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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 102

Thoughts: What to Look for When Shopping for Food - Dr. Joseph Mercola

Whether you’re shopping at a supermarket or a farmer’s market, here are the signs of a high-quality, healthy food:

1. It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)

2. It’s not genetically modified

3. It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs

4. It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives

5. It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)

6. It did not come from a factory farm

7. It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)

8. It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

If the food meets these criteria, it is most likely a good choice, regardless of whether it’s labeled local or organic.

Challenges: I ate at a restaurant tonight with friends, we went to Italian...the only thing I could eat inside the Earth Diet was the smoked salmon salad. I wasn't sure about smoked foods...obviously it has been touched by man, smoked, and I imagined they put the salmon in this oven type box and smoked it,so I ordered it.

I did some research on it later and found out curing meat as a method of preserving it is a practice that dates back more than a hundred years and was used in almost every region of the world. Long before refrigeration could be used to keep meats free from the ill-effects of unhealthy microorganisms, the process of smoking or curing meat sufficed. Unfortunately, as long as there have been cured meats, there have been health problems because of the process.

The process of curing meat involves not only smoking it but treating it with a variety of additives and preservatives, instances of cancer have steadily increased as the consumption of cures meats has increased. In particular, esophageal cancer is on the rise.

The main dangers associated with cured meats are as follows:
-nitrates can cause adverse reactions for asthma and allergy sufferers
-high levels of tyamine can trigger migraines
-tyamine can react dangerously with certain medications
-cured meats are extremely high in sodium
-meat fillers used with some cured meats may contain allergy triggering components

Understanding what constitutes "smoked" or "cured" meat can be somewhat confusing. I assumed that if something is smoked then it has been exposed to...smoke. Commercially available food products that are smoked have most likely not been touches by real smoke at all. Rather, a chemical called liquid smoke is used to flavor the meat. Liquid smoke contains hundred of dangerous chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens. Ewww!

Triumphs: I won't be eating smoked food again!

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: A green apple and avocado.

Lunch: A green apple and avocado.

Dinner: Smoked salmon salad with rocket and lemon and olive oil. Chamomile tea.

Dessert: 3 nectarines.

Snacks: Grapes.

Exercise: Sleeping on the plane! Haha!

263 Days To Go!!!

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