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S/O(What made Americans fat) Marketing is a huge contributor?


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I realize this may be an over simplistic view of this multifaceted problem but.....

 

I honestly believe that good marketing plays a huge part in our obesity problem.

I'm not suggesting that marketing companies shouldn't have the freedom to promote their products.

I just think they prey on people like me who is a sucker for "something new and different".

 

How do you resist new and yummy looking products when you are inundated with them everywhere you look! Even if you don't watch tv, you still have 10 gazillion choices when you go to the grocery store.

 

I have limited time to prepare meals...I hate to cook....and I like trying new things....it's the perfect storm for marketing convenience foods with little nutritional value and big price tags.

 

Whole foods are not packaged all shiny and pretty...they are what they are....old and boring (to me). Yes, I realize I'm a grown up and should be able to recognize the benefits of whole foods over convenience foods..but marketing companies don't waste billions of dollars in advertising if it doesn't sell products!

 

I'm not looking to place blame...I'm looking for empowerment solutions....how do you resist the well crafted marketing?

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I think part of the problem is the agriculture subsidies. It does affect which foods are more affordable.

 

The subsidy-suckers don’t grow the fresh fruits and vegetables that should be dominating our diet. Indeed, if all Americans decided to actually eat the five servings a day of fruits and vegetables that are recommended, they would discover that American agriculture isn’t set up to meet that need. They grow what they’re paid to grow: corn, soy, wheat, cotton and rice.

 

The first two of these are the pillars for the typical American diet — featuring an unnaturally large consumption of meat, never-before-seen junk food and a bizarre avoidance of plants — as well as the fortunes of Pepsi, Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC and the others that have relied on cheap corn and soy to build their empires of unhealthful food. Over the years, prices of fresh produce have risen, while those of meat, poultry, sweets, fats and oils, and especially soda, have fallen. (Tom Philpott, writing in the environment and food Web site Grist and citing a Tufts University study, reckons that between 1997 and 2005 subsidies saved chicken, pork, beef and HFCS producers roughly $26.5 billion. In the short term, that saved consumers money too — prices for these foods are unjustifiably low — but at what cost to the environment, our food choices and our health?)

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/dont-end-agricultural-subsidies-fix-them/

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On a related note I think the truth is often stretched in marketing. I'm talking about the flashy bold "fat free" on the Sour Patch kids bag. As if that suddenly makes it a good choice.

Ditto "low fat yogurt" loaded with an extraordinarily large amount of sugar. Then that gets into the issues of sugar contributing to increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which is documented. But people feel really good that their yogurt is low fat I guess.

 

eta: or the "heart healthy" (gag!) Frosted Flakes someone mentioned on the other thread. Maybe it is common sense and people should realize what they are dealing with, but I do think that a large percentage of the population has been mislead! DH is a chemist and a bunch of guys he works with (all PhD scientists) were lamenting their high cholesterol. Not one of them had ever been told sugar is an issue. They had no clue.

Edited by Momof3littles
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How do you resist new and yummy looking products when you are inundated with them everywhere you look! Even if you don't watch tv, you still have 10 gazillion choices when you go to the grocery store.

 

I do not have a TV and that goes a long way to eliminate advertisements. So, I only see food products when I actually go to the store.

I have a few times fallen into the trap and purchased a prepared food because it looked promising - only to find out at home that it tastes not nearly as good as what I prepare form scratch.

 

I have limited time to prepare meals...I hate to cook....and I like trying new things....it's the perfect storm for marketing convenience foods with little nutritional value and big price tags.

 

I also have limited time, but I do not find that cooking from scratch has to take very long. Also, in order to eat a healthy meal, it does not have to be cooked - we eat lots of sandwiches and salads and cheese for dinner.

 

how do you resist the well crafted marketing?

 

1. Remembering the few times I tried processed food and was disappointed.

2. Thinking about how much cheaper it is to make it fresh

3. Staying away from the inside parts of the store and shopping only the produce, dairy and meat section on the periphery

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Education and budget....once we realized that many restaurants weren't cooking the food, but rather reheating frozen, we decided we didn't need to eat there. I can cook tastier food than most processed...spices are my friends. The hard part is finding quality ingredients that fit the budget.

 

One of the farmer's markets in Manhattan does present the veggies and fruit attractively, and offers samples. Can't get Amish vegetables up here, so it's a treat to be in town when we can buy some there.

 

I agree, I was surprised to realize how many restaurants are reheating frozen food. We avoid those places.

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Ugh that makes me crazy with the cereal. Like I should feel proud that I'm serving my kids the whole grain Lucky Charms. I just need to look for the "check" mark on the box and I know it's healthy.

 

And the yogurt. Another one. People think anything with the word yogurt in it is healthy. Yogurt covered raisins. Yogurt in a tube. Yogurt clusters on your cereal. (Just ignore the fact that there is more sugar than yogurt in it.)

Hey, as a bonus you can have a granola with tons of sugar sprinkled all over your sugary yogurt. Super healthy ;)

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Ugh that makes me crazy with the cereal. Like I should feel proud that I'm serving my kids the whole grain Lucky Charms. I just need to look for the "check" mark on the box and I know it's healthy.

 

And the yogurt. Another one. People think anything with the word yogurt in it is healthy. Yogurt covered raisins. Yogurt in a tube. Yogurt clusters on your cereal. (Just ignore the fact that there is more sugar than yogurt in it.)

 

Well, people are too lazy to look at the nutrition information. It is THERE, on the package. Any literate person can figure out what is in it.

Because they don't car to, there is now a push to treat consumers like idiots and use green/yellow/red dots, or check marks... it will not work either, because those people who care about the info can find it already, and such a simple system is oversimplifying things and can not work.

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Food manufacturers are simply trying to make a profit. If people began demanding different types of foods, the market would jump to fill the void.

 

The largest factor, imo, is the really bad information people recieve about what is and is not nutritious. Many people would be more on board with eating well if they know they could manage it without feeling starved and experiencing constant cravings.

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Well, people are too lazy to look at the nutrition information. It is THERE, on the package. Any literate person can figure out what is in it.

Because they don't car to, there is now a push to treat consumers like idiots and use green/yellow/red dots, or check marks... it will not work either, because those people who care about the info can find it already, and such a simple system is oversimplifying things and can not work.

Honestly, I don't think most people understand. I really don't. I think they hear "yogurt has probiotics" and see "low fat" as automatically heart healthy. Therefore yogurt=healthy. In the media (which unfortunately is how most people get their info on health) how often do you hear fat is bad for cholesterol, vs. sugar is bad for cholesterol. Most people IME have no idea sugar has a cardiovascular impact. And I'm talking fairly educated people, even highly educated people, unfortunately.

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The largest factor, imo, is the really bad information people recieve about what is and is not nutritious. Many people would be more on board with eating well if they know they could manage it without feeling starved and experiencing constant cravings.

 

But the mantra that fresh food is good has been around for a looong time.

And our grandparents' diet was also not rocket science.

How can anybody claim not to know that highly processed food is not healthy? I don't buy the "but I did not know". It is the same as people still smoking even though everybody has heard the message that it is unhealthy.

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Honestly, I don't think most people understand. I really don't. I think they hear "yogurt has probiotics" and see "low fat" as automatically heart healthy. Therefore yogurt=healthy. In the media (which unfortunately is how most people get their info on health) how often do you hear fat is bad for cholesterol, vs. sugar is bad for cholesterol. Most people IME have no idea sugar has a cardiovascular impact. And I'm talking fairly educated people, even highly educated people, unfortunately.

 

 

But the thing is: our grandparents and great-grandparents did not NEED "nutrition info" printed on the package to eat a balanced diet. they did not need to know about carbs and probiotics and triglycerides... they just ate a variety of unprocessed things in moderation. What's so difficult about that? Why do you need a doctor to figure that out?

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But the mantra that fresh food is good has been around for a looong time.

And our grandparents' diet was also not rocket science.

How can anybody claim not to know that highly processed food is not healthy? I don't buy the "but I did not know". It is the same as people still smoking even though everybody has heard the message that it is unhealthy.

Is it not confusing to people to have the AHA endorsing Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes as "heart healthy" though? :confused: I think the average person ends up thinking that's a pretty solid endorsement.

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Well what I sometimes struggle with is the convenience of some of these items. I suppose that makes me lazy.

 

I, too, use the occasional convenience thing - for example, I take little packaged cups of fruit yoghurt to work instead of mixing plain yoghurt with fruit and filling it into a tupperware container to take...because I am too lazy.

But in the big scheme of an overall balanced diet, the occasional processed yoghurt is not going to do any harm.

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Is it not confusing to people to have the AHA endorsing Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes as "heart healthy" though? :confused: I think the average person ends up thinking that's a pretty solid endorsement.

 

But as soon as you turn the package around and see the sugar content, don't you want to run?

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But the thing is: our grandparents and great-grandparents did not NEED "nutrition info" printed on the package to eat a balanced diet. they did not need to know about carbs and probiotics and triglycerides... they just ate a variety of unprocessed things in moderation. What's so difficult about that? Why do you need a doctor to figure that out?

But when people are taught to read labels, aren't most taught to look at the fat and cholesterol content? If it is low, most people think "good to go." I can think of a lot of educated adults I know who can't really glean a lot of info from a food label.

 

I do think the rush rush lifestyle and a loss of cooking skills perhaps play a part in the reliance on processed and packaged foods.

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But as soon as you turn the package around and see the sugar content, don't you want to run?

Well, I would...I wouldn't even pick the box up in the first place. BUt I honestly know of a ridiculous # of adults who think it is fine to use plenty of sugar, and they are unaware it has cardiovascular effects. For example, they are thin or normal weight, and assume as a result sugar is meaningless in their lives. They do worry about fat.

 

The people I'm talking about have a college education, and in many cases have advanced degrees. They have no clue that sugar is a bad thing other than concern over calories (which they don't care about if they aren't overweight).

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But the thing is: our grandparents and great-grandparents did not NEED "nutrition info" printed on the package to eat a balanced diet. they did not need to know about carbs and probiotics and triglycerides... they just ate a variety of unprocessed things in moderation. What's so difficult about that? Why do you need a doctor to figure that out?

 

My grandparents lived on a farm...grew most of their own food. They used and bought what was available. Lucky Charms and Fruit Roll Ups weren't an option. They weren't given those choices and even if they were, it wasn't how most people lived ....Their friends, neighbors, etc....weren't bringing Jello 1 2 3 to pot lucks....they were bringing homemade foods from scratch.

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Food manufacturers are simply trying to make a profit. If people began demanding different types of foods, the market would jump to fill the void.

 

The largest factor, imo, is the really bad information people recieve about what is and is not nutritious. Many people would be more on board with eating well if they know they could manage it without feeling starved and experiencing constant cravings.

 

:iagree:

 

 

Especially right now where 'organic' is the benediction of choice.

 

We've always shopped the perimeter, shopped at health food stores for bulk spices and herbs, went to the farmer's markets, bought from local butchers. My kids have no idea what store bought pies taste like (except when they try a piece at their grandmother's and then throw it out).

 

You know what though--I spend an extraordinary amount of time and $ doing that. We're in the top 3% of earners and if *we* have to budget the food bill, what does the lower 50% have to work with?

 

Eating this way is a privilege. I get to decide how much I'll be marketed to. Especially in this economy, most people don't have that choice, so when fruity pebbles hits 1.99 they put it in the cart. BEcause they need something quick before they go to school and work.

 

Then there's the kids that Angela in Ohio was talking about in the one thread that don't get anything to eat and cheap, subsidized carp is all they can get. WIC isn't a list of the best foods.

 

That's who is being marketed to. The people that have the fewest choices.

Edited by justamouse
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I started shopping at a health food store when my son was diagnosed with food allergies nine years ago. He has since outgrown most of his allergies and allergen-free foods are more mainstream now than they were a decade ago. But I still shop at a health food store. In fact, I drive 20 minutes (one way) past a dozen other grocery stores to shop at a health food store.

When I stop by the "regular" grocery store, I am amazed - and appalled - at how much junk is on the shelves. I can't imagine wading through all that garbage to try and find something decent.

There are certainly bad food options at my health food store, but they are so limited compared to what I see advertised on television and in magazines.

Our food bill has actually stayed low at the health food store, as I buy in bulk and skip most of the packaged foods.

 

We do limit our processed foods, a habit we started when DS was dx with allergies. I still spend a half day every other month making all of his breakfast and snack food, then freezing it in smaller portions. It takes, maybe, four hours every 6-8 weeks to ensure that he is getting homemade food instead of processed.

 

We eat mainly fruits and veggies, with a bit of meat and dairy. (DS eats baked items, DH and I do not.) If I need something quick and easy for a meal, I buy pre-cut produce as prep is 9/10th of the work.

 

I also stick with the same products - the same olives, same salsa, etc. I find I get overwhelmed with options if I start looking for something different to try.

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Another thing that drives me batty. We were invited to a Halloween party one year. The mother said how great it was she was going to serve organic candy, organic muffins, organic cookies. Not dissing these things at all. I let my kids eat candy and muffins and cookies from time to time. But what in heck do I care if it's organic? That does not make it healthier.

 

Exactly. Cow carp is organic, too. ;)

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This thread reminds me of the recent Nutella court case. A woman sued when she found out Nutella isn't really a health food. :glare: She won the case. :confused:

 

The Nutella for breakfast ads are silly but no sillier than the precedent set by sugared cereal being "part of a healthy breakfast". Here eat this sneaker...as long as you also drink juice, eat an egg and whole grain toast it'll be a 'healthy breakfast'.

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Well, I would...I wouldn't even pick the box up in the first place. BUt I honestly know of a ridiculous # of adults who think it is fine to use plenty of sugar, and they are unaware it has cardiovascular effects. For example, they are thin or normal weight, and assume as a result sugar is meaningless in their lives. They do worry about fat.

 

The people I'm talking about have a college education, and in many cases have advanced degrees. They have no clue that sugar is a bad thing other than concern over calories (which they don't care about if they aren't overweight).

 

Then there are people like me who need to keep a low fat diet for health issues (I have post gallbladder syndrome). My choices are then limited and when I'm in a hurry (which is always), I grab the "low fat" snacks knowing the sugar content is high but I'm picking the least of two evils. I don't want an apple when I'm craving chocolate...and I don't have the time to bake so low fat store bought cookies it is .....which stinks!!

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Our local schools serve whole wheat Pop Tarts for breakfast. This is subsidized by the government.

Same here.

 

At our local school they had to take funnel cakes and doughnuts off the breakfast menu. No, I am not kidding. I remember reading it a while back and my jaw dropped. I just rechecked the local news story because I couldn't remember what the other horrible thing was besides doughnuts.

 

I truly believe kids are eating this stuff and just starving nutritionally. Not just the nutrients, but I bet they are genuinely hungry all day after eating that garbage and riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. I can't imagine teaching kids who eat two meals a day of school provided food.

 

eta: fwiw, I live in a highly respected SD with pretty high income levels.

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He ate bread with Nutella on it almost every day of his childhood. His family is all overweight btw..

 

We do, too (actually, only since the reunification, because nutella was not available in East Germany).

Nobody in our family is overweight, btw.

 

ETA: The traditional German breakfast is sweet and has been for generations: rolls with butter and jam/honey/nutella. Some people eat cheese/wurst instead with their bread, but almost everybody I know eats this. Cereal is a rather modern addition.

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Oh that reminds me, they also serve "healthy doughnuts". I have no idea what that is.

Yeah, the news article says they replaced the doughnuts and funnel cakes with "breakfast sandwiches." Color me skeptical, but I wonder just how healthy those are (not that there couldn't be a somewhat decent way of making them healthy, but I am guessing the replacement isn't all that healthy either.)

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But the mantra that fresh food is good has been around for a looong time.

And our grandparents' diet was also not rocket science.

How can anybody claim not to know that highly processed food is not healthy? I don't buy the "but I did not know". It is the same as people still smoking even though everybody has heard the message that it is unhealthy.

 

Did you know that low-fat yoghurt is highly processed food?

 

Did you know the whole grain bread is highly processed food?

 

I've repeatedly talked about the bad information that Americans have received about low-fat vs. high fat diets. Low-carb vs. high carb.

 

This might be a news flash for you, but most people don't get the majority of their calories from fruit or veggies. It's almost impossible for us to get the majority of our calories from fruit and veggies, therefore, we eat additional food. If we're following a LCHF diet we get those calories from fat and protein. If we're following a low-fat diet or no diet at all we're likely to be getting those additional calories from CARBS (carbs in many different forms).

 

If we eat too many carbs as a total percentage of our diet - whether or not they're complex carbs or processed carbs - we are in danger of experience weight gain and insulin resistance.

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Well you know, my husband grew up in Germany. They didn't have ten thousand convenience foods when he was a kid. He ate bread with Nutella on it almost every day of his childhood. His family is all overweight btw.

 

Don't know exactly why I'm saying that except I'm saying this isn't just an American problem.

 

Now it makes sense why Nutella advertises from a breakfast standpoint. I'm just so confused how they made a case that it was Nutella's fault that this mom served her kids a spread with sugar listed as the first ingredient. :confused: And why aren't pop tarts sued? Or Toaster Pastries etc.

 

And as mentioned by another poster: sweets in the morning are common in lots of places...how did she win this case?

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The packaging kills me. And the kids stuff. Fage 2% yogurt for one cup has 170 cals 9 carbs and sugars and 23 grams of protein! I would buy whole, but Costco has 2% for so much cheaper and it's not a huge difference. One 4 oz container of Dannon activia or has 22 carbs, 18 grams sugar and 4 protein for 4 OUNCES. So, that would be 240 cals 44 carbs and 36 sugars to the equivalent amount of Fage. I just add berries to the kids, and heck even if I drizzled honey it's still mountains better.

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Yeah and I wonder if the nutrition is so far off from Lucky Charms then.

 

I'd say yes. Whole wheat rolls, real butter, jam made without HFCS , no artificial dyes... yep.

Keep in mind the proportions - the bulk is bread, not the sweet topping.

Edited by regentrude
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Yeah I make a lot of stuff homemade, but the problem with that is it takes time. Stuff does not last (not shelf stable). So I can't really do too much ahead. Fruits and veggies are a hit of miss especially during the winter here.

 

I think lack of time has as much to do with our diet problems as a lot of other things.

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I think lack of time has as much to do with our diet problems as a lot of other things.

 

But do most people REALLY lack the time? I forget the stats how many hours people spend watching TV on average daily... clearly, time is not an issue for most people.

Just look at all of us wasting time on the internet... I should go bake something.

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How do you resist new and yummy looking products when you are inundated with them everywhere you look! Even if you don't watch tv, you still have 10 gazillion choices when you go to the grocery store.

 

I have limited time to prepare meals...I hate to cook....and I like trying new things....it's the perfect storm for marketing convenience foods with little nutritional value and big price tags.

 

Whole foods are not packaged all shiny and pretty...they are what they are....old and boring (to me). Yes, I realize I'm a grown up and should be able to recognize the benefits of whole foods over convenience foods..but marketing companies don't waste billions of dollars in advertising if it doesn't sell products!

 

I'm not looking to place blame...I'm looking for empowerment solutions....how do you resist the well crafted marketing?

 

I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think your empowerment solution is going to have to be embracing whole foods. Whole foods might not be packaged and shiny but they are oh so very pretty! Get thee to a farmer's market, post haste! :tongue_smilie: Get a seasonal farmer's market cookbook and work through it (might even be one for your particular area, region, state). Go to your bookstore and flip through one to find something appealing. Start watching FoodTV. Those people are not cooking from packages (except for Sandra Lee but pppbbbbhhhtt to that :tongue_smilie:). A couple I like: Cooking from the Farmer's Market and Cooking Light Through the Seasons (has some fast stuff). You want fast and whole? Here you go: Everyday Food (and the second one of these too), Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, and Power Foods. You want pretty and shiny? These books are pretty and shiny and empowering!

 

Don't look at fat. Don't look at cholesterol...or carbs or sugar or blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (unless you have a particular weight problem or hard time losing weight or some other specific issue). Look for the best single ingredients, with nothing added and then mix them up into something wonderful.

 

Look for real food and make it into real meals. Your older kids are old enough to do this, you know. And embrace it. I was cooking full family meals by at least age 10.

 

You would really benefit from reading Food Rules, I think. And everything by Michael Pollan. :001_smile: You need to get some really great cookbooks, some recipes for the foods you love best, and embrace cooking with foods that don't come in a package, foods that don't have commercials or much marketing at all, foods that, as Michael Pollan would say, you could have found in your great grandmother's kitchen 100 years ago.

 

I would estimate that 95% of what I buy for my family does not come in a package (unless you count meat and cheese wrapping or yogurt--full fat, no added sugar--containers), etc. I keep some canned beans and jarred tomato products for convenience (and then I look for no BPA in the lining and no creepy added ingredients). And when I put meals in front of my family, I feel good.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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But as soon as you turn the package around and see the sugar content, don't you want to run?
I don't know many people that read labels, nor do I see many people reading labels at the stores.

 

Originally Posted by regentrude viewpost.gif

But the mantra that fresh food is good has been around for a looong time.

And our grandparents' diet was also not rocket science.

How can anybody claim not to know that highly processed food is not healthy? I don't buy the "but I did not know". It is the same as people still smoking even though everybody has heard the message that it is unhealthy.

My mom was a librarian, so surrounded by information and certainly not ignorant on many issues. She has major health issues, related to diet, but she won't read labels. She is old and set in her ways and doesn't care, in her own words.

Knowing better and doing better are two different things.

 

At our local school they had to take funnel cakes and doughnuts off the breakfast menu. No, I am not kidding. I remember reading it a while back and my jaw dropped. I just rechecked the local news story because I couldn't remember what the other horrible thing was besides doughnuts.

 

I truly believe kids are eating this stuff and just starving nutritionally. Not just the nutrients, but I bet they are genuinely hungry all day after eating that garbage and riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. I can't imagine teaching kids who eat two meals a day of school provided food.

 

eta: fwiw, I live in a highly respected SD with pretty high income levels.

We live in a very affluent school district.

Once a month, all the schools have "doughnuts with dads," where they start the day off with trays and trays of doughnuts, catered in by a local place.

Nearly every single day at least one of our schools in this district has a "school pride event" at a fast food restaurant, where a portion of the sales go back to the school.

Kids are preached about healthy eating, but they are given the opposite message repeatedly by the adults in their lives.

"Eat a healthy breakfast, but - hey - let's have dad join us for doughnuts."

"Don't eat junk food, but - hey, come out and support your school with fast/junk food!"

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I'm not disagreeing with you at all, but we don't have real farmer's markets. Our farmer's market is more like a craft fair. The typical foods are honey, homemade jam, etc. The very little produce they offer is so incredibly overpriced. Think a couple of bulbs of garlic for $10. Or homemade bread for $8 a loaf (which is ridiculous because I can make that for far less).

 

Fine. Fair enough. But your grocery store has a perimeter. And you know that's where the stuff is that you would find at your farmer's market if you had one. Come on... You know it's true... :lol:

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I just don't think it is all about marketing and public knowlege.

 

Everyone knows fresh fruit and veggies are better for you. Everyone knows shopping the perimeter is healthier but it is also more expensive.

 

People need to not just be informed but be able to afford healthier food. I will go to Costco and drop $100 on produce alone. I am not sure that is something everyone can afford to do.

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People need to not just be informed but be able to afford healthier food. I will go to Costco and drop $100 on produce alone. I am not sure that is something everyone can afford to do.

 

I do too, but it's not all organic for sure. We eat TONS of produce. But I cannot buy all organic, local driving all over to farms to get this and that. The CSA I tried, well actually 2 of them, were awful.

 

Even if I go to Costco and stock up on meats, tons of produce, and full fat dairy, butter and plain greek yogurt....its' STILL not enough. I am sorry but I will not seek out wild caught fish, happy turkey, happy eggs, pastured cows etc. It would consume every second of my day. Aside from the few grocery store items, I do a lot of shopping at Costco. I know some people feel better doing this, I do not. It is not good for my well being if I am stressed.

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I'm sorry to tell you this, but I think your empowerment solution is going to have to be embracing whole foods. Whole foods might not be packaged and shiny but they are oh so very pretty! Get thee to a farmer's market, post haste! :tongue_smilie: Get a seasonal farmer's market cookbook and work through it (might even be one for your particular area, region, state). Go to your bookstore and flip through one to find something appealing. Start watching FoodTV. Those people are not cooking from packages (except for Sandra Lee but pppbbbbhhhtt to that :tongue_smilie:). A couple I like: Cooking from the Farmer's Market and Cooking Light Through the Seasons (has some fast stuff). You want fast and whole? Here you go: Everyday Food (and the second one of these too), Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, and Power Foods. You want pretty and shiny? These books are pretty and shiny and empowering!

 

 

 

Don't look at fat. Don't look at cholesterol...or carbs or sugar or blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (unless you have a particular weight problem or hard time losing weight or some other specific issue). Look for the best single ingredients, with nothing added and then mix them up into something wonderful.

 

Look for real food and make it into real meals. Your older kids are old enough to do this, you know. And embrace it. I was cooking full family meals by at least age 10.

 

You would really benefit from reading Food Rules, I think. And everything by Michael Pollan. :001_smile: You need to get some really great cookbooks, some recipes for the foods you love best, and embrace cooking with foods that don't come in a package, foods that don't have commercials or much marketing at all, foods that, as Michael Pollan would say, you could have found in your great grandmother's kitchen 100 years ago.

 

I would estimate that 95% of what I buy for my family does not come in a package (unless you count meat and cheese wrapping or yogurt--full fat, no added sugar--containers), etc. I keep some canned beans and jarred tomato products for convenience (and then I look for no BPA in the lining and no creepy added ingredients). And when I put meals in front of my family, I feel good.

 

If you are addressing me, I think I confused you. I am not talking about the way *my family* eats. I'm talking about how I think the average person who even bothers to look at a food label reads it.

 

I am a health freak and we do a lot of pastured meats, almost no packaged foods at all, lots of veggies, full fat unsweetened greek yogurt, skip BPA and have for about 9 years now, and cook nearly everything from scratch. We buy the dirty dozen organic, most of our meats come from a local Mennonite farm store where all animals are raised hormone/antibiotic free and are pastured, no grains. I've been doing all that stuff for nearly a decade now, pre Michael Pollen books, etc.

 

I am just talking about how I think the average American reads food labels, including how I think most educated Americans read food labels. They worry a whole lot about fat and cholesterol on the label and don't really get that sugar has a cardiovascular impact.

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Well, people are too lazy to look at the nutrition information. It is THERE, on the package. Any literate person can figure out what is in it.

Because they don't car to, there is now a push to treat consumers like idiots and use green/yellow/red dots, or check marks... it will not work either, because those people who care about the info can find it already, and such a simple system is oversimplifying things and can not work.

 

Isn't part of the problem the fact that the recommendations of the 'experts' is constantly changing? I remember all the news when I was a kid about how bad eggs are for you. Then when I was in my 20's, eggs were suddenly good sources of protein. When I was a kid we were taught the food pyramid with the huge base of carbohydrates. Now carbohydrates are bad. Some people say that eating meat is bad for you; others give up all grains and eat only vegetables and meat, and say that they've never been healthier.

 

I try to just give my family a wide variety of 'real' food, limiting the processed foods as much as I can, and hope for the best. I don't even try to keep up with all the latest advice from the so-called experts.

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And I think buying ingredients rather than packaged ready to eat things helps. I don't really buy anything already made. Except some low carb bun things and tortillas.

 

I do shop at the Polish store and get a few things that are made there. They have some cookies that are very low in sugar, and dh loves halva which is like a sesame paste with a little sugar. I am not making that at home.

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But do most people REALLY lack the time? I forget the stats how many hours people spend watching TV on average daily... clearly, time is not an issue for most people.

Just look at all of us wasting time on the internet... I should go bake something.

 

*sticks fingers in ears* na na na I can't hear you! ;)

 

LOL

 

True. Although baking when it's 90 out isn't fun. ;)

 

Complaining about stuff...now that doesn't take much effort.

 

:lol:

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I think it's about 5.

 

I think a lot of people have lost real cooking skills. I do think you can make healthy meals in a half hour or less, from real ingredients. I think rush-rush leaves people feeling like that's too hard though. THeir perception may or may not match reality.

 

We eat almost everything cooked from scratch, but I don't cook every night. I do a lot of bulk cooking, double meals, make planned leftovers, and always have "emergency" quick stuff like chicken sausage that can be cooked in 10-15 mins while I heat up some veggies. That's our version of "convenience" food. Many people tell me they can't cook from scratch every day, but I don't either :)

 

However, I am sympathetic to the rush-rush lifestyle and 2 income parents do feel stressed and rushed a good bit. Even as a SAHM, at times it feels insane when we are trying to grab dinner after homeschooling all day, but before DD has to be at dance or DS1 has to be at baseball (both start at 5:30 pm; baseball often runs until after 8pm). When 2 parents work and kids are picked up from aftercare, there's a very, very small window in which to grab a meal. I feel that pressure at times and I SAH and limit my kids' activities.

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Even if I go to Costco and stock up on meats, tons of produce, and full fat dairy, butter and plain greek yogurt....its' STILL not enough. I am sorry but I will not seek out wild caught fish, happy turkey, happy eggs, pastured cows etc. It would consume every second of my day. Aside from the few grocery store items, I do a lot of shopping at Costco. I know some people feel better doing this, I do not. It is not good for my well being if I am stressed.

 

I won't deny that it was a lot of work in the beginning, reading all about the food industry, researching best practices and seeking out brands that used those practices, finding a local farm and stores that carry the specific products I wanted. But now that the hard work has been done, actually purchasing my groceries is no harder than it was before. In fact, it's significantly easier, because I get to sail by all the other products without a backward glance. :tongue_smilie:

 

You get set in your ways and it takes work to break old habits but I have found the change in my buying habits to be well worth it. I couldn't avoid it though because I have read way, way too much and was much more disturbed by the idea of maintaining the status quo than researching and doing the legwork to make the changes that my conscience demanded.

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I try to just give my family a wide variety of 'real' food, limiting the processed foods as much as I can, and hope for the best. I don't even try to keep up with all the latest advice from the so-called experts.

:iagree:

That is my strategy as well.

I figure, whatever worked for my grandmothers to live healthy actives lives well into their nineties can't have been totally wrong.

 

I am also quite sure that a multitude of different diets can be equal in outcome. My family members had to deal with post-war starvation and lack of good nutrition and still did fine. Humans would long have been extinct if eating was truly that complicated.

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I think a lot of people have lost real cooking skills. I do think you can make healthy meals in a half hour or less, from real ingredients. I think rush-rush leaves people feeling like that's too hard though. THeir perception may or may not match reality.

 

We eat almost everything cooked from scratch, but I don't cook every night. I do a lot of bulk cooking, double meals, make planned leftovers, and always have "emergency" quick stuff like chicken sausage that can be cooked in 10-15 mins while I heat up some veggies. That's our version of "convenience" food. Many people tell me they can't cook from scratch every day, but I don't either :)

 

However, I am sympathetic to the rush-rush lifestyle and 2 income parents do feel stressed and rushed a good bit. Even as a SAHM, at times it feels insane when we are trying to grab dinner after homeschooling all day, but before DD has to be at dance or DS1 has to be at baseball (both start at 5:30 pm; baseball often runs until after 8pm). When 2 parents work and kids are picked up from aftercare, there's a very, very small window in which to grab a meal. I feel that pressure at times and I SAH and limit my kids' activities.

 

Yep, meat and veggies every night doesn't take that long :D. And using the grill keeps the mess outside. I just love being able to hose the patio off. I cannot hose off my kitchen:tongue_smilie:

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I won't deny that it was a lot of work in the beginning, reading all about the food industry, researching best practices and seeking out brands that used those practices, finding a local farm and stores that carry the specific products I wanted. But now that the hard work has been done, actually purchasing my groceries is no harder than it was before. In fact, it's significantly easier, because I get to sail by all the other products without a backward glance. :tongue_smilie:

 

You get set in your ways and it takes work to break old habits but I have found the change in my buying habits to be well worth it. I couldn't avoid it though because I have read way, way too much and was much more disturbed by the idea of maintaining the status quo than researching and doing the legwork to make the changes that my conscience demanded.

 

I just don't know that I agree. When I grocery shop I generally hit Costco, WholeFoods or similar (I have allergies and need "special food" :lol:) and a regular run of the mill grocery store for some staples I don't want to buy in bulk or pay a ton of money. I sometimes go to Trader Joes.

 

I do all that to keep my costs down. I buy organic milk, I love farm fresh eggs as much as anyone but there is only so much driving around I can do. I like to go to the Farmer's Market but my kids do not actually consider that a "fun" outing like I do :lol: so I don't go a lot.

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