This is NOT FrankenfoodI went to the local grocery store a while ago, and I’m still fuming.

I love wine.  For the most part, wines are natural.  Sure, you have to ignore the Boone’s Farm, MD 20/20, Arbor Mist, and others of that ilk. Those are wines in label only.  In the real world, more and more wineries are farming sustainably and ensuring that their wines are as natural and unpolluted as possible.  Yes, wine is a health food.  Google it.

More and more vegetables are being sustainably grown, and local markets are looking outside of the Monsanto box in order to make sure that people get the purest, freshest produce possible.  I LOVE Farmers Markets and will do whatever I have to do to make sure that I get sustainable/organic produce and avoid the oversprayed, overshipped, GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods whenever possible.  Of course, I’m a Boomer with grown kids, so I don’t have to worry about budget restrictions the same way that many young families do.  Been there, done that.

Since I do most of my shopping at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, or any number of local ethnic markets, the Monsanto effect isn’t an issue.  And I know I’m not alone.  So where do these Frankenfoods go?

Look no further than your local market’s freezer or “middle” aisles.

Admittedly I haven’t hung out at a freezer area in a while, but even though the last time was just weeks ago, I don’t recall too much “organic” or “sustainable” in the label arena.  In face, I saw a quote recently that noted that since “organic” was the natural way to grow foods, the “conventional” way should be appropriately labeled.  But I digress.

The “middle” aisle, on the other hand, is another thing altogether.  I decided that I wanted a snack food.  I’ve been really really good since my knee surgery … my jeans that I hadn’t tried on since before my recent knee surgery were actually loose!  This is in spite of about six weeks relative inactivity.  So I decided it was time for an Oreo or something.  I’d eat a few and take the remainder to work to inflict upon my coworkers.

That is not to be.  Mainly because it’s lethal in the middle aisle.

After reading about the effects of hydrogenated (trans fat) oils and high fructose corn syrup on the human body, I made one simple decision.  Don’t put that crap in my body.  But it’s very difficult to avoid it.

In the “regular” market where I do some of my everyday pickup, last-minute shopping*, I found that the snack aisle was loaded with products that had these ingredients.  Oreos. They had a tiff a few years ago when a lawyer sued them for having trans fats in their cookies.  Well, after that blew over, they decided to add high fructose corn syrup.  Let’s all shout DIABETES!  Let’s all shout MORBID OBESITY!  Just for starters.

I was fascinated as I went aisle by aisle, product by product, and saw my two nemeses in just about every snack product. I walked out of the store snackless.  I finally found some cookies at Cost Plus World Market for about a buck.  Ingredients?  Flour, sugar, eggs, water, vanilla.  Hmm.

So we’re back to my original title: Dyin’ to Eat.  Because, let’s face it, the research and information on these two ingredients alone are enough to give anyone pause. Unless, of course, you’re a giganto food corporation who’d rather make a buck than ensure that the people who are buying your “food” products aren’t harmed.  The heads of those corporations don’t care if you die.  So long as they make a (huge) profit and don’t get sued for their efforts. And believe what I tell you – hydrogenated fats and HFCS are not about keeping you from harm – they’re cheap, their flavors imitate quality ingredients, and they ensure longer shelf life.  It’s all about the $$$$.  

This is why I do most of my shopping at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes, small ethnic markets around town, and leave the bigger stores for the occasional “stuff” I have to pick up from time to time.  If enough of us read labels and decide to make a decision based on our health rather than cheapnesss or advertising propaganda, you can believe that they’d dump the bad stuff in a heartbeat.

Yes, this is a serious post from yours truly.  But don’t take my word for it.  Look at all the info available online.  As a note of caution – avoid comments by the Corn Refiners Association (or whoever they are).  They have a vested (i.e., financial) interest in the whole HFCS controversy – which is why they’re trying to change the name and are running the ridiculous commercials. Which, by the way, I’d love to be in. You notice that the person who’s cautioning against HFCS never has a good answer? Well, I’ve got them. And why the hell do they have commercials on a food additive that nobody can buy to put in their food anyway?!?

For those of you who may be wondering, the answer is no.  I won’t get junk food for anybody, even if I’m not going to eat it.  I read labels religiously, and if I won’t eat it, my friends and loved ones won’t get it from me either.  No matter what.

Stay tuned for more.

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