Chemical Food

A while back I read this book:

Back in January I posted a few of her tips that I took to heart. Click here to read ’em. How have I done with Christina’s suggestions? Well I’m definitely trying new food with my CSA membership. I eat tons of local greens and make slime juice a few times a week. I’ve mostly stuck with my self-imposed soda ban and I’ve kept free from tv during meal times. I have however, been bringing my laptop to the table while dining. I guess the no tv rule needs to be extended to all tech gadgets.

Blended greens & fruit over ice

Last month Alicia Silverstone picked I’m Mad as Hell for her book club. I posted a comment and she picked it for her post. Click here to read (I’m Angela).

Since I wrote about McDonald’s on the Kind Life I thought I’d elaborate a little  bit here. I’ll preface with this statement: I love french fries and I’ll never give them up (sigh of relief). However like many of us saw in Supersize Me, a fast food french fry is not composed of oil, salt and potato. There’s loads of other crap in there like chemical beef flavoring. (That’s because until the 1990’s McDonald’s was frying them in actual beef fat. They took a lot of heat about saturated fat content so they recreated the flavor with fake stuff. Who knows what’s actually in it since they can legally patent their unique “flavor”.)

“Real” french fries from Rouge in Philadelphia

And to go with those fries? Christina quotes Michael Pollen (writer of The Omnivore’s Dilemma) on what’s in chicken nuggets from McDonald’s:

  • 38 ingredients
  • 13 ingredient are derived from corn
  • the corn comes from a petroleum refinery or chemical plant
  • leavening agents and synthetic antioxidants to keep the nuggets from turning rancid
  • suspected carcinogens like dimethylpolysiloxane added to the oil to keep it from foaming
  • Preservatives derived from petroleum (that’s right…we are basically feeding our kids lighter fluid in the form of a nugget)

So if you are going to eat chicken nuggets, or feed them to children, please consider buying organic chicken and making them yourself. One of my best friends is a busy mother of three (ages 2-6) and she gave me a recipe a few years back that I used to make for M’s kids. Click here for a similar one that’s simple, fast and easy. (I know…a chicken recipe on a veg blog. But if it keeps anyone out of the drive-through than I’m all for it.)

We all know that nuggets and fries are bad for us, but what about the so-called healthy choices?

  • A carrot walnut muffin at Panera has 500 calories, 37 grams of sugar and only 4 grams of fiber
  • McDonald’s oatmeal has the same amount of sugar as a Snickers bar
  • The red sauce on Domino’s pizza comes from Hunt’s and has MSG in it

The moral of the story is that we can’t trust these places to give us anything remotely healthy or safe to eat. Using actual fruits, vegetables or even meat would cost too much so they have to make a cheaper chemical alternative in order to keep prices down and customers happy. Quite frankly I’m disgusted. I stopped eating fast food last year, but haven’t excluded mid-range places like Panera. This just reinforces the fact that it’s much healthier, cheaper and satisfying to eat at home. I’d rather save my money for a delicious dinner at a regular restaurant than spend a few bucks here and there on chemical food crap.

Homemade breakfast quinoa is waaaay better than McDonald’s oatmeal

Have you read the book? What’s your take on fast food? Do you have any favorite homemade versions of favorite fast food items?

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6 Comments

Filed under Books, Dining in, Eating out

6 responses to “Chemical Food

  1. These kinds of books make me so mad! I find it appalling what these companies are able to get away with. I love to make home versions of Taco Bell’s Double Decker Tacos and McDonald’s Egg McMuffins. It’s amazing how little food is actually in fast food. Homemade is WAY better!!

    • Oooh homemade Taco Bell sounds awesome! That used to be my go-to spot in college. I gave it up one day when I was at Penn Station in NYC. Fast food joints are required to post calorie counts in New York. I wasn’t even hungry, but was thinking about getting a Mexican pizza to kill time. I saw 1,000 calories while standing in line and thought to myself, “this is crazy.” I got out of line and haven’t eaten it since.

  2. McDonalds do oatmeal? Wow. The things you learn. I don’t consider their offerings food, so I never cross the threshold. Can’t wait to try that breakfast quinoa though. It’s my absolute favourite …starch. Since it’s not really a grain, is it?

    • I’m not really sure what it’s considered, but it’s in the family of highly nutritious stuff like spinach, swiss chard and beets. I love quinoa because it cooks quickly and is so easy to make. I also like that it’s portable…you can throw it in a ziplock bag with dressing and veggies and it actually tastes better after a few hours. You will love the breakfast quinoa!

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