I was pretty productive this weekend thank you very much! (virtual high-five!). Lots of school work done, blogging done, picture taking done, new recipes, done, etc. I started my Saturday by knocking out that documentary I had to watch for AP Gov which also included two worksheets for notes. Two hours of my life wastes...yes...but it felt good to get it out of the way before it was even officially assigned to the class this week. Of course I had to fuel my morning with something delicious and since my Vitacost order finally arrived I was stoked to try my new Coconut Butter! I was a coconut butter virgin until that morning...but that is no longer. All I can say is I can not believe what I have been missing my whole life!
I mixed in a big spoonful in my creamy buckwheat hot cereal (along with cocoa powder). It was so creamy! Like, I have never tasted something so good. Coconutty Creaminess = Heaven.
I got tons of stuff from my Vitacost haul, but these three am was most excited about! Obviously the coconut butter which is 100% organic and raw and stone ground from Dastony! Look at that cute little elephant 😉 Also that Ceylon Black Cherry Tea is to die for! And then this baby on the right. I have not opened it yet because I have way to many nut butter in progress right now, but that won't last long and I will probably dig into this thing in a few days. Coconut and chocolate! Just like my breakfast but in almond butter form! Amazing is all I have to say! I love food, don't you! Some other honorable mentions I got were coconut oil (so excited to make pancakes with this!), a salt-free Cajan Spice which is the bomb! And Coffee Extract which will be making its way in to many a breakfast recipes in the near future 😉
And now I have a special ranting post about nutrition labels! Yay! I just let myself write so it may get a bit rambly, but I think you will be able to get the gist of my feelings on this hot topic! Enjoy! I can't wait to read your options and reactions in the comments! (hint, hint, that means I want to hear from you before you leave!)
Nutrition Facts Labels will be getting an overhaul. We should all be excited, right? The labels will now how more prominent calorie and sugar counts. Serving sizes will reflect the actual serving an American eats, not that ¼ cup of dried pasta. No consumer math will have to go in to calculate what the calories really are in that soda that is 2.5 servings. Added sugars will have to be labeled and more "important" vitamins will be added to the bottom like Vitamin D. This is all supposed to help the consumer and make things less confusing. But the last time the government tried to step in and revamp a food guideline resource (i.e. My Plate), it was a complete disaster. Not to mention these new requirements most likely won't be seen for a good 1-2 years and the food companies slowly and reluctantly implement them. And do most Americans even look at the nutrition label?
I think the more important topic that is still not addressed with this, is that fact that Americans are still in the dark about what exactly is in their food. GMOs and still yet to be labeled, artificial colorings and flavorings are not banned, chemicals and processed grains and sugars, hydrogenated fats, and banned ingredients (elsewhere in the world) will still be allowed to penetrate out food and deceive unknowing consumers. The average American on the street if asked if they think a 100 calorie pack of Hostess Chocolate Mini Cakes is a healthy snack, they will probably reply yes. When in reality they are saying yes only because they are thinking of the 100 calorie aspect. Not the ingredients list which contains so many words I can't even pronounce. It even has sugar as the first ingredient and then other forms of added sugar all throughout. Here, take a look:
Sugar, Water, Polydextrose, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, "B" Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)], Egg Whites, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable And/Or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed And/Or Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Whole Eggs, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cocoa, Glycerin, Maltitol Syrup, Cornstarch, Corn Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Soy Protein Isolate, Soybean Oil, Corn Flour, Mono And Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Cottonseed Fiber, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Salt, Chocolate Liquor, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulfate, Agar, Locust Bean Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sweet Dairy Whey, Maltodextrin, Acesulfame Potassium, Neotame, Leavenings (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Soy Flour, Natural And Artificial Flavors (Contain Caramel Color), Potassium Sorbate And Sorbic Acid (To Retain Freshness), Soy Lecithin. Contains Wheat, Egg, Soybeans And Milk.
Yea, um, that is not healthy. But if we fixate on calorie counts and "portions" and make them the most important and prominent things on nutrition labels...where does that really leave us? Americans will still be reaching for all that processed GMO laden food and not focusing on real whole natural foods that don't even need a label.
Read this awesome post by Lisa from 100 Days of Real Food, on why she doesn't read the nutrition label (with one exception).
We need to be educating people about health and eating real foods that are not so processed they contain 50 ingredients and empty calories. We need to focus on nutrition and not calories. Vegetables, Fruits, Whole Grains, Lean Protein, Nuts, Legumes/Beans, Healthy Fats. That is what Americans need. Not a bottle of processed chemical sludge soda with a new nutrition label. Sorry, but government reform needs to be in making real food from the Earth more accessible for everyone. The government needs legislation to put GMO on labels, to stop giving subsides to big agribusiness and to give incentives to organic and natural local farmers and food companies to keep up the good work, while helping to lower these prices so everyone can have access.
We also need to educate the public on nutrition so that if they decide to have that nutritionally deficient soda, they will know just what they are putting into their bodies. Children should be feed nutritious lunches in school, not mass-processed, canned slop that comes from a can full of BPA. Children should learn the joys of cooking nutrient dense meals in school and at home. We need to raise out young generations to be better and more educated then we have been so far.
The most important thing to take away though is that we should be focusing on foods that do not need labels. Real whole foods with a single ingredient. But for things that do require a label (not all processed foods are bad) consumers should be able to understand the ingredients in them and know what they will be putting into their bodies and where it came from.
Yes, watching calorie intake and portion size is important, but so is eating real food with calories and nutrients that benefit our bodies and don't harm them. America's food system is screwed up and run by big business with no one looking out for the consumers health. All of this is evidenced by out declining health, unhealthy weights, increase in food allergies, slowly lowering mortality rate. We have enough resources and education to be the healthiest nation in the world, so why aren't we? We will only make progress if people start caring and educating and making real food affordable and accessible to all. The government needs to start caring about its people and stop feeding them lies (literally)!
There are some organizations and people who do care though and believe we can make a change! Follow and support them! Become and advocate for healthy change! That can be donating, voting with you money in the store, buying local, not buying from the big businesses that rule the food market, write to your legislators, educate whom ever you can, and just being healthy and making the right choices!
And for more info on the new proposed labeling standards:
So tell me:
What do you think of the new proposed Nutrition Labels?
Who should take responsibility for America's health and food? The government or is it just up to the consumer?
Let me hear you thoughts, comments, criticisms, options. I want to know what you think!
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