Thursday, June 5, 2014

And/or what?

Update from 6/10/14:

This message is brought to you by the good people at Playtex.

Women, you may know where I'm going with this. They have succumbed to the latest in labeling that makes me want to tear my hair out.

And. Good word. Small word. You envision abundance of good things, extra things, being offered.

Or. It's a smaller word. It offers a choice. That should be a good thing in most situations. Especially if Eddie Izzard is asking you, "Cake or Death?".

These tiny little words have appeared on a box I examined that lists 'ingredients' as "Rayon AND/OR cotton fibers" and string as "Polyester OR cotton". Don't they know which?

What power those little words have! It triggered a fevered search throughout my household for other 'undecided' items we may be using.

The good news is that what we use daily, for the most part, has listed all the ingredients and chemicals that are inside it OR of what it is made. The BAD news is that our food is more fickle.

A quick survey of pantry and refrigerated items came up with the following:

    Coffee-mate (which Hubby won't give up!):  Vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated coconut oil OR palm kernel, hydrogenated soybean)
Jello No-Bake Dessert ( I don't know WHY that is here but has my 2nd highest pet peeve!):  Crust mix - Soybean oil AND/OR Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil

Again, if they don't know...?

OR do they? What is this ambiguity supposed to mean? Is a ruse that hints they are using whatever is cheapest at the time of production? I'm thinking....yes.

Now we all know the main culprits in our diets, currently, to be the excess use of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which goes by many names in attempts to sway the consumer, and sodium. However, we must also be aware of the amount of soybean and cottonseed oils we are now consuming, also.

Soft drinks, breads, snack foods, salad dressings, Chips, Miracle Whip (my occasional guilty nostalgic pleasure), crackers, cookies, sauces, mayonnaise, desserts, condiments, seasonings, basically anything made for human and animal consumption, will likely have soybean oil, OR cottonseed oil, OR palm kernel oil, AND/OR HFCS. Why? It's cheap and abundant.

If a little does a little good, a lot will do a lot of...O.K. let's look closer.

The soy bean, in itself, is a good thing with many health benefits when in its naturally processed state, or fermented, in proper amounts, without having been sprayed and fed other chemicals to make them higher producers, of course. This isn't the 1960's Hippy-Soy, Folks. Where soybean products are concerned, I'm concerned. Too much soy is being connected with affecting under-active thyroids, feeding breast cancer, kidney stones, allergies, and interference with medications like antibiotics and blood-thinners.

Here's a little factoid from the USDA:

The United States is the leading soybean producer and exporter. Soybeans comprise about 90 percent of U.S. oilseed production, while other oilseeds--including peanuts, sunflower seed, canola, and flax--make up the remainder.

Supply and Demand at work, here. Guess who, combined, owned over 500,000 acres of soybean crops in 2005? Dupont and Asgrow. Asgrow is a brand owned by Monsanto who owns the 'patent' on the pesticide-resistant soybean crops and weed-killer (Round-up) that legally prevents farmers from growing any seed except Monsanto's (

I've mentioned this in the past. This is another reason I avoid US-grown soy milk and limit, if any, tofu, edamame, miso, soy sauces, liquid smoke, and any other items that cannot have their origin identified. I've found I can, mostly, trust the UK, some Canadian, and Indian processed foods that list and have the fewest ingredients on that list. Basically, if you can't identify it, you shouldn't eat it.

Cottonseed oil is listed often in processed foods, although exactly when cotton became something to eat rather than wear is answered by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They've concluded that what is left in the processed seed or oil lacks appreciable levels of toxins and pesticide. Good to know. Note: It does NOT say the residue is nonexistent.

Everything in moderation, right?

I used to believe that until I began to read labels. The television ads that advocate HFCS as natural and legally safe are fully aware it's only if you eat and drink a little. Yet they sell to every manufacturer and each food manufacturer not practicing natural organic methods, is putting it in everything processed and sold to you, the consumer.

We need fat in our diets for our health. We don't need the soybean oil (which is Identity-Protected by Monsanto), cottonseed oil (please see above), OR palm kernel oil (which comes from palm 'seeds' which means less palm trees in countries that produce it, therefore, decimation of even more of our natural oxygen-producers).

I see that of my preferred oils, olive, safflower, coconut, grape, and sesame, the cheapest available oil is Canola. I used to wonder what a canola plant looked like. It's a rapeseed plant hybrid, it's said. It wasn't an attractive name for Canada to use. Voila! Canola Oil! Canadian Oil-Low Acid! Oh, I'd love to have been in the Think Tank for that meeting!

After further research of the rapeseed plant which is related to mustard and the cabbage family. I determined through that maybe it's not that bad. They claim it's NOT Genetically Modified but a hybrid of plants. It has health benefits, as do all listed in this post, but I am not convinced that it's being grown without Monsanto's herbicide residue that may be building up in our bodies if we have so many other foods in our diet with additional pesticides. This is in addition to what faces nature, on which we are dependent.

Honey bees exposed to pesticides die. They die, crops die. Crops die, people die.

Before you assume I'm pushing a vegan grow-your-own and boil your water lifestyle, let me say this. Read the labels. Just read the labels. If it's uncertain of what's in it, ask yourself, "Do I feel safe eating this or feeding it to my family?".  Charlie Chaplain, one of my favorite brains, said,

"I do not have much patience with a thing of beauty that must be explained to be understood. If it does need additional interpretation by someone other than the creator, then I question whether it has fulfilled its purpose."

He summed up everything from Art to Food to Faith! I'm no Jada Pinkett Smith who says she doesn't eat for enjoyment. I do! I see the Beauty in the food provided for us. I love the colors and creativity, the tastes, the smells, the variety and will always. I live Life according to letting my Yes be my Yes and my No, my No, keeping it as simple as possible in this generation. How much explaining should our food need? Why should there be any uncertainty of what it includes? If there is an AND/OR I simply walk away from it.

I just had a flashback from School House Rock I'll share with you! Enjoy! Conjunction Junction!

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