Movies

Food Inc.

http://www.foodincmovie.com/

Seafood Since the Gulf Coast Oil SPILLS

Whole Foods Market Reports

http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/2010/09/new-wild-caught-seafood-sustainability-ratings/?utm_source=Responsys&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=09_15_10_Specials

Processed Foods are Massive Rip-Offs

While trying to list every single food that’s a complete rip-off would result in a very thick book, I firmly believe it’s safe to say that virtually all processed snacks and the majority of processed, pre-packaged meals are a massive waste of money. These types of foods consist mainly of fillers and additives, and very few actual nutrients. So while Funyuns made it onto Yahoo Health’s list of rip-offs, I can’t think of a single chip or puffed snack that doesn’t belong on that list.

The same goes for virtually all breakfast cereals, whether they have cartoons on the box or not. Most cereals are frightfully high in sugar, and any nutrients they boast are in the form of suboptimal synthetic additives, or worse.

For example, iron fortified cereals can contain actual iron filings, which is a far cry from the bioavailable iron you get from iron-rich vegetables like spinach. If you haven’t seen this eye-opening demonstration of what’s really in that fortified breakfast cereal, take a look now—you’ll probably never buy another box of cereal again, and rightfully so.

Organic Rip-Offs

I do agree with the contention that some organic foods are rip-offs, when their conventional counterparts are already grown using low amounts of pesticides and the food in question must be peeled anyway, such as bananas.

The Environmental Working Group is a reliable source when trying to decide on what to buy organic. According to their latest 2010 pesticide review, the following 12 foods rank as the most pesticide-free produce, even when conventionally-grown, so you can save a few bucks by opting for the conventionally-grown version of these:

Onions Avocados Watermelon
Pineapple Mango Frozen sweet peas
Asparagus Kiwi Cabbage
Eggplant Cantaloupe

Frozen sweet corn was on the list above but I’ve removed it to avoid confusion. I do NOT recommend consuming non-organic corn and even organic corn should be consumed sparingly.

The foods you want to splurge on by buying organic are foods that have permeable or edible skins, and/or that are conventionally grown with higher amounts of pesticides. Based on the EWG’s report, the top 12 foods to buy organic include:

Grapes Potatoes Kale / Collard greens
Cherries Spinach Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines Blueberries Apples
Strawberries Peaches Celery

For the whole list of produce, ranked from best to worst in terms of pesticide load, please see the EWG’s listing.

Another major organic rip-off is organic milk. Because while organic milk must come from a cow that hasn’t been fed artificial growth hormones or pesticide-laden feed, they’re not necessarily pastured, or grass-fed cows. And worst of all organic milk (unless RAW) is still pasteurized, which destroys vital nutrients.

High-Value Foods

Unpasteurized (raw) grass-fed milk — Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows contains both beneficial fats, bacteria that boost your immune system, and a number of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Although raw milk availability is limited in the US, depending on where you live, you can locate the source closest to you at RealMilk.com.

Whey protein — Even if you don’t have access to raw milk, you can use a high-quality whey protein derived from the milk of grass-fed cows to receive much of the same health benefits. Whey protein contains beta-glucans and immunoglobulins, which protect your immune system and support your body’s natural detoxification processes.

Fermented foods — One of the most healthful fermented foods is kefir — an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms that balance your “inner ecosystem” and strengthen immunity. Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, and olives.

Raw organic eggs from pastured chickens – Raw, free-range eggs are an inexpensive and amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat. To find free-range pasture farms, try your local health food store, or go to http://www.eatwild.com or http://www.localharvest.org.

Grass-fed beef or organ meats – Grass-fed beef is very high in vitamins A, B12 and E, omega-3 fats, beta carotene, zinc and the potent immune system enhancer CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid). But don’t confuse “organic” with grass-fed, since many organically raised cows are still fed organic corn, which you don’t want. However, most grass-fed cows are raised organically.

Coconut oil — Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity.

Its medium chain fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT’s) also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients.

Berries Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables. They are also lower in fructose than many other fruits.

Broccoli – Broccoli contains the highest amount of isothiocyanates, a cancer-fighting compound, of all the crunchy vegetables. Studies have shown that just 10 spears a week (5 servings) can make a difference in your health.

Chlorella –This single-cell freshwater algae acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins (most of which promote chronic inflammation), such as mercury, and carrying them out of your system. The chlorophyll in the chlorella helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues. (For more information, please see my interview with expert, Ginny Banks.)

Tea – As for beverages, clean pure water is a must for optimal health, but if you want another beverage, a good choice with added health benefits is high quality herbal teas.

Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground powder, completely unfermented. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate. Tulsi is another tea loaded with antioxidants and other micronutrients that support immune function and heart health.

Krill Oil—Krill oil is the only dietary supplement that makes it to this list, and that’s only because the ideal food source for these essential omega-3 fats has been destroyed by widespread pollution. The dangers of eating fish simply outweigh the benefits due to the toxic mercury levels they now contain, with very few exceptions.

Antarctic krill oil is a pure marine oil loaded with powerful antioxidants and omega-3 oils, with NO heavy metal contamination.

I hope you’ll find these suggestions helpful in making the most of your food budget in these economically challenging times.

Sources:
Yahoo Health March 4, 2011
Menshealth.com 2010

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s