I "sort" of pay attention to food labels and I've done a decent job of avoiding certain things. I'm a hypocrite when it comes to high fructose corn syrup though. I won't buy soandso that has it in it, but continue to drink Dr. Pepper on a mostly daily basis. :rolleyes
We all love it. We all need it. But, is all of what we're eating really "food"?
Lately, I've done a lot of reading online on various blogs and such about Real Food - Whole Food - the kind of food my mother and grandmother cooked for years which was real ingredients. It has really opened my eyes to some things that so often we all take for granted. I was in the grocery section of Walmart picking up some school supplies recently. We don't have the big Supercenter Walmart here, but instead just regular stores with some groceries. I kept thinking NONE or almost none of this stuff is food in the true sense of the word! It's no wonder that our country is so unhealthy and out of shape with various sicknesses in addition to disorders and allergies and you name it. I have come to believe that you can truly blame it all on the crap we've put into our bodies in the last fifty years all for the sake of convenience.
One thing I read and have seen stated multiple times is that if it says, "Healthy. Low-fat. Low calorie. No fat." or any other "health" claim, you should avoid it because it's likely full of all sorts of evils that are only going to harm you in some form or fashion. We've been so brainwashed in our society to jump on the latest band wagon of what some scientist or doctor claims is good for us that we have been at a loss as to what to believe. How sad it that? It's so sad that we've ignored real food.
Thankfully, I have had the blessing of staying at home over the last decade and a half. That makes it easy for me to cook our own meals, though I don't always do it. I'll admit that just last night, I picked up a pizza on our way home because I hadn't taken the time to pre-plan the night's meal. We left right after the school bus dropped Son2 off, drove an hour to get to a Cross Country Meet, spent thirty minutes there, then drove the hour back home. Dinner was an after thought. But, most of the time when I cook at home, I know exactly what is going into our foods. That doesn't mean it has always been the best choices. Oh, sure, I can still claim that my children have never had Hamburger Helper meals. But, I'd be misleading if I didn't admit they've had their share of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese out of the box, or soups from mixes in addition to soups from scratch. And snacks.... well, they've had both in that spectrum too. Store bought peanut butter and crackers right alongside fresh apples from the local stand.
I haven't done an about face just yet and probably won't become a full fledged Whole Foodie. But this past week, I've turned a few degrees in the right direction. I have really paid attention to what is in our pantry and fridge from those times I slid or just wasn't paying attention or was just buying it because we've bought it in the past and liked it or "thought" it was good for us. (Granola bars, cereals, snacks, etc.) Those times when I was brainwashed. I have thrown some stuff out, but my frugal self has a hard time throwing away some thing that is unopened and brand new. I think I need to read those ingredients again! My plan for now is to pay more attention to ingredients in the store before I bring the item home. Ideally, five ingredients or less and all that you can read/pronounce, no additives or dyes or "chemicals". I also would like to do a little more meal planning, putting more thought into just what we're going to eat and how it is going to help us rather than hurt us.
School lunches are going to need a bit of tweaking. If I'm going to really be true to my new found knowledge, I can't continue to buy our favorite "wheat" bread because it really isn't wheat bread. I made my own wheat bread this week though! But I think the boys would snarl their noses at sandwiches with it. I tried Son2 on some toast this morning with it and it didn't go over very well. It tasted great, but it didn't taste like "normal" bread as toast. Patience and continued exposure may eventually pay off. ;)