Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Food Revolution

I say it started in May, but it really started much earlier than that. I just lost my way.

I Read.
I read a lot.
I read books.
I read blogs.
I read studies.
I read knitting patterns.
and now
I read food labels too.

Earlier this year I told you about Mrs. Q. the teacher eating school lunches for a whole school year. I told you I was worried about her health. Well, she is doing okay, amazingly after eating half a year of school food. She has learned a lot and those of us who have been reading her blog have been learning right along with her. Sometimes she gets me fired up. If you haven't checked her out I encourage you to do so. This weekend she is having a blog party.

This year I have learned so much about food and deception and the USDA and unfortunately about the school lunch program. My child doesn't even participate in the program. She doesn't even go into the lunchroom. Not that I really blame her. I'd take a quiet room with a teacher and a few other students over the loud echoing walls and processed food any day.

I've read books by Michael Pollan, Chef Ann, Nina Planck, Marion Nestle and others. My eyes have been opened. If you only have a small amount of time and you want to help yourself first, read "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan. It might just change your life. It is short, you can read it in an hour. Then read it again. Then pass it on to a friend and change their life. Then go to the library or bookstore and check out some of those other people.

Did you know that the Average American Adult eats over 141 pounds of sweeteners a year. (That is SUGAR.) Most drink 53 Gallons of soda a year!

That is a lot of HFCS. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is in Everything. If you are eating a processed meal chances are it is in there. If you are eating fast food it is in at least 2 or 3 items on your tray.

In May, I decided that I would stop eating HFCS. First to go were soft drinks. I never drank diet soft drinks anyway, because of reactions to the artificial sugar substitutes. So no more Soft drinks. I lost 8 pounds in 1 month.
Then we stopped eating out so much. The money we have saved is amazing.
We don't buy processed food. I'm cooking more. I've lost over 12 pounds this Summer. I fit in my clothes better. I feel better.

Summer is easy.
There are tons of fresh veggies in the Summer. Farmers markets with seasonal foods and fresh eggs. The true test will be back to school this Fall. When I'm tired at the end of a day. Will I be able to hold out on the no processed foods? We will see.
Breakfast for dinner is always an option right?

What does this have to do with your kids and the way they eat at school? It has to start at home. You have to start with yourself and your family. You have to educate yourself. You can not believe everything the USDA tells you. That food pyramid was bought and paid for by big business. (Beef, corn and milk)

It all starts at home. Once you have the knowledge then you can start working on the schools.

My child, my family eats well. What burns me up is that it is the kids that need those school meals the most, the ones that don't get a good breakfast at home or even a good evening meal at home, are the ones that are losing so much. The ones that count on good food to help them grow not just physically, but mentally are not getting it through the Federal School Lunch program. What started off as a program to help our children during the depression has been hijacked somewhere along the way. All parents should care about this but in order to have change we Must know what we are talking about. We must educate ourselves.


Ben said...

I have run a school lunch catering business for years. Did you know that charter schools can independently contract with private caterers, and these private businesses are producing awesome school lunch menus. Imagine how powerful parents would be if they could change school lunch simply by refusing to pay for it. A private business has to adapt, or they are gone. The national school lunch programs serves the interests of big agriculture and big labor first. The parents and the kids are an afterthought.

Mrs. Q said...

Hi Viki,
Thanks so much for participating! Wow, that's great that you are eating better and you have lost weight! I'm excited for you. Thanks for being a loyal reader and commenter! :)

Aimeslee said...

Viki, thanks so much for commenting me over at my antic and rantics blog. Loved that we are into so many of the same things...could we be similar in age perhaps, winkwink. I've also been a label reader. Before Nutrisystems, I was into Atkins. I'm continually freaked out by the amount of sodium in stuff! Dang, and I don't even have a medical reason for limiting it, it's just that I finally got free of the taste and don't want it back. Well, continued good luck with your project and here's hoping you do not succumb to the FF (although, Subway's lofat foot longs and McD's grilled chicken salads are pretty dang healthy and are my go-to cheat foods).

dorit said...

Hi Viki,
You won the tote bag in my giveaway contest. Please contact me so I can send it to you.

Deborah said...

I totally agree with you and have read some of those same books. People in this country think if the FDA approves it, then it must be ok.
Wrong, wrong, wrong! Thanks for sharing the message. I'm going to check out Mrs. Q's blog.