~If there are only 4 digits in the number, then it is conventionally grown
~If there are 5 digits in the number, and the first number is 8 then it is genetically modified
~If there are 5 digits in the number, and the first number is 9, then it is organic
That's such great information! I wish I had that info years ago. Being an educated consumer is our first step to taking charge of our health.
Many of us are still transitioning, or just looking into the health benefits of raw, so we are still eating prepackaged foods. My first weapon against food additives is that if the list of ingredients seems too long, then I don't buy it.
My second weapon of defense is a book titled Food Additives: A Shoppers Guide To What's Safe and What's Not! by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. It's a small book, so it fits in your pocket book easily. I bought mine at my local natural food store just last night, but you can get it on Amazon for $7.95. It is a wonderful resource that I am so happy to have! I honestly want to buy one for everyone that I know.
So yes, I do buy some prepacked foods because my daughter is not 100% raw. She still eats stuff like Cheerios, Uncle Ben's rice, rice milk, etc. So I have been wondering, what's so bad with Uncle Ben's wild rice? Or whatever she happens to be eating for lunch that day.
The ingredient list for Uncle Ben's Wild Rice Original Recipe:
Long grain parboiled rice enriched with iron, thiamin, and folate; whole grain wild rice; vegetables; hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein; sugar; autolyzed yeast extract; salt; spices; smoked yeast; sunflower oil; natural flavors; tumeric
Most of these ingredients I pretty much understand, but just for the purposes of this experiment I looked up a few things. The first one was autolyzed yeast extract. According to the book, autolyzed yeast extract says "see MSG". So I looked up MSG, and this is what it said;
"causes obesity, addictive, makes you eat more, may cause diabetes, migraines, headaches, itching, nausea, brain, nervous system, reproductive disorders, high blood pressure, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer's, retina damage, blindness; pregnant, lactating mothers, infants, small children should avoid; allergic reactions common; generally produced using GMO bacteria; May be hidden in infant formula, baby food, low fat and no fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, kosher food, protein bars, protein powder, protein drinks recommended for seniors, most processed foods, wine, waxes applied to fresh fruits and vegetables, over the counter medications, especially children's, binders and fillers for nutritional supplement's, prescription and non prescription drugs, IV fluids given in hospitals, chicken pox vaccine, live virus vaccines, nasal spray flu vaccine, used in pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers; being sprayed on growing fruits and vegetables as a growth enhancer (AuxiGro); proposed for use on organic crops."
Okay, so I always knew that MSG was bad, but I didn't realise how much stuff is was in! Not only is it in Uncle Ben's rice but I can't believe that it was proposed to be used on organic crops!
So I looked up the hydrolyzed corn/soy/wheat protein; "may cause brain and nervous system damage in infants; high salt content; contains free glutamates; MSG; may be genetically modified." So I looked up free glutamates; "may cause brain damage, especially in children".
So that was enough to make me not buy the rice anymore. Should I go on to another food? I shall. As a snack, I bought her Pete's Tofu2Go, Thai Tango flavor. Made with organic tofu and no preservatives. Sounds good to me.
The tofu itself contains calcium sulfate, which isn't that bad, when you compare it to MSG. The book says, "may constipate; can kill rodents". I'm not really sure what "can kill rodents" means in relation to humans, but I know it can't be good, and constipation is never good.
But what really concerned me was the sauce packet, used for dipping the tofu. It tastes wonderful, but it has xanthan gum, which "may cause gastrointestinal distress; extracted from Xanthomonas campestris by solvent extraction which may leave a toxic residue; may contain allowable amounts of lead, arsenic, and heavy metals; may be GMO". So if the amounts of metals are "allowable", how much do you need to eat of this product, and other products with xantham gum before it becomes unallowable???
So what can we do? A raw food diet is the most effective way to reduce and almost completely wipe out these foods from our lives. If you are not at that point, or you have children, like mine, who are not 100% raw, then my best advice is pay attention. Read the labels and become familiar with these additives so that you know what to look for. Decide where you will draw the line. For example, I may buy the Pete's Tofu2Go again, but I won't allow my daughter to use the sauce packet (she loves it just the same without the sauce). When I told her about the additives, she was completely interested in wiping these out of her diet as well. It's a great educational tool.
We don't have a lot of processed foods in our house to experiment with, but I would love to take this book to a friend's house, or someone else's and go through their cabinets! Or I could even go to the super market and look at the stuff I used to eat. I urge you to pick up this book. I only touched the surface of the information it contains.
In fact, I have an idea. So many people are doing giveaways lately, and I did say I wanted to buy this book for everyone I know. I can't get one for everyone, but I can get one for one person. So, everyone that wants a copy, just comment below and say so, and I will pull a name from a bowl and send you a copy. I would love to send you a copy! Today is Valentine's Day, and I love you ALL, so this will be my gift to you. I will wait about 5 days; on Feb. 18th at 11:59pm, I will pull a name and the winner will win the book Food Additives: A Shoppers Guide To What's Safe and What's Not! by Christine Hoza Farlow, D.C. Good Luck!
In the meantime, if you have an ingredient in your food that you really want to know about, just send me an email and I can look it up for you.