stuff and they have no clue. Or, they’re eating this stuff and they just don’t care.

I write on this website because I care. I write these posts to encourage all of you to look at the labels and to know what you’re eating. Your health depends on it. What you eat matters.

I worry about the rise in the number of coupon-shoppers in recent times. (Note that I used to be one, so I’ve been there, done that). You can’t buy organic, farm-fresh produce or grass fed meat with a coupon (if you can, show me where to get these coupons!). 10 years ago I wrote a report (I was in college) and learned that low income citizens in our country statistically had more health problems. Also, low-income people tended to eat more of the packaged food and were not eating real foods. I wonder how the rise in couponing has changed this statistic? It’s not just low-income people using coupons and buying junk packaged foods these days–it’s become a “game” to many people who actually can afford good food….Do they realize what they’re doing to their health?

Look at the red in The Myth of Moderation Part 3 again. Everything in red is a chemical or man-made or extremely processed. Everything. Every time you see “vitamins” listed on a package in the ingredients, it’s because in the processing, they stripped out the original vitamins and the food is now nutritionally void–and so they add in chemical “vitamins.” Not true vitamins. Chemical vitamins with known side effects. Chemical vitamins that end up in studies years down the road, showing that “wow, it really wasn’t safe for millions of people to be eating this…”

The only way around this? Avoid the packaged stuff. Eat real food.ย Eat foods that you could produce yourself if you were producing food yourself. Note that I’m fine with people buying food–just make sure you’re buying food that you could grow and prepare if you had the time and resources. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be growing Propylene Glycol and adding it into your food, for example. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eat real food. That’s all. ๐Ÿ™‚


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sarah in the woods January 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm

So well said! I appreciate your research and recipes.


Krysti January 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Hi Brenda,

Just a few comments about your post. As far as the low income people – when I was a kid they didn’t give out food stamps for people to choose – they gave out the actual food – beans, rice, peanut butter etc. Our family recieved it for awhile when we were struggling. I have thought since then that they should go back to that method for those who needed help. I often see those with food stamps making terrible food choices.

It is hard to get completely whole foods like you are talking about on a budget. We did pretty well with 5 kids and a small budget but I found that buying packaged food was more expensive than making things from scratch. So from scratch was how I mostly did it.

I agree with you that there is way to many chemicals and additives in our food, however to be completely forthcoming and truthful it would be necessary to not only list the ingredients, but to also list the amounts that are present. My understanding is that the further down the list you go, the lesser amounts are present ( bad grammar sorry). So some of the things would be trace amounts. And if you break it down into each serving it would be and even smaller amount for each individual serving. Absolutely, NO amount would be better, but it probably isn’t as bad as all the red on the page makes it look. Just a thought.

We can only hope that people are becoming more aware of the problem because if the consumer makes better choices then the food companies will have to adjust to continue to have business. In fact it seems like there is changes (at least in Oregon) that are slowly coming as people choose to eat healthier. Now if people will start to be concerned about healthier TV, video, video game habits etc. we can be a healthier society all around!

Really enjoyed visiting with your family last night – thanks for coming. And good job on your sewing – keep working at it and it will come easier and faster!


Julie February 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Great post! I just finished reading “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver — very eye opening and goes right along with what you’re saying!


Trina February 10, 2011 at 7:39 am

This post is excellent – I have been looking for a winsome, gentle way to share my heart on nutrition with my family and friends as well. This post will be serve as guide to me when I get around to that post on my blog.


Alicia March 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

So very, very true! Well written post! I also used to be a big couponer….but no more! Thank you!


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