Know the foods that are best for you

Published 4:21 pm Saturday, December 10, 2011

By Heidi Harrabi
Austin Farmers Market

Twenty years ago, I radically changed my diet. Why? Because I learned the truth about the foods I was eating.

I couldn’t believe what the government was allowing us to eat. I had to completely change the way I shopped and the way I cooked.

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As I look around at people when I’m shopping in the grocery store and view the items they are putting in their carts, I think to myself “I wish I could share with them what I know, I bet they’d never buy that again.”

Well, it’s not that easy. Sometimes people don’t care or they want to change their diet, but are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Some people just don’t know how to cook.

I look around at the younger generation (and even some my own age) and many of them just don’t have a clue how to cook a meal from scratch. It’s scary.

I can’t change the world, but I can share some of my knowledge.  Here is a list of just some of the foods that I won’t eat and neither will food experts and why.

1.  Canned tomatoes

The lining of tin cans contain bispheonol-A which is a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to a number of ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease.  The acidity in tomatoes causes the BPA to leach into your foods.

Studies have shown that the levels of BPA in most people exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production and causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. Choose tomatoes in glass bottles, or tetra pak boxes.  I really don’t eat anything from a can at all.  I choose to purchase frozen instead.  But it is especially important to not purchase tomatoes that are in a can.

2. Microwave Popcorn

The truth is, I don’t own a microwave.

I gave mine away 17 years ago and have never looked back. But here is what is going on with popcorn.

The lining of the bag has many chemicals in it, including perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to infertility and liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer.

Microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize and migrate into your popcorn.

Pop your corn the old fashioned way…on the stove, or even in a commercial popcorn popper.  And ditch all the artificial popcorn flavorings. Good old fashioned butter and a little bit of natural mineral salt makes the best tasting popcorn. Try it. You will see.

3. Salt

And speaking of salt. Yes I eat salt, but it’s not the superfine white salt you’ll find in most salt shakers.

If you are using standard white salt, please throw it away. Not only has it been put through artificial processes to rob it of its essential minerals and heated to extreme levels to crack it’s molecular structure, but it also has been loaded with harmful additives to make it free flowing, bleached and iodized.

One of the common additives is Aluminum silicate, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Beware of so called natural sea salt as well.  It usually has been treated in a similar fashion.  Replace these with natural Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt. I use RealSalt.

It has not been bleached and is a natural pinkish color. Best tasting salt I’ve ever had and complete with all its natural trace minerals.

4. Conventional apples and strawberries

I really don’t eat any fruit or vegetable that isn’t organic, if I can help it.

But I will go without apples or strawberries if I can’t find organically grown ones and the reason is out of all the fruits apples and strawberries hold the title for the most pesticide residue.

Not only has cancer been linked to pesticides, but studies are showing links to Parkinson’s Disease as well.

5. Farmed Salmon

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers.

As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish.

When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals. Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon.

If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

Although the list is far from over, my article would be much too long if I continued.

You can visit my blog for more information on natural foods and recipes as well.