I eat fruits, veggies, and other healthy things all the time, so I am in the clear as far as nutrition goes right? WRONG!
Having been on that "college kid diet" for so long, I usually worry more about IF I eat vs. WHAT I eat. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to what I put in my body, and I always try to do my best to be health conscious, even if I don't assert myself 100%. Well, now that it comes to putting food in my babies mouths, I am all over it. Like white on rice. And since this week my Get Fit Challenge Theme is "A Focus on Food," I wanted to take the time to share what I have learned over the past 2 or so years about food. (NOTE: I'm not nutritionist, just a geek on a mission with some great healthy conscious friends.)
What are GMO's? I have heard this word pop up for a while now, but honestly didn't stop to care about it until the girls started solids (Jan 2014). According to the NON-GMO PROJECT, "GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering." And since the girls only did Baby Led Weaning (BLW) I had to make sure that I stayed on top of this at ALL times. (But seriously, did you know this was going on?)
Did you know that "In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs." OVER SIXTY COUNTRIES!!! Why not the US you may find yourself wondering? "In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale." And if that doesn't raise a red flag, I'm not sure what would! (Mini rant: We are SO behind for being such a "super power." But that's neither here nor there right now.)
So, since GMO labeling is not mandatory in the states, how do you find ways to stay away from them?
Educate yourself about Monsanto... According to WHOISMONANTO.COM, "Monsanto is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation based in the United States. They are also the largest producer of genetically engineered (GE) seeds on the planet. Throughout its history, Monsanto has developed chemical products which have eventually become controversial or been banned, including DDT, Agent Orange, Bovine Growth Hormone, and PCBs." Now, I'm not here to lecture you. I encourage you to do your own research. I honestly JUST learned about this over the weekend, and haven't been able to shake all of this newly acquired info off my mind. ESPECIALLY considering I had to do my grocery shopping just yesterday.
So how can you avoid consuming these products?
- Shop Non-GMO Project foods Check out the NON-GMO PROJECT for more info. I find a lot of their foods at Sam's which really saves me money because I can get a larger size for a good price. (I'm talking only a few $ difference for about double the size!) Know the difference in the types of organic foods (Completely Organic: food product is 100% organic; Organic: food product may be 90% organic; Contains Organic Ingredients: products such as cereals contain organic ingredients and are only as much 70% organic.)
- Eat local Check to see if there are any local farmers/farmers markets, community supported agriculture groups, or produce co-ops in your area. Visit the LOCAL HARVEST to find options near you! (Don't worry, it's a nationwide friendly site! ;) ) If these are not options that are best for you, thats OK! You can still be health conscous at your grocery store by choosing the food that has traveled the least to get to your store. And if you don't feel like cooking, check around to see which of your nearby restaurants cook local!
- Grow your own food I know this may not always be an option because we don't always have the resources, but sometimes it's easier than you think. All you need is a little sun and fresh air! (And room for your pots of course!) Or you could always try to find a friend who would be interested in growing with you in their yard. If I could go back to my single, apartment living days. I would definitely do it differently. I would have grown some easy veggies (potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers) on my porch. Or I could have gone the herb garden route. There is always the option to trade for other fresh veggies/fruits if you can find another grower in your area! Check to see if there are community gardens in your area! Don't feel limited just because your space is limiting.
Don't forget about my Get Fit Challenge on FACEBOOK!! This week, our focus will be all about fit food and how to get the most healthy bang for your buck! We will, as usual, be checking in daily about how we got our heart rates up, our water intake, sharing our favorite healthy recipes, and just chit chatting about the mom life. Feel free to JOIN US! The group opens every Wednesday (12-12 EST) for new members! (It remains "secret" for the week so you will not be able to access it any other day.)
Take a look at some of the cool "foodie" things we share!!!
And I will leave you with the MECCA of all things local and fresh! From local restaraunts, to markets, centers, and co-ops, EATWELLGUIDE.ORG. I wonder if you will be as surprised as me about how much local stuff is around me! SOOOOO...... what are your thoughts about all of this??? I still can't wrap my head around this...