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Processed Foods; When We Know Better, We Do Better!

Most all the foods we eat are processed. Yep, we cook our food, grind it, soak it, chop it, ferment it, boil and bake it. These are the most popular ways we process our food. We prepare our food this way to make it more palatable and digestible. We preserve our food to save it for later for when food isn’t so readily available. We mix and combine the food to make all sorts of dishes. Dishes like bread, salads, stir fried vegetables, etc. The good thing about this style of processing is that it begins with whole foods. By this I mean, foods that we pick from our gardens or purchase from local grocers and/or the local farmers markets. The best vegetables are the ones grown without pesticides. The best meats are ones that are raised humanely without hormones. These foods are processed but manage to retain its nutritional value.

In these modern times we have replaced good home cooking with factory and industrial processed foods. These types of processed foods are less digestible and most, if not all, nutritional value is depleted. Industrial processing involves sugar, white flour, synthetic food additives and vitamins. Two very popular foods that have been made worse by industrial processing are milk and orange juice.

Milk directly from a cow is considered one of nature’s most nutritionally complete foods. Let me go on record as saying, that I am of the belief that once we wean our babies from breast milk that we shouldn’t then introduce them to cow’s milk. But I digress. Milk is a wildly popular drink for children and adults alike. In its natural raw state it is considered as I stated one of nature’s complete foods. However, once it became industrialized, that all changed.

Cows by nature are grazers. Dairy cows should be allowed to eat grass and foliage in the pastures. The industrialization of cows and milk has removed the cows from the pastures and introduced antibiotics and stimulants into their system. Cows should not be given drugs that stimulate their growth to enable them to produce large quantities of milk. It’s the advent of this way of processing milk that has made the milk not as good for our consumption. Same is true for orange juice.

Organic oranges when fresh squeezed on your counter for your daily breakfast is very nutritious. However, this too has been industrialized. Oranges are grown with pesticides to protect the crops and to ensure the greatest yields. To extract orange juice the entire orange is thrown in a vat with enzymes that help to pull all the juice from the orange including the peel. The pesticides used on oranges are said to be very toxic to the nervous system. In the squeezing process all of the pesticides remain in the juice.

In conclusion, when we eat food that is whole and grown sustainably we can expect to receive the maximum nutritional maximum benefit. To be our healthiest, we need to prepare our food for our families and ourselves. I realize this is easier said than done. But we can introduce good eating practices by taking baby steps; one day at a time.


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