Thursday, February 4, 2010

Always Read the Food Label

Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing how our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.  Food, Inc. reveals surprising - and often shocking truths - about what we eat, how it's produced and who we have become as a nation.
Last night I watched Food, Inc. and it was very eye opening.  "You'll never look at dinner the same way again."  We must not put all of our trust in governmental agencies to ensure that our food is safe.

We must take charge of our own health and well being and not believe that every food in the supermarket is safe for human consumption.  A government agency's stamp of approval does not mean anything, when food safety is involved.  We are our own food safety enforcement officers.

While viewing Food, Inc, I couldn't help, but think about how I always read the ingredient labels on skin, hair and body products, but I often fail to read the ingredient labels on food products.  Shame on me, but now I know better.

There was a list included in the Food, Inc DVD of things that we can do to change our food system and they are listed below.

10 Things You Can Do To Change Our Food System
  1. Action:  Stop drinking sodas and other sweetened beverages.  Fact:  If you replace one 20 oz soda a day with a no calorie beverage (preferably water), you can lose 25 lbs in a year.
  2. Action:  Eat at home instead of eating out.  Fact:  Children consume almost twice (1.8 times) as many calories when eating food made outside the home.
  3. Action:  Support the passage of state and local laws to require chain restaurants to post calorie information on menus and menu boards.  Fact:  Half of the large chain restaurants do not provide any nutrition information to their customers.
  4. Action:  Tell schools to stop selling sodas, junk food, and sports drinks.  Fact:  Over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years .
  5. Action:  Meatless Mondays...Go without meat one day a week.  Fact:  An estimated 70% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to farm animals.
  6. Action:  Buy organic or sustainable food with little to no pesticide use.  Fact:  According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States.
  7. Action:  Protect family farms, visit your local farmers' market.  Fact:  Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
  8. Action:  Make a point to know where you food comes from - READ LABELS.  Fact:  The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to your dinner plate.
  9. Action:  Tell Congress that food safety is important to you.  Fact:  Each year, contaminated food causes millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths in the United States.
  10. Action:  Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections.  Fact:  Poverty among farm workers is more than double that of all wage and salary employees.
Here is a clip from the movie.

Take care!