by Brian Hobby
It’s an interesting question, and one that gets discussed a lot in our house. Our son has an intolerance to Azo dye food colourings which are allowed in Australia and New Zealand but not in many other places. As a result much of our food is prepared from scratch using fresh ingredients; it wasn’t unusual in our house anyway as we both enjoying our cooking.
But it begs the question what else is in our food that isn’t particularly good for us?
I heard a fascinating comment a while ago “if your Grandmother wouldn’t recognise it as food then it probably isn’t” and that cuts to the heart of it really.
I was in the greengrocer today topping up on fruit and vege and the owner commented that many customers don’t understand why there aren’t strawberries all year and get slightly peeved at her as a result. In a society that is divorced from the food chain by the agricultural industrial complex it is very easy to forget that what we put in our mouths came from somewhere beyond the shop. In some instances the product came from what is basically a chemical refinery and only has the vaguest hint of food about it.
There have been some pretty interesting things coming to the surface about sugar as well, and it seems that most manufacturers are in a race to see who can make the sweetest product to tempt us. Case in point, our usual tomato sauce brand changed it’s label. This caused me to check old against new – sure enough 2% more sugar. The next supermarket trip the boy and I had fun choosing the new brand that was as low sugar as we could find (and as little everything else as well!)
So my thoughts in no particular order:
- Fresh first and foremost, we cook from scratch much of the time
- When in the supermarket I’m not a label pedant but will always check a new item or do a comparison against similar occasionally
- Pick the lowest sugar option, that often means the full fat better tasting option. If it’s low fat it’s usually low taste due to how our taste-buds work so they add sugar to cover it up
- If we are out for dinner don’t worry too much as the occasional treat means you don’t binge. I find myself tending toward the salads though……
- Try and eat a range of things, variety is good – convincing the 9 year old can take some doing though
So our approach tends to be everything in moderation; including the glasses of red!