Eat Fresh

This article from July 1982 discusses the dangers of eating processed food. Eat fresh whenever possible.

July 1982

“Eat, drink and be wary” summarized the nutritionist on the last segment of Channel 10’s series on food additives that was aired last month. “I wouldn’t panic if my child ate a weiner now and then, but I wouldn’t give him wieners everyday,” was another piece of her advice.

Perhaps it is time to re- evaluate what is in the food we serve our families. Since 1972 we have been buying more processed foods than fresh foods. We spend more than 60 billion dollars annually for convenience foods including TV dinners, snack foods and pop.

With these foods Americans consume on the average 4 pounds of chemicals, preservatives, stabilizers, colorings, flavorings, and other additives each year. Their use has doubled in the last 15 years. Today, more than 3,000 chemicals are deliberately added to our food.

How much do we know about the hazards to human health from these chemicals? They may be affecting our health but, even more scary, they may affect the health of future generations. Presently, more than a thousand of these chemicals have never been tested for chance of causing cancer, genetic damage, or birth defects.

The FDA is in charge of the purity of our food. In 1960 the “Generally Regarded as Safe” or GRAs list of substances was formulated. There were 674 substances on this list. They had been in use for some time and were generally regarded as safe. They were exempted from the Delaney Amendment passed in 1958 which said, “no additive shall be deemed safe if it is found to produce cancer when ingested into man or animal or if it is found, after tests which are appropriate for the evaluation of the safety of food additives, to induce cancer in man or animal.”

At the present time no tests are required for the mutagenic testing of food additives.

Because of testing, several of the substances on the original GRAs list have had to be removed. It is difficult to know what to do about the problem of food additives.

What is a mother to do to insure food as safe as possible is on her family table? Remember, you are in charge in your own home. You are the expert. Do not allow TV commercials to determine what your children eat. It is up to you to teach your children what to eat.

They are growing and need to eat more often than adults. They should be given nutritious snacks such as vegetables, fruits, popcorn, or bread and butter.

For the main meals serve simple, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Grow your own vegetables and fruits. Save some wheat and grind your own cereal. Make your own bread using whole wheat flour. Cook your own soup and make your own granola. Grow your own beef and pork and have them butchered, cut and wrapped the way you want them. Make your own jams and jellies, pickles and relishes.

When shopping for groceries at the store, select unprocessed items such as beef, pork, fish, lamb, chicken, turkey, simple cheeses, milk, butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, dry milk powder, plain breads, soda crackers, oatmeal, shredded wheat, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen juices.

As much as you possibly can, avoid buying foods such as: fish sticks, wieners, lunch meat, potted meat, pot pies, frozen dinners, and other entree type food, chocolate milk, breakfast supplements, ready made topping, canned puddings, nondairy creamer, snack crackers, colored or sweet cereals, toaster tarts, sweet rolls, pizzas, cakes, cookies, 20% fruit chunks, Tang, Kool- Aid, jams and jellies, prepared salads, maraschino cherries, potato chips, snack crackers, pickles, sauced frozen foods, most salad dressings, sandwich spread, canned or frozen fried soups, seasoned salts, curing salts, jello, pop, MSG, pies, and candy.

If, as mothers we could have one wish for our children we would probably choose a good life. Teaching them what to eat can help them have a full, active, healthy life.

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