Monday, January 3, 2011

Make better food choices in 2011

Posted By on Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But, do you know what you're eating? Chances are, if you're buying processed food-stuff from your corner grocery and nowhere else and avoiding organic items because of the price, you're eating a lot of chemicals, dyes, hormones, antibiotics and fillers. Yuck.

Here are three resources to help you figure out what you're eating so you can make better food choices in 2011:

Here's a link to a great editorial in Sunday's Charlotte Observer about the chemicals in our world. As the author, Sabine Vollmer, points out, many of these chemicals aren't regulated, so don't plan on relying on the government to shield you from them. You have to educate yourself and know what to look for (and avoid) at the store. If you need some encouragement, here's an article from CBS about how chemicals in your food make you fat, which includes a list of chemicals and additives to avoid.

Want to support local farmers? Start by understanding the federal farm bill. It's expected to be reauthorized in 2012, but what's in it? A group of concerned citizens has a Facebook page for that; keep up with the discussion here; definitely check out the page's library. The more engaged you become, the more you'll learn about the food industry, farming and what you do and don't actually want to eat. (Hint: Eat local and organic.)

After last spring's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, you might wonder what seafood is safe to eat. is an excellent resource that will help you make wise food purchasing decisions this year. There's even a website, for those of you interested in eating only sustainable fish. Unfortunately, they don't have much going on in the way of recommendations for Charlotte-area restaurants, but let's look at that as an opportunity to crowdsource their site.

Further reading:

EPA Warns of PCB Risks in Schools -- The Wall Street Journal

Pollutants in boys' blood tied to lower growth -- Reuters

By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain? -- National Geographic

DuPont to pay $3.3 million for toxic reporting violations -- The Charleston Gazette

More about Fish2Fork:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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