Real food, is that too much to ask? Robyn O’Brien at TEDx Austin talks about our food system and its consequences
Who are you calling healthy?! So-called health food companies that are actually owned by unhealthy big businesses
As I read the above article I was eating a Kashi granola bar. I purchased this brand because I recognized it and associate it with health conscious living. An examination of the ingredients doesn’t reveal anything too nefarious looking, but GMO’s are not identified on labels. GMO stands for genetically modified organism, the linked TEDx talk provides a very comprehensive and relate-able description of what GMO’s are and what they mean to our food and health.
Another reason I purchased this brand of granola bar is because of the word “natural”. I know this word has become meaningless, I have heard over and over and over again from people in the organic and legitimately natural food industry, the word “natural” on a package or label literally means nothing. Even though I know this I still lean towards products that claim they are “natural”. To be fair there are companies making legitimately natural foods that use this term, but there are no standards required for use of this word, McDonalds can use it just as easily as Kashi. Although I still feel better about eating my granola bar than I would about eating a Big Mac!
The term organic does have meaning, there are certification standards that have to be met before a company can claim their product is organic, and the certification symbol will be on the packaging. I understand the need for these standards and certification process because it prevents the word from losing its meaning like natural has. Anyone can throw a “Green!” or a “Now All Natural!” on a label without any real meaning, this is known as “greenwashing” and I still fall for it and it drives me crazy! That being said I am not a stickler for the organic certification, as long as I know that the food was produced with practices I am comfortable with. Practices such as, no pesticides use, ethically treated animals, no GMO seeds, in that case I am not too concerned with whether or not the producer is actually certified organic.
But if it is not certified then how do you know if it is actually “natural” or just greenwashed? This is why I love local. If I am getting produce from the farmer up the road, I can talk to them personally and even visit the farm if I want to and feel confident that Farmer Greg isn’t a subsidiary of Coca-cola! We all have to make our own food choices and I would never tell anyone how or what to eat, but I do believe in sharing information and when I came across the above article and TEDx talk today I felt they are so comprehensive and poignant that I had to pass them on.
Happy Eating, D