Avoiding chemicals in your foods can be just so overwhelming. Food planning used to be simple. Sadly that’s no longer the case and if you are becoming conscious of your food choices it can be a tad overwhelming. OK… a lot overwhelming.
WHY SHOULD I MAKE WISER FOOD CHOICES?
- Food producers, nowadays use any of 14,000 laboratory-made additives (artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners, preservatives) to make our food appear fresher, more attractive or last longer on the shelf. Their effects can range from headaches, reduced mental concentration to increase your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative conditions.
- If you cook with canola oil, snack on biscuits and chocolates, drink soy milk or eat tofu, you’re probably tucking into ‘Genetically Modified’ foods. Canola and cotton are major GM crops in Australia, and while you may think you don’t eat cotton, oils derived from it are present in many vegetable oils.
- If conventional meat, from animals treated with hormones, steroids and antibiotics, has a place on your table then you are exposed to a myriad of nasty synthetic hormones and antibiotics.
- With over 27 million chemicals registered and more than 200,000 chemicals approved each week for use in our food, personal care product, homewares, furniture, textiles, technology, building products and the rest, it’s a lucky dip as to what we are all exposed to on a daily basis.
Our food is just one piece of the puzzle and the journey towards reducing our personal exposure to toxins and avoiding chemicals is as individual as our fingerprints. There is no right or wrong, perfect plan or timeframe. It’s whatever works for you and your family.
Becoming aware of all the areas where we are exposed is probably when we are the most overwhelmed and often prompts a ‘Why Bother’ response. If you can move quickly to ‘action’, things get much easier because ‘action’ is all about picking one thing, making a change, consolidating that change then repeating. You can make a change a day, week, month, year. Whatever is right your you.
Here is a very simple approach …
FIVE SIMPLE ‘TO DOS’ TO START YOUR CLEAN FOOD JOURNEY...
Start with number one, implement, consolidate then pick another action.
1. START READING INGREDIENT LISTS. We are partial to using the Chemical Maze guide with its legend of happy and sad faces to identify which are the toxic ingredients, but there are a number of tools that can help you decipher those tricky ingredient lists. Download a few apps and have a play. No need to change anything just yet, unless you want to, just start reading and learning.
2. AVOID PROCESSED PRODUCTS – Now that you have got a little label savvy, pick a product that you typically buy that you found has nasty preservatives or artificial colours and flavours and find a less/non toxic option. Work your way through your shopping list.
3. BUY ORGANIC PRODUCE – Shop at organic stores and/or farmers markets for fresh organic or chemical free produce. Get to know your famrers and ask your farmer how they grow their produce and how they manage their weeds. Shop according to the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 (#4). There are also many organic food delivery services now available, find one that delivers to your area and try them out.
4. USE THE DIRTY DOZEN/CLEAN 15 SHOPPING GUIDE – The Dirty Dozen is and the Clean 15 refer respectively to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use. The Environmental Working Group produce both reports every year. Buy the foods listed on the dirty dozen organically; while those on the clean 15 can be bought conventionally as they have the least chemical residues.
5. BUY ORGANIC MEAT – Buy only organic meat products that are free from steroids, antibiotics and hormones. There are many options at farmers markets and online.
A FEW OF OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT… THERE ARE MANY MORE.
GREENAG GOURMET ORGANIC FREE RANGE TURKEY– certified organic turkey. Shop online or at local SE QLD markets
ORGANIC MEAT ONLINE – shop online for organic meats.
THIS FISH – Certified organic salmon, prawns & fish finger. Find a stockist or give them a call.
FEELING FAB ORGANICS – providing certified organic and chemical free produce to the Sunshine Coast. Find Adam at markets on the sunshine coast
CASA DE MAYLEN – providing certified organic avocados. Find Casa De Maylen avocados at markets and retailers (Kunara, Flannery’s and Wray Organics) throughout SE QLD and http://www.chemfreecom.com/listing/casa-de-maylen/
KUNARA – Organic Marketplace with over 18,000 natural & organic products
HINTERLAND HARVEST MARKET – a weekly market showcasing the wonderful array of produce from both local and the wider farming communities. Partnering up with the Chemical Free Farmers they aim to be a fully organic market.
ORGANICS ON THE MOVE and other ORGANIC FOOD BOX DELIVERY businesses. If you prefer not to cook and still want organic food ther are fabuous business who will cook and deliver to you. ROAD TO CACAO and LET US FEED YOU ORGANICS are 2 that come to mind.
Search the Chemical Free Directory for retailers and markets near you.