Highlights: Ingredients

Since my renewed commitment at the beginning of the year to be more intentional about what I eat, I’ve been paying more attention to ingredients.  It’s important to me that I know what’s in the food I’m eating whenever possible, even if my purchases the past couple months didn’t demonstrate that.

smoothie 003

from a smoothie package…I think I can do better…

Of course, being smart about ingredients can be easier said than done.  A recent report found that ‘Whole Grain’ foods aren’t always healthy and many products are guilty of “leanwashing”—“making exaggerated or misleading health claims through advertising, marketing, or packaging” (via Food Politics).  The National Resources Defense Council Blog asks the question “How Does the FDA Know What Is Safe to Eat or Buy If It Doesn’t Define Safe?” and asks for greater transparency from the FDA.

I’ve recently started following the Fooducate blog and playing with their smartphone app.  The site provides lots of information about food labels and other helpful tips such as the smoke points of different oils, the status of GMO labeling and recipes.  The app is really interesting—I scanned a bunch of products from my pantry and all of them were in the system, including store brand items.  Each item gets a grade and the app provides alternatives that earned better marks.  It could definitely be useful in the supermarket.

One thing I’m looking to do is make more things instead of buy them.  Again, this has always been one of my goals, but I need to be more on top of it.  Offbeat Home has some suggestions for making muffin recipes more healthy which would be a good place to start.

I’m also trying to be mindful of what’s in the household and beauty products I buy, though sometimes that seems a harder habit to break than food.  Apartment Therapy has a list of 10 natural and eco-friendly cleaners along with 83 comments from readers.  We’ve found that vinegar works really well on a lot of things, but I’m are still some products that I’d like to switch over.

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