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There is so much confusion with the enormous amount of food information out there. We hear the words fat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, allergy free, hormone-free, all associated with food. Free from what? Free from our food?

On top of that we work long hours and have no time to eat well. Convenience becomes the norm and we take easy options such as take out or microwave foods. Food product manufactures drive our food industry rather than nutrition research based on what a healthy human body is required to eat or what we use to eat in the pre industrialization of food. How can we know what to eat? And what not to eat?

We need to move away from this diet mindset: eating well is simple if you begin with how you value food: it’s is all about source and process.

4 ingredient ginger snaps

As a kid, I loved ginger nut bikies: 4 ingredient ginger snaps: photo links to recipe

 

8+ ingredients ginger snaps!!

8+ ingredients ginger snaps!!

When I was a kid I can remember a community program called Neighbourhood Watch who’s main message to kids was ‘Don’t take candy from strangers’. When you take candy from strangers there’s an assumption you owe them something, a bribe before kidnapping you! I think as an adult, we still need to be wary of taking candy from strangers: buying food from strangers.

But it’s harder to buy food from those you know than you think. We’d all be much healthier and happier if we try to find out the source and the processing of our food:

The problem:

Sourcing

  • We all live in cities – farms are further away than a simple walk down the road to meet our farmer
  • The USFDA runs a ‘know your farmer campaign’ (http://grist.org/article/2009-09-16-quick-thoughts-on-the-usdas-know-your-farmer-program/), which is all we need in the city right? Well it’s great in that it’s encouraging local and regional food systems, but not great in that the farmers involved have to apply for available funds, most of which are already grabbed by ‘program crops’ – corn, soy, cotton and rice – the most profitable crops will reign no matter what. They’re not only the main ingredients in all our food, the most over produced, over chemically added too and under (especially soil-wise) nutritious.
  • Big organic has now replaced big conventional farming as the biggest producers of our food (in fact loads of big organic is big conventional, just rebranded and following government requirements. They’re also the biggest producers of waste but that’s all for another article!) When you’ve big business, you’ve big advertising budgets, which means a more top of mind message and we see it as how we’re meant to eat. But again is that message what your body really needs? Are you the same as your neighbor with the same likes and dislikes, needs and health requirements? Oh and it also doesn’t mean you know them any better than your inability to walk to their farm for a meet and greet.

copy-cropped-farmness-1920x47011.jpg

Processing

  • Marketing messages like ‘never heat treated’ promise great things, but also makes you realize that other products not mentioning the same message are heat treated and this is a bad thing? We need to know the process our food goes through. We have grain or grass fed beef and we need to make sure we’re buying food that has eaten as it was meant to: grains are a health food for know one and like in humans, fatten animals fast for sale and weight that’s worth more. Did you know that lamb is actually our smartest meat: they won’t eat grain. Oh, and chickens are not meant to be vegetarians: wandering outside in the sunshine and eating grass and bugs is how they thrive and how we get the most from their products.
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Real Food Cherry Ripe. Picture links to recipe

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Looks like cherries?

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The solution:

Don’t buy food from strangers. When you buy food from strangers you can’t know what’s in your food. Ideally we’d all cook from the best and freshest ingredients and then food would taste like what it is – extraordinary – but we’ve prioritized other things over eating and it’s going to take baby steps to get back. One step back would be ensuring your know the source and process of your food. Then choose foods that aren’t processed or packaged: knowing what’s in your food shouldn’t involve having to be a food biochemist; choose foods with less than 5 ingredients. And finally know how food makes you feel: stop to eat and digest and salivating the thought of your meal to get digestive juices pumping; eliminate grey area foods – like grains, sugars and dairy – before slowly adding them back in and seeing how you feel. I use the SOLE anagram to make decisions about food I choose to buy:

  • Seasonal: what’s in season has the most nutrition. Ripe foods taste smell and look better. Have you ever smelt the very best mangoes and just known they were ripe and ready and worth every cent? And ripeness is the best sign of seasonality: bananas thrive in summer; starches in winter. And so do our bodies when we eat them when they’re ripe. A lot of the tomatoes we have year round are not real tomatoes: they’re just water filled reddish sacks masquerading as tomato like!
  • Organic: eat organic where possible or even better, more than organic. In permaculture, the problem is the solution, waste is the next product and local, better than organic might meet all the organic standards being untreated with chemicals or hormones, but instead treated it’s also with love and travels less and so is fresher and full of the nutrients. There’s no hormones or chemicals because it doesn’t need them.
  • Local: I love our local café’s by-line: “Buy local. Live social”. We should all support our local: food as close to it’s growing source has the most nutritious value, the most life and ripeness and nutritious value as possible.
  • Processed food is dead and costs our body to digest and use anything from it; fresh food is alive and our body relishes that.
  • Ethical: make your own food rules. Michael Pollan has a great book about broad food rules we should all adhere to. Then ideally we’d listen to our own body and how its needs change: what you like and enjoy at the forefront. It’s time to get over deprivation or listening to others with a one size fits all approach or tick or nutrient advice who’ve never met you. You know your body better than anyone and spend more time with you too! Convenience isn’t really when you’re tummy is upset all the time or you can’t be more than two min from a bathroom.

 

Ideally we’d all cook our own with the freshest and best ingredients. But life has a way of getting in the way of even the most noble of intentions and wants so know where your food comes from or even grow your own. Have some meal go tos by stocking their fresh ingredients in a colorful and creative way in your fridge for nightly inspiration.

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make your own ‘snickers’-like bars – funny faking a candy! Photo links to recipe

snickersnutrition

that’s a lot of (weird) ingredients

 

EXTRA INFORMATION

Here’s some definitions of sourcing and processing, things that happen when industry takes over and examples of foods to avoid due to poor source or high processing.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Sourcing is where a food or ingredients originate from, affecting the quality and nutrition of the food. The health of the soil is most fundamental: how it’s farmed, what chemicals are used to fertilize it, treat it, weed it or enhance it. The same goes for the health of plants, the seeds of plants maybe of GM origin, the chemicals are they fed to enhance their growth. The health of animals can’t be forgotten: what they are fed, the conditions they reside in, chemicals that are used to aid growth, and disease management. If we are looking at the source of ingredients, is it synthetic or natural? And then what processes has it undergone?

 

Processing falls into two categories: industrial and traditional. Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical (eg additives) or mechanical (eg homogenization) steps to aid in the manufacture of product, usually carried out on a very large scale to feed larger populations or to create a higher profit margin.

 

Problems with industrial processing of foods

  • Destroys nutrients in food
  • Artificial additives are used
  • Difficult to digest as valuable enzymes and nutrients are destroyed therefore very little nutrients are absorbed or sensitivities are created.
  • Cheapest ingredients used to make a cheaper product with a higher profit margin for manufactured
  • Fast processing methods means corners are cut affecting the quality of food.
  • Creates adverse ingredients: oxysterols http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9788246 advanced glycation end products
  • It is an industry that depends on other processed foods. Eg sugar, white flour, processed and hydrogenated oils, synthetic supplements, colours, flavours, preservatives, and other artificial additives, refined salt and genetically modified organisms.

 

Traditional processing methods are the ways we have always been processing our foods for more digestibility, storage in plenty, for times without refrigeration and for more healthfulness.

 

Benefits of traditional processing of foods:

  • More digestible – live enzymes not destroyed. Allow nutrients to be easily digested and assimilated
  • Preserve foods in a way that keep nutrients in tact
  • Higher nutrient value or nutrient dense food
  • Healthier for human consumption
  • Made with love, care and respect for where the ingredients came from (soils, water, climate, animals, plants) and the health of the farmer/gardener and manufacturer that was involved
  • An example of traditional processing methods: bread: sourdough or sprouted bread vs chemically leavened with bicarb or baking powder Even if the source is organic or wholemeal/wholegrain the processing methods effects the nutrient density and ability to be easily digested.

 

 

EXAMPLES

 

Foods & fluids to avoid due to poor source or high processing

 

Industrial oils or fats and heated oils.

These may be also called partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated, chemically extracted or expeller pressed vegetables oils such as sunflower, safflower, canola, soybean, corn and cottonseed oil. They can be found in packaged food: cakes, biscuits and other premade pastries (unless they are made with butter), cereals, mueslis plus more. Other examples: Soy lecithin used as an emulsifier. Fats from animal meats or dairy or vegetables fats cooked at over 120 Celsius can also be altered and no the best. Fore more information request for my notes on trans fats.

 

Margarine

Because it undergoes the same process as above whether the ingredients are from a good source such as olive oil makes no difference. Margarine has artificial fat soluble vitamins in it and other additives. Butter is always better because it is natural. Typical ingredients of margarine: vegetable oils 65% (containing 52% canola & sunflower oil), water, salt, milk solids, <1% (emulsifiers (soy lecithin, 471), preservative (202), food acid (lactic), natural colour (beta-carotene), vitamins A & D, flavour

 

All diet products or products with artificial sweeteners

Eg NutraSweet, Equal, Diet yoghurt, diet soft drinks. They are known carcinogens. These are usually high in sugar to compensate the low fat. Fat tastes nice so sugar is added for taste. Excess sugar eventually turns into fat.

 

Juices:

Either have a shelf life (that is sit on shelf without refrigeration before opening)

Or found in fridge (called fresh juices with or without preservatives)

Or are freshly made (home or Juice takeaway chains).

The ones with a shelf life are essentially lolly waters – that is they are either artificially flavored or colored with a preservative and/or be made with a fruit concentrate and water and/ or they have been pasteurized or heated and the enzymes and nutrients have been   destroyed leaving sugar and water behind.

The ones in the fridge maybe the same as above but sold from the fridge to appear fresher. If there are no additives they are still usually pasteurized to give them a longer fridge life but cannot be left on the shelf un opened as they would go off.

Fresh juices if bought from a Juice takeaway chain maybe made with a base of fruit concentrate which is a shelf life juice and fresh fruit added (check this out next time you buy a          fresh juice). Fresh home juice is best with the pulp (fibre – that slows down carbohydrate breakdown) added back in and diluted with water. You would never consume 5 carrots in one hit and you need the fibre that is usually pulped out.

 

Refined Table Salt.

Salt is required for normal metabolic functioning, mineral nutrition, water absorption and cellular

electrical communication. Highly refined common salt is cheap, industrial by-product. Many

industrial processes require salt. Naturally occurring minerals (Mag, Cal) in raw salt are treated as contaminants and are stripped out to produce highly refined salt (sodium and chloride) for industry. For food purposes it is bleached and an anti caking agent is added. Excess refined salt builds up as deposits that harden arteries. Natural Australian sea salt is best though there are some good French and Celtic ones as well. All salt found in packaged foods is refined unless stated otherwise.

 

SUGAR and other simple carbohydrate eg fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, glucose

Found in packaged foods: cereals, biscuits, sauces, jams, condiments, junk food,         chocolates, breads etc. Sugar is extremely ageing and required many minerals to breakdown in the body hence making you mineral deficient. It turns into fat, leads to diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity, infertility, Candida, fatigue to name a few modern diseases.

Note: One of the worst modern sweeteners that are being used today is High Fructose Corn Syrups. Often touted as an ingredient better than sugar as they cheaper, easy to blend in food products and have a longer shelf life. However studies have shown in mice that fructose increases obesity stimulates the liver to produce triglycerides and induces and may result in diabetes. Companies that use it in their products, label their products as “natural” but the corn undergoes such heavy processing that the by products -HFCS is far from natural. Check out this ingredient, not only in your supermarket food products but also in your natural health food products.

 

Sweeteners – natural and synthetic.

They’re food additives, which replace sugar in foods. Found in soft drinks, gum, and yoghurt or any food, which normally has added sugar. They cost a lot less than sugar in manufactured foods. They offer the sweetness without the detrimental effects of sugar and promoted as being healthy substitutes for diabetes, obese patients and even tooth friendly. But because they are synthetic their effects in the body are controversial with claims that they are carcinogenic. Eg: glycerine, sorbitol, aspartame, fructose, syrups, malt extracts, molasses, potato fibre, starch, and any corn based ingredient

 

Flour and it’s products.

Flour is milled from grains such as wheat, spelt, rice. Concerns: what type of grain, whether it is

genetically modified or a hybrid like wheat? When was it milled (just like juicing when you mill a grain you start to lose it’s nutritionally quality as the whole is exposed more to oxygen). How old is the flour? What about the phytic acids (read more under document food preparation)?

 

White cakes, white breads, white pasta.

Usually they have been stripped of the whole meal fibre which contains Vitamins B and minerals.

 

Supermarket Whole meal or white bread is mostly processed now too.

Typical ingredients in industrially processed bread: Made from Grain, Legume (soy), Starch

(potato or maize) or Nut flour, Water, Baker’s Yeast, Gluten, Sugar, Vinegar, Mixed Spice,           Canola Oil, Refined Salt, Emulsifiers (481, 472e), Vitamin (B1). Neutralizes phytic acids and only simple unprocessed ingredients.

 

Gluten free products that come out of a packet:

The gluten free industry is a health food industry gone mad. They have replaced gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats) with gluten free grains or vegetables such as potatoes, corn (grain), soybean and rice. Avoid these as they are so rich in sugar and devoid of any nutrition because of high processing that they may exacerbate the original problem of choosing gluten free. Better to choose whole grains that are gluten free such as amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa best and in there unprocessed forms. Read my 3 blogs on gluten found on my website http://www.ovvioorganics.com.au/blog

 

Cereals

All cereals whether organic or not are highly processed. They are made from grains: wheat, rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth, rye & spelt. An extrusion – slurry of the grains is made and put through a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. For cereal the shape is sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to keep it crunchy and for pasta left to dry. Puffing – grain pops at high temps. Other concerns are the ingredients: gluten, additives, sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, synthetic supplements and full of phytic acids which inhibit mineral absorption and whether the grains are GM.                   Wholegrain is best and prepared in away that is digestible, as Bircher style soaked in yoghurt or made in to a porridge by soaking and cooking the next day is best. Basically if you can plant it and it turns into a plant it is considered a wholegrain. Flaked grains are secondary to this but are okay too as they are the wholegrain rolled out to flatten into a flake.

Typical ingredient listing for cereals: Cereal (69%) (wholegrains (52%) (wheat, oats, wheat flour), corn, puffed wheat, wheat brand, rice), sugar, macadamia nuts 6%, corn maltodextrin, honey (2%), minerals (calcium phosphate, iron), vegetable oils (sunola, palm contains anti oxidant 319), salt, maize starch, barley malt extract, emulsifiers (472a, 471), vitamins niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin (derived from soy), flavours

Or: cereals (62%0 (rice, wheat), wheat gluten, sugar, wheat flour, minerals (calcium carbonate, iron, zinc oxide), salt, barley malt extract, vitamins (niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, folate)

Request for more detailed information about cereals.

 

Caffeine:

excessive amounts as found in chocolate, coffee, cola drinks or other energy drinks or

alcoholic drinks, black or green teas (not herbal teas unless they are blends which contain black or green tea)

 

 

Soft drinks, cordials and flavoured waters, vitamin waters.

Their base is usually sweetener and artificial additives. Devoid of any nutrients.

Typical ingredient Sports drink: Water, glucose, maltodextrin, citric acid, acidity regulators (E331, E332), stabilisers (acacia gum, E445), antioxidant (ascorbic acid), flavourings, sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame-K), colour (E160a). Contains a source of phenylalanine

 

Condiments, Spreads, Sauces, Jams, Dressings

Devoid of any nutrients. Their base is usually sweetener and artificial additives. Pasteurised or UHT milk/cream or yoghurt is used. Lots of refined salts and other artificial additives such as MSG for flavour. Home made ones are best and easy!

Typical ingredients of common types:

Vegemite – yeast extract from yeast grown on barley, salt, mineral salt (508), malt extract (from barley), colour (150c), flavours, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folate

Ayam oyster sauce – water, sugar (25%), salt, oyster extract (8%), thickener (1422), rice flour, oyster flavour, caramel (150d), food acid (260), yeast extract, food acid (270), vegetable gum (415) Vegetable oil, Water, pasteurised egg and & yolk, Spirit vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, Mustard flavouring, antioxidant, paprika extract

 

Dried herbs and spices

Devoid of any nutrients. Often irradiated if they are overseas ones and full of chemicals from growing. Organic and local herbs and spices are best whether fresh or dried.

 

Soy products:

Eg: soy lecithin, soy fibre, soy flour, soybean oil, soy milk, soy yoghurt, soy cheese, soy sauces, tofu, tempeh and miso. Problems: most soy grown is GM. Soy milk has been used as a replacement for real milk but it is highly processed and unnatural. Why we should not consume it? Some of the reasons: High levels of phytic acid. Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion. Soy phytoestrogens disrupt hormone balance. Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing. For more info ask me.

 

Chemically smoked meats and cheeses.

Look out for the nitrates which are known carcinogens. Naturally smoked is fine

 

Enriched or fortified foods and fluids.

This is food/fluid which has been stripped of goodness to increase shelf life or prevent food from going off then fortified or enriched with synthetic vitamins. A typical example: Frostie’s Cereal: Corn, sugar, barley malt extract, salt, vitamins (vit e, c, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate) minerals (zinc, iron)

 

Genetically modified or genetically engineered food/fluids.

Genes and DNA (the blueprint of living things) are manipulated. Unlike traditional breeding

processes, GE takes genes from one life form and crosses them with those of another. Genes from bacteria, viruses, plants, animals have been inserted into soybeans, canola, corn and cotton to grow experimental crops http://www.truefood.org.au/OurRightToKnow/ also watch a DVD called the Future of FOOD http://www.thefutureoffood.com/synopsis.htm

 

Irradiated food.

A process by which food is treated with high energy ionizing radiation in the form of gamma rays from radioactive cobalt 60, x-rays or electron beams? It is used for the purpose of eliminating bacteria found in food. This extends their shelf life and kills invasive pests. www.foodirradiationinfo.org

 

Dried fruits

The problem is that you would never eat that amount of fruit in one sitting so the excess sugar turns into fat. Rehydrate them in water for a couple of hours before eating them or using in recipes. This will plump them up and rehydrate them. Avoid ones with sulphites as a preservative because that causes diarrhoea.

 

Pasteurised Foods and Fluids

The process of heating food for the purpose of killing harmful organisms such as bacteria, viruses,

protozoa, molds, and yeasts. Problem: destroy all enzymes and nutrients difficult to digest as a result too. Eg Juices, jams, soups, milks or milk products. An exampel of a mayonnaise that contains pasteuirsed ingredients: Vegetable oil, Water, pasteurised egg and & yolk, Spirit vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, Mustard flavouring, antioxidant, paprika extract

 

Canned food:

From a public safety point of view, foods with low acidity (a pH more than 4.6) need sterilization under high temperature (116-130°C). To achieve temperatures above the boiling point requires the use of a pressure canner. Foods that must be pressure canned include most vegetables, meats, seafood, poultry, and dairy products. The only foods that may be safely canned in an ordinary boiling water bath are highly acidic ones with a pH below 4.6, such as fruits, pickled vegetables, or other foods to which acidic additives have been added.

This destroys the nutrition in food. And what about the plastic lining in the can – full of BPA – Bisphenol A which is an oestrogen mimicker.

 

Fruit and vegetables:

Modern agriculture strips soils of all good nutrients. Weedicides, pesticides and fertilisers used.

Genetically modified. Mass produced, picked unripe and stored for a very long time. Avoid

prepacked vegetables as chlorine (anti bacterial but is a toxin) and lots of water is wasted to keep the vegetables fresh in bags. Traditionally: biodynamically grown and in season. Eat fresh, raw, with skin as well as cooked vegetables. Avoid microwave, frozen, canned types.

 

  • Processing of dairy milk:

http://www.realmilkaustralia.com/

Milk is separated into fat, protein, other solids and liquids. And once separated milk is made into  lite, low fat etc. Low fat milks have milk powder in them to create a smoother consistency. It is then pasteurization and/or homogenization and then may be Ultra Heated for long shelf life. A lot of milk products have added sweetener or skin milk powder.

 

Homogenised

The aim is to prevent or delay the separation of cream from the rest of the emulsion. This is done by forcing the milk at high pressure through small orifices). This destroys valuable proteins and nutrients.

Is the MILK that you buy from the supermarket really MILK? The answer is no. This is why I recommend organic or biodynamic whole milk. I personally drink raw milk. Check out this website to see why. www.realmilkaustralia.com.au or www.realmilk.com

There is so much confusion between all the different milks from low fat, skim, omega 3 enriched, lite etc… It’s a junk food bevy of milk.

If it’s not milk than what is it? A modified man made product with water. To be exact an ingredient called Permeate. It is added to milk to raise the standards or quality of milk.

Why do I think they need to do this? Because it is cheaper to use a man made substance. Secondly, our cows that are farmed by regular farming methods (grain fed instead of pasture fed and highly medicated) are not healthy and therefore are not producing thick creamy, nutrient dense milk. Instead they are producing watery, thin, low nutrient milk and. Finally you can create a whole range of different products using permeate and other ingredients such as skim, low fat and diet milk.

My concerns? You are not getting what you paid for. Australian Dairy Farmers earn less now than they did 20 years ago. The milk you buy does not offer calcium and other vitamins and minerals required for human health. Milk intolerances are most likely due to the processing of milk rather than whole milk from a healthy cow. The health of the cow is not considered but the end product is.

Other commercial milk concerns: Where does it come from? Animal or legume (soy) or nut or grain. Enriched with synthetic supplements. How are our animals reared? Commercial feed is grain, soy, bakery waste rather than grass or hay. Health of animal. Unhealthy cows create watery low fat milk with little nutrients. Traditional milk is made from an animal that is raised by biodynamic or organic means, is  raw , unpasteurized or pasteurised to low temperatures, unhomogenised and full cream or whole fat. All nutrients such as fat soluble vitamin A, D, K2, Calcium, Magnesium, fats, proteins and enzymes are in tact for easy digestion and absorption.

 

Problem with Processed dried milk powder or products contain it.

Forms oxidized cholesterol which contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. Plus destroys pretty much all nutrients by over heating and you are left with simple sugars. Milk powder is found in chocolate, yoghurts, candy and protein powders.

 

http://www.realmilkaustralia.com/Barambah Milk is what I recommend as it is organic and because it is pasteurised but not as high so nutrients are kept in tact. It is delicious!

 

Processed Milk Dairy Products: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Milkproducts.svg

 

Yoghurt: Lite, fat free, sugar free. So many varieties. Check out the ingredients as most have so many artificial additives and made from processed dairy such as milk powder. Yoghurt ideally is plain with real milk and natural cultures or probitoics set in the tub or container. Add your own fruit for flavour or spices such as vanilla or cinnamon and natural sweetness from fruit, Steevia or very little honey. Typical ingredients of processed yoghurt: skim milk, water, cream, milk solids,

fruit (5%) strawberry puree, sugar, thickner (1422), gelatine, reconstituted elderberry juice, natural flavours, vegetable gums (410, 440) live yoghurt cultures.

 

Cheeses: Again they can highly processed and best to check out ingredients. Real cheese is made from real milk, some culture, animal rennet and unreined salt.

 

Butter: ingredients should only be cream, water and salt. Spreadable butter is actually made with vegetables oil of some kind and some butter so best avoid.

 

Ice creams and ice blocks

Their base is usually sweetener and artificial additives. Devoid of any nutrients. Pasteurised or UHT milk is used. Home made ice cream is best or one that has all natural organic ingredients with out any refined or artificial sweeteners and definitely no corn, soy or syrups of any kind.

 

UHT (Ultra heated Temperature or long life products)

Eg soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, cow’s milk and juices which are found in tetra packs. These are

heated at such high temperatures to ultimately destroy any goodness. The goodness that makes

it goes off.

 

Protein powders, meal replacements of protein bars

For the above reason but essentially they are dead food with added synthetic supplements and

additives, very dehydrating as they are a dried food, do nothing for the health of your digestive system or bowels. Highly Toxic foods and does not empower you to eat healthy foods or question where foods comes from. A toxic load on the environment by the processing methods used.

 

Muesli bars

Full of refined salt, sweetener, phytic acids, additives, hydrogenated oils. Unhealthy and fattening because of the sugar! Also they are very dehydrating.

 

Cakes, biscuits or sweet treats

For all of the above reasons but bake your own or look at ingredients carefully.

 

Imported non organic foods that are not in season eg American cherries

 

Meat:

Animal health and rearing of animals (medications, feed and way of life). Processing of meats: red dye, additives & preservative. Modern meat being eaten is lean, fat and bone removed.

Traditionally meat was cooked with bones and fats for better nutrient availability.

 

Canned fish: (FRESH IS ALWAYS BEST)

Apart from how the catch the fish, prepare the fish consider what additives are added to your tuna eg rancid oils, refined salts and flavour additives and preservatives.

Canned Tuna: As tuna are often caught great distances from where they are processed, poor quality control may lead to spoilage. Many tuna swim along dolphins, swimming alongside them the reason being that dolphin’s fend off sharks which feed on tuna. Fishing vessels can exploit this association by searching for pods of dolphins. They encircle the pod with nets to catch the tuna beneath entangling dolphins, thus injuring or killing them. According to Consumers Union, the resulting lack of accountability means claims that tuna is “Dolphin safe” should be given little credence. In addition they are cooked for up to 6 hours pre canning as          well as in the can. This kills off any goodness of the omega 3 oils. Also heavy metals found in tuna vary from mercury to arsenic.

Canned salmon concerns are the type of salmon wild (richer in nutrients) or farmed salmon, the type of feed to farmed salmon that is artificial colours to colour the flesh, parasites associated with farmed salmon, cooking methods of salmon

Canned sardines, pilchards or herrings concerns are the refined salts and rancid oils, cooking times.

 

Olive oil:

Choose cold pressed, extra virgin (which is the first press). Virgin means the oil was produced by the use of physical means and no chemical treatment. The term virgin oil referring to production is different from Virgin Oil on a retail label. Refined means that the oil has been chemically treated to neutralize strong tastes (characterized as defects) and neutralize the acid content (free fatty acids). Refined oil is commonly regarded as lower quality than virgin oil; the retail labels extra-virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil cannot contain any refined oil.

Pomace olive oil means oil extracted from the pomace using chemical solvents—mostly hexane—and by heat. Choose local, Australian oils over imported ones which are mostly rancid. Use it in low to medium temperatures and not for high or stir frying. Avoid spray can olive                  oil which is rancid, cheap oil.

Italian extra-virgin olive oil has become so lucrative that adulterated olive oil has become the biggest source of agricultural fraud problems in the European Union.

Some oil labelled “extra-virgin” is diluted with cheaper olive oils or other vegetable oils. In some cases, lampante, or “lamp oil,” which is made from spoiled olives fallen from trees, is used, even though it can’t legally be sold as food. One fraud ring is accused of colouring low-grade soy oil and canola oil with industrial chlorophyll, and flavouring it with beta-carotene.

 

Nuts & seeds:

Commercial types: Roasted, old, rancid (oxidised), refined salt and full of phytic acids. Traditional prep: Soak nuts and seeds salted water overnight. Then rinse the next day and put in to dry up in a low temp oven (temp is so low that you can still touch the tray). They will be crispy and delicious. Store in a jar and keep in a dark cool place or in the fridge if the weather is hot.

 

Chocolate:

Commercial preparations: soy lecithin or vegetables oils such as sunflower oil replace cocoa butter or milk powder, sugar and additives. Traditional & healthier methods: Cocoa powder (not heat treated to retain its antioxidants properties) and cocoa butter, evaporated cane sugar and vanilla. Dark chocolate is best as no milk powder. Eg Loving Earth brand is great!!

 

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