What Qualifies as Good Food — And What Doesn’t

There are a lot of starving people in the world who will eat whatever is there just to stay alive.  There but for…. chances are, nobody who is reading this blog is actually starving, or having trouble finding adequate food to stay alive.  If you are — call your local school district or church/temple and ask where you can go to get enough food to keep from being hungry.  If that doesn’t work — call 911.

This page isn’t about hunger in America, starving peoples, or people caught by natural disasters.  This page is about fat Americans and people from other Western cultures who have had so much money and so much food and so much leisure time that they — like me — are walking around like 39lb house-cats instead of lean, mean mousers.

There’s a lot of tasty, cheap food out there.  And a lot of less-than-tasty — or worse — less-than-beneficial and healthy food out there.  There’s so much that it has become hard to tell the good stuff from the bad due to sheer quantity of labels to read and books/reports to sort through.

So here are the first characteristics for GOOD FOOD that are going to determine what I eat from now on:

  1. It has to taste good.  and smell good.  and look good.
  2. It has to have NO -0- zero nil nada bad effects on the planet in its production, packaging, marketing, sales, and disposal.  This means no pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, chemical preservatives (there are plenty of food-sourced preservatives out there, not to mention 21st Century sterile packaging to keep our food fresh.) This means no double and triple packaging — a plastic bag inside a box that is an inner carton of another box.  A bottle with a plastic seal over the bottle cap with a foil liner — all in a cardboard container.
  3. It has to contain NO poisons.  No chemical flavor enhancers.  No eternal shelf-life trans fats that turn arteries into stopped-up plumbing pipes.  We’re not on a 2 year mission to Mars that requires mass storage of shelf stable and chemically treated food.MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) 

    If food doesn’t taste good without MSG and its cousins and aliases — Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Accent, “natural” meat tenderizer, Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate, Monopotassium glutamate, Autolyzed yeast, Hydrolyzed corn gluten etc….

    — then don’t buy it.  MSG ranks as high as the 2nd ingredient in some processed foods.  It also gives migraines, headaches and seizures to more than 20% of the population.  You can find it in most Chinese restaurants, Arby’s “meat” products, the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices at Kentucky Fried Chicken, most Campbell’s soups, salad dressing (Ranch dressing mix!) and dip mixes, noodle cups, Chef Boyardee products, many frozen boxed meals, almost anything with a seasoning packet or a cheese-sauce packet, flavored potato chips and tortilla chips, and even the cole slaw at many fast food joints.  MSG is not a seasoning, not an herb, and not a healthy substance to be ingested by living creatures, so READ the labels, ask the chefs at your local eateries — and make a scene. 

    Here’s a blog shouting the unknown and known problems with MSG.s   
    Here’s another blogger throwing a fit about MSG — and for good reason!

    Nitrates, nitrites — chemical salts of every stripe are out there.  Nitrates and nitrites are the chemical culprits in luncheon meats, bacon, sausages, deli meats and cured meats of all kinds.  There ARE alternatives — there are companies popping up all over the country that produce UN-CURED and NATURAL bacon, sausage links, hams, Italian-style sausages, German-style sausages, Chorizo, andouille, bulk southern-style sausage, and sandwich meats.  Read labels and avoid them like the plague they are.

    Trans fats — partially hydrogenated oils — are everywhere.  Just because the labels says zero-trans-fats doesn’t make it true.  It just makes it legally true.  And legally, any food product can have trans fats and still say ZERO — as long as it has less than 1/2  (.5) of a gram per serving.  That means it can have .49 of a gram per serving — and it is the manufacturer who determines how big a serving is.  Some mass-market crackers and cookies list a serving size as low as 9 grams (that’s about 1/3 of an ounce –less than a tablespoon) and zero grams of trans fats.  If they listed a serving that really is a typical serving — like 2 cookies that each weigh 20 grams — then they would suddenly have to post a number as high as 1.96 grams of trans-fats per serving.  DON’T BE FOOLED BY PORTION SIZE where trans fats are concerned.  If the ingredients list says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil of any kind, PICK SOMETHING ELSE TO EAT.

Why would anybody want to reward a company for trying to trick us, fool us, poison us, or make us sick by using poisons and inferior products in their foods?  Yes, they’re cheap — and stupid people will keep buying them because they don’t read, don’t listen to the news, and don’t bother to stay informed.  And yes — if you’re poor — you eat what you can get and what you can afford — so basically, these companies are out to kill off (slowly and at great cost to the health-care industry) the poorer population.  Kill the ignorant.  Kill the gullible — in the name of capitalism and greed.

We threw a fit when we learned the Chinese were loading our pet’s food with melamine — and this is not so different, except it’s not just the Chinese; it’s not just our pets; and it’s a whole army of melamine-like poisons.

So don’t reward them.  Don’t buy their swill.  If you want a roast beef sandwich — buy an organic beef roast and cook it, slice it, and make yourself a sandwich.  If you want fried chicken — go to Chic-fil-a, or better yet — read Alton Brown’s cookbooks, or The New Best Recipe — and make it for yourself.

There’s a lot more out there that helps to defied GOOD FOOD  (and to steer us away from BAD food.)  So — more to come.


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