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U.S. Food Supply Issues

alec4444's picture

U.S. Food Supply Issues (post #68746)

in

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm starting off the new year by trying to eat better. Not trying to lose weight (did that last year - yay!), rather just trying to live an overall healthier lifestyle.

One thing I've been struggling with is the food supply here in the US. Our foods are terrible compared to most of the EU. They look great, but the US has much looser restrictions on pesticides, additives, etc. We seem to have chosen a path of producing more food over better quality food (each strategy of course, has their own pros and cons). As such, I'm finding very few choices in the grocery store to fit my definition of healthy food.

There's organic, sure, but some of those "organic" pesticides are as bad for human consumption as the chemical ones. Almost everything is sweetened with the ubiquitous "high fructose corn syrup". Meats are grain fed instead of grass fed. Chickens inflated with water. Even the ingredients listing for the fresh Buitoni pasta is appalling.

I'm wondering if anyone else is struggling to find more naturally produced food, and how you're accomplishing that. On the off-chance I obtain natural foods, I'm finding the meals to taste incredible!

Thanks!
--A

Napie's picture

We often talk about our "bad" (post #68746, reply #1 of 12)

We often talk about our "bad" food supply but then our life span has almost doubled in the last 100 years, so just how bad is it really? Never in human history have so many been fed so safely. That being said I don't care for a lot of the stuff that is in most mass produced foodstuffs so that's why I raise a garden, make use of the local farmers market and have formed relationships with local farmers.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Damn, Napie, it's hard to (post #68746, reply #2 of 12)

Damn, Napie, it's hard to improve on your response, except to add that when local farmers/markets aren't available, it's still possible to read supermarket food labels carefully, and discriminate accordingly. I absolutely agree with you on each point. (and when are you going to get over the CTC, where the rest of us are hanging out for the duration?)

ACG's picture

He was there and got into a (post #68746, reply #3 of 12)

He was there and got into a fight.

Napie's picture

No, that is not quite (post #68746, reply #4 of 12)

No, that is not quite correct, I was there and as usual my comments were misinterpreted by people who are always looking for a fight with anyone who even slightly disagrees with their stance. I have stopped wrestling with pigs, you both get dirty and the pig likes it...

Napie's picture

Not worth the aggravation (post #68746, reply #5 of 12)

Not worth the aggravation your liberal friends cause me. I keep in contact with Peter via e-mail exchanging conservative items of interest. How have you been? I lost your e-mail address when I made the move to my new MacBook (which I dearly love BTW!!)

I now check the Taunton sites on occasion but find the new format distasteful but will check back now and again.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

Sorry for the delay - just (post #68746, reply #11 of 12)

Sorry for the delay - just got back to checking this site out today. I hate this new format, so seldom bother to even visit. I'm well, though just as happy to turn the page on 2009 - there are some family issues that need to be resolved, but otherwise healthy and happy (and slowly turning Peter a pale shade of lefty-pink, LOL!) Seriously, I'm trying to let go of things political - not worth the aggravation. Get my email from P, and keep in touch.

assibams's picture

Try to stay away from (post #68746, reply #6 of 12)

Try to stay away from pre-made anything as much as you can. Buy fruit and vegetables from a CSA that you can trust, try if you can find a smaller farm for meats, as well.

Oh, and in reply to Napie: the doubling of the life expectancy has more to do with lower infant mortality and less war. Add to that better geriatric care and you get higher life expectancy, which definitely doesn't necessarily mean that any individual will live longer, just the population as whole. Don't you love statistics LOL

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

Napie's picture

You are quite correct but you (post #68746, reply #7 of 12)

You are quite correct but you must also admit that having sufficient inexpensive and safe calories available has been a major contributing factor in better public health over the past century. The dietary related illness we have now in western nations has far more to do with poor choice and habits versus food safety and quality.

A population can only have a longer life expectancy if individuals are actually living longer. Regarding war, the 20th century had more death from warfare than all the previous combined. I love statistics too!!

alec4444's picture

Thanks guys! What's a CSA? (post #68746, reply #8 of 12)

Thanks guys! What's a CSA? I'm being extraordinarily cautious about labels (it's been enlightening!). I live in NYC, so gardening, sadly, it somewhat out of the question. The good thing is NYC has a lot of specialty markets that span several ethnic cultures, but it's crazy expensive if applied daily.

Cheers!
--A

Adele's picture

http://www.justfood.org/csa (post #68746, reply #9 of 12)

http://www.justfood.org/csa

The above link is a CSA for NYC. There are tons of farms/gardens just outside the city. It must be a shock for you coming from Europe to NYC. It is more expensive to eat organic if you are buying from a store no matter where you live.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Napie's picture

Another thing to keep in mind (post #68746, reply #10 of 12)

Another thing to keep in mind is a good dry pantry, I cook a lot of meals from it without ever going to the market. Good quality canned tomatoes, dried beans, lentils (even some canned varieties), garlic, onions, pastas, good canned tuna and sardines, rice, dried herbs, some sausage and ground meat in the freezer, cheese, eggs, real butter etc. I make stock every other month and freeze it. There are so many good times to be had cooking like this. You can buy a lot of nice veg in NYC (I travel there about once a month) and you do not need very much to build a good dish, I can feed four on one eggplant and my pantry with no problem. Hell, a big batch of rice and beans is pure heaven when you are famished!

DeannaS's picture

I'm sure you could find a (post #68746, reply #12 of 12)

I'm sure you could find a good food cooperative in NYC, too. The food cooperatives around here try to only stock better quality food. Some of the things are going to be more expensive. But, their bulk food is actually cheaper than buying similar items in the regular grocery store.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow