Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Are What You Eat

This last saturday Garret was working all day which left me to entertain myself. I noticed on our Netflix Instaplay there was this documentary called "Food Inc." I'd heard a little bit about it and my interest was peaked. I could not believe what I learned! Needless to say I am so amazed at how much of what we actually put into our bodies is not food. I don't think that I can buy meat from any commercial companies anymore. I used to be a nay-sayer and poke fun at the "all natural hippies" but now I think I just might turn into one. OK maybe not a complete hippie, but I've definitely had to reevaluate my eating and shopping habits.

Yes, I am aware that documentaries such as this are meant to shock people and almost scare them into action, but I really do think that much of this is true. We, as a nation, are not healthy and I think a majority of this problem is a lack of knowledge. We just don't really know what is actually in these products that we call food.

Here are some things I've started to consider:

  1. Just because it says "Fat Free" on the label, doesn't mean that it is healthier for you. Often times when the fat is removed from a product there is usually more sodium and/or sugar added to the product which in the end negates the fat free product. Also, just because it says "fat free" also doesn't exactly mean that it's fat free. I'm not sure of the exact facts on this so correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that legally the label can say fat free on it if it is below a certain percentage of fat.
  2. If the ingredients label lists items that you can't pronounce, then you probably should not be putting it in your body. Compare your regular food products to food products that say "All Natural" on the label and you will see a difference in the ingredients. The All Natural labels truly use all natural products.
  3. Don't eat anything that says "Enriched" on the label. If something is enriched, that means things need to be added to it in order for it to be safe for you to eat. You will see this most commonly with bread and other wheat products. If the label says "enriched wheat flour" that means they have bleached the flour to make it white. When the flour is bleached, all the nutrients from the wheat is removed so food companies have to add nutrients back into it. Will someone please explain to me why flour has to be bleached in the first place?
  4. Eat meat that is cage-free and grass fed. These animals are not mass-produced, treated more humanely and less likely to have e coli. If they are not cage-free and grass fed, this usually means that they are corn fed. Corn fed animals are something that you might want to avoid. Corn fed animals gain weight at an exponential rate and it is unhealthy for the animal. Not to mention, it lessens the quality of meat that you as a consumer are paying for. It's ironic that we as a nation are the most obese nation and now our animals are also the most obese animals. Does anyone else sense a pattern here?
  5. If your budget is tight, shopping at your local Natural Foods market will not be easy. I went to one last night to check out the prices and I went into total sticker shock. Almost $30 for two chicken breasts?! Holy Cow! It's hard to go into this life style simply because it's just not cheap, but markets like this have to compete with large food corporations in order to stay in business. The more we buy the lesser the prices will be. Luckily I found out that Wal Mart has a reasonably priced selection of cage free grass fed beef and chicken products. I generally don't shop at Wal Mart, but it's impressive that a large corporation is actually listening to the consumers and giving them what they want. It's also wise to shop local. During the summer we have wonderful opportunities to shop at any local farmer's market. The great thing about a farmer's market is you are getting fresh product and you are supporting your local businesses. Farmers are able to keep up to 90% of their profits from what is sold at a farmer's market. Also, look into food co-ops. Here in Utah there is a great food co-op called Bountiful Baskets. It's very affordable and the products are all natural and fresh. Anyone can participate, just google it online.
I am for sure not claiming to be an expert on all of this, and I'm certain that some of my facts are not exactly all accurate, so if you see something that is wrong please feel free to correct me on it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

House Hunting

Garret and I have been looking at TONS of houses online for a while now. We're just so tired of renting a small shoe-box size apartment for more money than it's worth. A few months ago we looked into a mortgage payments to get an idea of how much we would be paying monthly and turns out that we would be paying pretty close to what we are paying now for rent. The choice was obvious! We finally were able to go look at houses with a realtor on saturday and we found the PERFECT house at the very end of our hunt for the day. It's brand new, built in 2009. Has dark hard wood floors and tiles in the kitchen. The counter-tops are a light garnet and the stove, fridge and microwave are stainless steel. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs and the basement is framed for 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 laundry room and a family room. The biggest down fall is that they yard is pretty much non-existent so we'll have to put a lot work into it, hopefully not a lot of money.

We put an offer in this passed monday and yesterday got a call from our agent saying the builder has accepted our offer! We close september 15 or somewhere around there.
If only I had furniture to put in it...

Monday, August 2, 2010

For School

Some wise guy from the administration at my school has decided that everyone should make an E-Portfolio for themselves so that when they graduate they can go to prospective employers and say, "Hey check out my website and look at some math problems that I did!" And naturally, this prospective employer will say, "Gee golly! I will hire you because you have this nifty website of math problems."
What the administration realized is that it was a really dumb idea after all and they are not going to require it to graduate, but they still wanted every student to participate. Well, if it's not required to graduate, then how will they get anyone to participate?
"Oh, wait, we'll just require it as a part of their grade for any general education class that each student takes and we'll hold the teachers accountable."
Lucky for me, my math teacher does not care if I start my own E-Portfolio website or not so I am posting this on my blog so that I can say I've posted something online.
Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever really asks the students what they think about all these dumb required programs that they think are for our benefit.