If you read my “About Me” section, you will see how I got into this wonderful food mess, er, adventure I am in. After my tip on reading labels, I got to thinking about how complicated everything quickly becomes when you get serious about eating and living healthier.
And that’s the problem, isn’t it? We all get far too serious about things and forget to enjoy life. Myself included! I love researching and learning how to cook yummy, nutritious food, make things from scratch, and save money. But the more I look into things, the easier it is to worry. There are some times I wish I did not know what I do!
After I began reading labels, I started to realize that there are not many things in the store without at least one, if not more, ingredients most people wouldn’t recognize. And, even if you do recognize them, you have no way of knowing how they were produced and if the label really contains all the information you need to make a wise decision. Animal products and by products are the worst.
Did you know…
So you see, when it comes to animals and any animal by-products – things like milk and cheese – we can’t just look at the label to see what ingredients have been added. If we are what we eat, then we are what they eat, too. And most packaging labels will not clearly and honestly state what those animals ate or how they were treated while they were alive. In order to make any informed decision, we need all the facts. And in this case, the only way we could ever know for sure what we were buying would be if we visited the farmer or manufacturer himself and asked him questions.
Whew. If you’re still with me, and you’re thinking this all sounds like an impossible task, I hear you. Even if you have the time to investigate your food sources, you don’t have the money to buy everything organically. I know I don’t. I know it sounds cliché, but we can really only do our best, and let God do the rest. The idea is to limit our exposure to toxins and shady man-made chemicals. There’s really no way to completely avoid all of them, and we don’t have to. Our bodies were made to filter them out. We just need to be aware of what we are eating so we can make healthier choices.
That being said, it was hard when I realized how my food is being produced. Suddenly, I didn’t want to keep eating the same things! So here’s what I do: I prioritize my shopping. That means I spend extra on the products that concern me most – like beef and chicken – and less on others. I focus on saving money in other areas too, by buying in bulk and making things from scratch, so that I have more money for healthier food. It’s also good to remember that buying healthier food is kind of like purchasing insurance, because it keeps you from getting sick as often and spending even more money on healthcare in the long run.
When it comes to beef, I try to buy in bulk from a local farmer who feeds his cows a more natural diet, because it’s cheaper than ordering online or buying from Whole Foods. I buy whole organic chickens on sale at Kroger when we can afford them; if not, I try to buy the ones that have been fed a more natural diet. Same with eggs. We purchase milk produced by grass fed cows from a local dairy, but can’t afford better cheese or butter yet.
If you live in the middle TN area, feel free to message me for specific details on where I buy my food. As always, remember to do your own research. I am not an expert by any means – just a concerned writer who enjoys sharing what she learns. However, if you are looking for a good starting place to learn more about how meat is produced in America, I highly recommend Food Inc. You can rent it for $2.99 on Amazon.com, or watch it for free if you have Netflix instant watch.
Just…don’t watch it while you are eating. Unless you want to torture yourself. :)
What Do We Feed to Food-Production Animals?
They Eat What? The Reality of Food at Animal Factories
Human Health and Industrial Farming
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