Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

You Are What You Eat~Reading Labels

Yes there are tons of additives you can add to poor soil. Most have chemicals in them or processed with chemicals. To my knowledge they are just not tasty except for salt (NaCl, a naturally occurring chemical compound). We, as a society, have gotten away from the natural, good taste of pure food. We are so used to chemicals in our food that we no longer read the labels because we know beyond a doubt that they are in there.

White Bread label-Calcium Peroxide, the word partially cut off is ammonia???

One bread I used to buy had formaldehyde as a preservative in it. I am very allergic to formaldehyde. It causes severe respiratory problems. Of course being an overachiever, I'm allergic to a lot of things food and nonfood related. My incidence of various levels of allergic reactions almost disappeared with my antihistamines and switching to an organic lifestyle. What's in my bread? Whole wheat flour  (I grind it myself), yeast, honey, spring water, sea salt, and butter. That's it. As far as shelf life, my bread will keep for a week without molding if it lasts that long. I usually make bread twice a week.

Have you ever thought about the numbers on the stickers placed on produce in the grocery stores? Did you think these PLU codes were just to make it easier for the cashiers because each product has a different one? Yes and no.  It does make it easier for reorders and cashiers but you should know that there is a more important reason for you to look at this code.

If it only has four digits, the produce was grown in "traditional" methods...dirt and pesticides. Depending on the country of origin, the pesticides could contain elements harmful to humans and animals possibly even deadly. It will have to be washed really well before eaten and all the while praying the pesticides have not entered beyond the skin of the produce.

Okay, you immediately put down all the four digit PLU coded produce, and go for the five or six digit coded produce and think it's safer. Wrong!  There are two numbers you need to be aware of. They are easy to spot being the first number on the left.

The first one I'm covering is "8." If you read"8" you should know immediately that this is a genetically modified organism (GMO). It is grown unnaturally. The seed used to grow it is tampered with in a laboratory. It's gene splicing. This is different than a hybrid which is changed by natural ways over time, or by grafting, or cross pollination. There have been no long term studies that determine the effects to the human or animal body. GMO seeds are also patented as unique products protected by law. In my mind, if you are trying to eat healthier, why fool with Mother Nature? I've heard some horror stories about GMO products so do the intelligent thing and research it on your own. Eddie at Food for Thought said in one video, "Think eight as the one we hate." It sort of stuck in my mind.

Since there are no long term studies yet (it's too new), it's like playing Russian Roulette with your body and health. I'm reminded of Thaldomide given to pregnant women to combat morning sickness in the 1950s. It had some very long term effects on their babies before it was deemed dangerous and not given to pregnant women anymore. GMOs may produce the same or worse effects. I'm protecting me and mine by avoiding them.

This is the code you want. Notice it usually says "certified organic" on the label. The produce is grown naturally without chemicals. There are stringent inspections, documentation, and history to back up up what is grown (including seed used), and how it's grown and handled. I went through this process with my old homestead and plan to do it with this one too. It is job one to produce the healthiest and most  nutritious foods to feed ourselves with.

That brings up a point that you all may have noticed in the markets for organic products. It's expensive. As stated above the length one goes through to get the "certified organic" label. It's a long, involved process. It takes time (a minimum of 3 years documentation). If you used animal waste in your compost, what the animals are fed must be organic also. If you are adding kitchen scraps to your compost, it must be organic. The inspections aren't free and there are many of them. Plus the added cost of reinspection and recertification. This is why a larger number of farmers label their produce as "chemical free," but you won't find this distinction in the grocery stores. It's the medium standing between certified organic label but hasn't been official labeled or recognized. The best they can do is label "No GMO,""No pesticides," or "no antibiotics,"or "no artificial additives." But there is no oversight to prove it.

So keep in mind next time you are shopping for groceries, you are what you eat and read the labels.

Be blessed and have a wonderful day.

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