Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Entry 2: Sustenance Analysis Time!

Disclaimer A

Oct. 24. 2011

The corporation seems to be predictably trying to outsmart the health food Industry. It's coming forth with cheaper ‘No Name’ brand milk and gluten free alternatives, as well as apparently healthy and natural food products.

Then again, we can find avenues to outsmart the Wellness Industry by finding less expensive ways to adhere to our families' food sensitivities and health concerns. Although we need to find ways to cleverly work within our limits, there are drawbacks to buying these new healthier corporate products. They aren't as pure as they claim to be, but they're still better than a worse choice, and sometimes we have to settle for that. We shouldn't have to, and one day I'm hopeful we won't.

Although it costs more to practice fair trade and use quality ingredients, I think it's probably unnecessary for some of these health food companies to be charging as much as they do. It seems as though they're taking advantage of people’s health concerns, sensitivities and positive morals in order to maximize their profit. People such as the middle class, are especially targeted--and those of low income are more or less left to swim.

The middle class may appear to have many advantages, but in fairness they have a different set of problems, including high overhead, taxes, and things that enslave them through perpetual debt. This is where the competition (the corporation) has the advantage. It all reminds me of a Ping-Pong game.

I'm finding that I'm often in the position of supporting the corporation and thus their unethical practices, against my beliefs. I have to avoid allergens and irritants, but can't pay the prices that these health food companies charge. Well, I do in some instances, but I have to prioritize. Food allergy/sensitivity and chronic health problems exist within all income levels. The Wellness Industry seems to have the middle/upper class markets. Take a guess at who the corporations' victims (ahem) customers are.

Might I mention that regardless of the fact that while the corporate products labeled gluten/dairy free do not contain the ingredients to be avoided, they still do contain sub-quality ingredients that have to be carefully read for. So many natural or seemingly healthier products still contain toxins such as dyes and simulated flavors. In general these products are, 90% of the time, sub-adequate and sub-quality. So is the attempt to achieve prime status in terms of our food quality, if our income is limited.

Improvements on this invariable entail the following:

1) Paying/prioritizing a disproportionately high amount of money for groceries and spending tons of time and energy learning all the nitty-gritty there is to know, and/or paying a professional to help
 (I have done all this, *sighs*)

2) Have nutritional knowledge at the scientific level due to professional experience, or alternately obsessive-compulsive special interesting-ing so intense it ought to be awarded a diploma certificate in its own right. In lieu of this, one would know how to thoroughly read our ingredients.
(I have done all this, *sighs*)

3) Making our food all from scratch using pure ingredients
(Kind of hard to find sufficient amounts of time to do that on a constant daily basis, and yet check again I am doing all this *SIGHS*)

AARGH, forget it! Ultimately, the key is to prioritize, do the best we can, and forget the rest. We can only do so much. Even if we have chronic health issues and sensitivities, as I do (gee, we didn't know) we're not all rich.  So, we might have to make our very best an important priority, but it's virtually impossible to live in a plastic bubble of quality eating to perfection.

Unless we’re in the elite income bracket, we're afflicted with common limitations such as time and finances. If you're not much into putting extra time, money, or effort into your food quality
(I suggest some effort is worth a try though *smiles*) remember that water quality/quantity is really important. Consider budgeting for packaged products that are at least healthier, if possible.

I love it when I see companies of integrity (both in the manufacturing labor and the ingredients) not overcharging for their fair-trade, natural, and organic products. Some have found ways to price reasonably, but sadly, it's not happening often enough! When I see it, I can see it, and I'm definitely all aboard to give those companies my business.

Could supporting Kraft by buying their gluten free crackers concern my karma? I'm pretty sure I'll be forgiven, if I'm extra broke and I need something to put in the kids lunches. The irony here is that we, the poor (ahem low income) in the western developed world, are the ones who are cornered into buying products, which support unethical labor in underdeveloped countries.

Therefore, poverty in our developed countries is often endorsing poverty in developing countries. So the poor in ALL countries, developed or not, are the Corporations strongest market and point of power. Ok, Rose, Stop!
ARRRGH, my head.

Oh, but what's the most important thing when it comes to health?

Water quality!

Water's got to be the number one priority for our health because the more we drink of it, the more our body rids itself of toxins. I see good logic in getting a simple water filter, so that you're not getting a bunch of chlorine and other crap at the same time as attempting to clean out. It's the only way for water to do what it's supposed to do for us, if you think about it. I think any filter is better than not using one.
The downside to the cheaper ones, like Brita, is that they do get microbial (germy) fast.

The instructions say something like change every 6 weeks. Nooo! Change it every 2-3 weeks! Seemingly tedious and uneconomical, I know, but worth it. The cost is still reasonable, about $18/month including tax, for chemically free (well 90% reduced) but also clean water. Don't forget to clean the actual body of the filter thoroughly, before you put in a new filter.

Oh, and if you can afford something much better than Brita, please do. There is a new European made pitcher filter called Mavea. Great news, they are much cleaner than Britta, and not much more expensive. So I bought one, and I really like it. Mavea is all I use now, until I can get something ever better.

There are some amazingly effective higher-end water filters out there and available at specialized stores. There's also a product called Adya, which further cleans your water by magnetically sending microbes to the bottom. You can get this too, if you can find it. However, don't forget to dump the bottom contents of your Brita, don't ever drink that if you're using this! I used it (when I was stuck with a Brita,) and think it's ok.

However, I'm a rather forgetful person and sometimes had a hard time remember to chuck the bottom contents. I felt horrible afterwards! Ugh. So, may not worth it for me.
It also gives the water a very slight sour aftertaste, which I didn't mind, but still probably silly over all. Probably better to just get a better filter. So, that's my two cents on water quality.

By healthy 101

Yay me!


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