Whole Foods Lifestyle - Just incase anyone needs a reason to go to Whole Foods




KateB
05-14-2008, 11:54 AM
I just read this article about the "Mystery Ingreadients" in prepackaged frozen dinner. If anyone ever needs a reaso to chose a whole foods lifestyle...this should do it.

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/whats-in-frozen-dinners?page=1


kaplods
05-14-2008, 12:01 PM
As a logical argument, this doesn't quite make as much sense as it seems to. Using the same argument, we shouldn't eat eggs, because they can be used as a hair conditioner. We shouldn't drink water, because it's used as an industrial coolant. We shouldn't ingest lemon juice or vinegar because they can be used as a household cleanser.

Michelle125
05-14-2008, 01:48 PM
A lot of the stuff they mentioned aren't too bad, but just icky. And yeah we should be preparing our own food- it's just better for us. Although I will admit frozen dinners at Whole Foods tend to just have 3 or 4 ingredients, and none of the things mentioned above, so that's an improvement!

Another icky fact is that 'natural lemon flavor' or 'natural lime flavor' or 'natural flavors' all mean it's most likely the extract from a beaver's butt hole. Not joking. Apprently beavers have a gland in their butt that is 'juiced'. This gives things a lemon or lime flavor. Unless the package says "lime juice extract" or "pure lemon juice", etc, it could be the beaver butt juice!!! I stopped buying flavored seltzer because of this. I just always add my own lemon and lime juices now.

Here's a list of things that could be 'natural flavors':

- Castoreum: an extract from the ANAL MUSK glands of beavers
- Lipase: an enzyme extracted from calf toung, commonly found in dairy products like cheese
- Lanolin: a waxy fat extracted from sheep's wool, commonly found in chewing gum and products with added vitamin D3
- L-Cysteine Hydrochloride: a flour additive often extracted from duck feathers, commonly found in backing mixes
- Isinglass: a gelatin derived from fish bladders, used in the filtration process of many wines
- Carmine or Cochineal: GROUND UP CARCASSES OF BEETLES! commonly used to color processed foods, even orange juice (Tropicana!!)
- Pepsin: an enzyme from pig stomachs
- Rennet or Rennin: an enzyme from the stomach of slaughtered calves
- Gelatin: boiled hooves, bones, and skin

I really REALLY try to purchase items that are vegan, or don't have 'natural flavors' listed.


Debbs
05-14-2008, 04:38 PM
oh good god, BEETLES!!! and BUTT JUICE!!?? I've been feeding my family this??!! I'm out I'm never going to buy anything processed again. if the kids give me guff, I will just show them this post lol. Thats just plain disgusting!!

yoyonomoreinvegas
05-14-2008, 05:21 PM
OK, beetles maybe. Survivalists will tell you if you are lost in the woods you should eat bugs for protien but, butt juice?!? Methinks not. Too close to being an :censored: kisser in my book :lol:

kaplods
05-14-2008, 06:09 PM
I have read several myth busting sites that report that "beaver produced flavorings" are a myth. While musks are used as fragrances (in non-edible products like perfumes), they aren't used as flavorings, so no beaver butt juice in your lemonade.

yoyoma
05-14-2008, 06:26 PM
My first hit for google "castoreum flavor"

Titre du document / Document title
Safety assessment of castoreum extract as a food ingredient
Auteur(s) / Author(s)
BURDOCK G. A. ;
Résumé / Abstract
Castoreum extract (CAS NO. 8023-83-4; FEMA NO. 2261) is a natural product prepared by direct hot-alcohol extraction of castoreum, the dried and macerated castor sac scent glands (and their secretions) from the male or female beaver. It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).

zenor77
05-14-2008, 07:20 PM
- Isinglass: a gelatin derived from fish bladders, used in the filtration process of many wines


Isinglass is made from sturgeon air bladders. In other words, it's more like a lung then a bladder. It's used as a clarifying agent in white wines and some beers (like Guinness.) It's also filtered out before the wine is bottled. I used to work in the wine industry and I never saw it used in red wines. More often then not though, egg whites and milk were used instead of isinglass since they are cheaper.

I don't typically buy convenience foods anyway, but I'm more concerned with synthetic chemicals then with things that come from natural sources.

kaplods
05-14-2008, 07:24 PM
Yes, yoyoma, but as I read, it's a matter of simple economics. At one time, beavers, and beaver hunting (and thus castoreum) were once much, much more prevalent, so prevalent that castoreum was cheaper and easier to obtain than actual lemons and limes. This is no longer the case.

Castoreum is still used as a flavoring/fragrance really only in cigarettes, I believe (which I certainly do not consider a food product).

Although, if you can find a company that still actually uses castoreum in a food product, that would be very interesting.

kaplods
05-14-2008, 07:55 PM
For vegans, some vegetarians, and those following kosher or other dietary laws, this stuff is important. From a health perspective, not so much.

Still, it's interesting and good to know. As for modern american squeamishness about eating insects, internal organs, and all but a few animals; I think it's rather silly, and even irresponsibly wasteful. The muscle meat isn't even the most nutritious part of the beast, as I understand it, so we're often throwing away the "best" parts.

Just yesterday, I was eating at a Thai restaurant, owned by a young couple who are Hmong. My husband and I ordered the Pho (a noodle soup), and because the owners know us as open-minded, they offered us some of what they were having for dinner themselves. It was laab, a very finely ground thai beef salad, seasoned with lime juice, garlic, fish sauce, cilantro, fresh basil, mint, green onion on a bed of leaf lettuce. It also had strips of tripe (beef stomache) and thin slivers of pork skin. Sounds horrendous, right? OMG, it was absolutely fabulous. Then the owner proceeded to tell us how much better it was in Thailand, or when a Hmong family made it from their own cow, because instead of pork skin, it's supposed to be beef skin, but beef skin isn't as readily available in the USA as pork skin...

In the same conversation, she told us how she could not eat jam of any kind, because the texture was so disgusting to her. Her kids always want american food, so she's made peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches for them, but said that the making them (and tasting them) "freaks me out."

That jelly would freak out a person who considers tripe and skin a delicacy, seems weird to me, but I realize only because I was raised in a polish/german/italian and not a Hmong family.

tdiprincess
05-14-2008, 11:35 PM
I kinda go with the first commenter:
While I don't see myself shying away from the few that fit my own criteria, like 8star already noted, I'd like to see details now about specific brands - Lean Cuisine, etc., which might help me shorten my own list. Thanks again!

I only do frozen if were on the run but still want to eat somewhat healthy...
Although, lately I have been beginning to prepare foods in advance such as breakfast bars homemade.. maybe I'll venture into my own frozen meals and such... Start to shy away from the frozen mess of chemicals :P

Salma
05-16-2008, 07:38 PM
Methinks not. Too close to being an :censored: kisser in my book :lol:

OMGosh....You are just too funny! :lol3:

But, seriously, most people have no idea what they are actually putting in their mouths. My kids aren't overweight in the least, but they are going Whole Foods, too. And who knows...maybe some of their allergies and other issues will go away, or at least be not as bad.

3Beans
05-16-2008, 08:45 PM
I just feel the need to clarify that there exist in the world whole foods outside of the grocery store Whole Foods. Whole Foods sells whole foods and processed foods, too.

Don't get me wrong, I love shopping at WF; I think the selection and quality are fantastic, and they don't sell anything with trans fats or HFCS. But farmer's markets and co-ops sell whole foods too, and they're not corporate and benefit your local community more.

All I'm saying is that whole foods and Whole Foods are not one in the same.

Salma
05-16-2008, 11:42 PM
I'm from the stix...didn't know there was a store called "Whole Foods" :o
I just thought you all were talking about plain ol' naturally grown food.
Boy do I feel silly now...

3Beans
05-16-2008, 11:59 PM
I'm from the stix...didn't know there was a store called "Whole Foods" :o
I just thought you all were talking about plain ol' naturally grown food.
Boy do I feel silly now...

Yes, you're absolutely right! :)

Sorry to make things unnecessarily confusing.

nelie
05-17-2008, 09:19 AM
This forum is definitely about eating a whole foods diet, not shopping at Whole Foods. There are a lot of things (most things I'd say) at Whole Foods that I wouldn't consider to be whole foods products.

Today I'm going to a farmers market and possibly a co-op (the co-op is a bit of a drive but we'll see if we can fit it in). Although I know the co-op also sells processed products, I feel better about buying things there than Whole Foods (the grocery store). Same goes for Trader Joe's which I like a lot better as well.

Ija
05-17-2008, 09:57 AM
As a logical argument, this doesn't quite make as much sense as it seems to. Using the same argument, we shouldn't eat eggs, because they can be used as a hair conditioner. We shouldn't drink water, because it's used as an industrial coolant. We shouldn't ingest lemon juice or vinegar because they can be used as a household cleanser.

But those are all natural ingredients, not artificial chemical compounds made in a lab.

kaplods
05-17-2008, 02:23 PM
It sounds like that "should" make a difference, but it doesn't necessarily. There are natural, dangerous compounds (like hemlock) and there are safe, manmade compounds (like acetic acid).

Acetic acid sounds super scary if you don't know that it is the zingy part of vinegar (and safe in dilute concentrations and dangerous in high concentrations).

Just because you don't know what some of the additives are, or how they're made doesn't make them unsafe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there are not additives of questionable value and healthfulness, but being manmade is not what makes them unsafe. Those that are unsafe, are unsafe because of what they do in the body, not because of how they are made, or because they have other uses (no matter how scary those uses sound).

Take salt. It has been used by man for thousands of years (by elephants, millions of years). Yet it makes a great cleanser, has industrial uses, and is deadly in high doses.

You can die if you drink too much water.

What makes something dangerous at one dose or situation and yet completely safe in another is not dependent on how it is made.

There are many logical arguments for avoiding certain, or even all manmade chemical ingredients, there's no reason to use an illogical one.

chickybird
05-17-2008, 03:21 PM
Well said, Kaplods! I have some "healthy" friends. ( I say "healthy" because they think any processed food is evil and that you can heal ANY sickness by fasting....)
I have to work hard to convince them of many of the things you are saying. While some processed foods are less than goods for, many are designed to provide nutrients that are hard to get otherwise. And before someone jumps on me and starts telling me that all nutrients can be obtained by fresh fruits, milk, and veggies, and that you are lazy if you can't find the time/money to shop in a farmer's market, please stop and realize that not everyone has access to fresh food like that everyday. College students, the elderly, lactose-intolerant, low socioeconomic families, or people who just don't live anywhere near a farmer's market sometimes (gasp) have to make do and buy processed food sometimes. Sometimes they do this because of budget, ease of location, or health reasons (I have a severe digestive disorder and and CANNOT have certain vegetables or dairy, so I have to get some nutrients in through food that has them added in, like fortified oatmeal, nutritional bars, etc)
I shop at my local farmer's market often, but that doesn't mean I can't learn about and appreciate certain processed foods.
Just a thought...

SoulBliss
05-17-2008, 03:40 PM
And before someone jumps on me and starts telling me that all nutrients can be obtained by fresh fruits, milk, and veggies, and that you are lazy if you can't find the time/money to shop in a farmer's market, please stop and realize that not everyone has access to fresh food like that everyday. College students, the elderly, lactose-intolerant, low socioeconomic families, or people who just don't live anywhere near a farmer's market sometimes (gasp) have to make do and buy processed food sometimes. Sometimes they do this because of budget, ease of location, or health reasons (I have a severe digestive disorder and and CANNOT have certain vegetables or dairy, so I have to get some nutrients in through food that has them added in, like fortified oatmeal, nutritional bars, etc)

Those two sentiments are not mutually exclusive.

It IS possible to meet the nutritional needs of most people using whole foods.

Not everyone has easy access to (in terms of availability, the ability to purchase and prepare etc.) these things.

kaplods
05-17-2008, 04:30 PM
All additives (natural and man-made) are not evil, and there are situations in which the benefits outweigh the costs (and vice versa) for some of them.

Cost, convenience, and availability, as well as personal philosophy are going to determine were a person draws the line for their food choices. Some people will choose to never eat anything that comes in a box or a can, others will choose to avoid any ingredient they can't pronounce, and of course some won't care at all.

I don't remember the title of a great book I got from the library once. It was a dictionary or encyclopedia of food additives, and it was fascinating as well as informative. I learned that some of the strangest sounding ingredients were actually natural ingredients. You can't always go by your unfamiliarity with an ingredient to evaluate its safety.

I just checked amazon and found some books that might be similar. I've added all three to my wishlist.

A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives: Descriptions in Plain English of More Than 12,000 Ingredients Both Harmful and Desirable Found in Foods

Food Additives: A Shopper's Guide To What's Safe & What's Not (Perfect Paperback)

Dictionary of Food Ingredients, Fourth Edition (Paperback)
by Robert S. Igoe (Author), Y.H. Hui (Author)

Ija
05-17-2008, 05:42 PM
I'm not trying to make the case that all man-made compounds are dangerous, or that all naturally-existing substances are safe. But it's a hard sell to say that eating processed and prepackaged foods filled with a laundry list of additives is good for your health.

kaplods
05-17-2008, 06:12 PM
I agree, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making - that just because a substance (natural or man-made) has a "scary" use, doesn't make it unsafe.

As I said, there are many valid, logical arguments for avoiding certain, or even all man-made chemical ingredients. That isn't a justification for using bad logic - and the original premise was bad logic. The implication that a substance is dangerous or unhealthy because it has a "scary" use, or an "icky" origin has no validity. Guilt by an intangible association, just doesn't fly as a good argument.

The message should not be more important than the truth. That's called propaganda.

If I said oranges are healthy, because they're the only food that contains vitamin C - I would be using faulty logic. Althought the first part of the statement is true, it is not because of the reason I stated in the second part. Oranges are healthy, but not BECAUSE they are the only food that contains vitamin C.

Many chemical additives are unsafe, but not because they have scary industrial uses.

Ija
05-17-2008, 11:55 PM
I think it's perfectly reasonable to be concerned about the scary industrial uses for the artificial additives in your food, and I don't think people should be scolded for feeling this way. It's a perfectly natural response.

From my own view, the public has been far too acquiescent about the additives in their food. They should know about the chemicals in their food, whether or not they're synthetic or organic, and what other properties and effects those compounds have. If an article like this helps give people some perspective about what they're eating, great.

Does the fact that Stouffer's puts antifreeze in their Lean Cuisines mean that eating them will kill you? Of course not. The FDA wouldn't have approved those chemicals if they were clearly that deadly. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't know that, yes, propylene glycol is an antifreeze (though one that recognized as "generally recognized as safe" for consumption).

I think "scary, industrial" uses for chemicals are informative. Take acetic acid, which you referenced earlier. In dilute concentrations, it's perfectly safe to consume. In fact I had some earlier today on my salad. But it's also corrosive, and can be dangerous in greater amounts. And those dangerous properties are exactly why it can be used in crazy, industrial ways. In my lab, we keep acetic acid in a special chemical locker.

So no, I don't think "scary, industrial" uses for chemicals are irrelevant; they say a lot about what chemicals can do, and I think it's important for people to know as much as they can about the chemicals they consume.

SoulBliss
05-17-2008, 11:57 PM
I think it's important for people to know as much as they can about the stuff they consume.
I think that is one thing we can all agree on!

kaplods
05-18-2008, 12:16 AM
___________________
I think it's perfectly reasonable to be concerned about the scary industrial uses for the artificial additives in your food, and I don't think people should be scolded for feeling this way. It's a perfectly natural response.
___________________

It is perfectly natural, and even reasonable, but it isn't always accurate, and that's my point. I'm not scolding anyone about being concerned. I'm just pointing out that "scary" isn't the whole story. You have to take that next step - to find out more. Because acetic acid in strong concentrations is a harmful substance, a person, if they did not know what it was, might assume (erroneously) that it is unsafe and would unnecessarily avoid any food that listed it as an ingredient.


Again, I am not saying that a person should not be concerned, just that they need to know the facts, not just what "seems" to be true on the surface. "Makes sense," is not the same as true.

For example, what would you assume, reading the following

Dihydrogen monoxide:
is called "hydroxyl acid", the substance is the major component of acid rain.
contributes to the "greenhouse effect".
may cause severe burns.
contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape.
accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals.
may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.
has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.
Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used:
as an industrial solvent and coolant.
in nuclear power plants.
in the production of styrofoam.
as a fire ******ant.
in many forms of cruel animal research.
in the distribution of pesticides. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.
as an additive in certain "junk-foods" and other food products.

kaplods
05-18-2008, 12:17 AM
Dihydrogen monoxide by the way, is water

but would you guess that from this website? They even apparently solicit donations to support their cause (which is what, banning water? They don't say) Obviously it's a hoax site, but that's not immediately apparent

http://www.dhmo.org/

kaplods
05-18-2008, 01:21 AM
Maybe I haven't made it clear that I believe there are valid reasons for avoiding some or even all additives. Even "I don't know what that is," is an awfully good reason in my book to avoid ingesting a substance. I don't even take a medication prescribed by my doctor until I understand the medication to my satisfaction. But "it's used in household cleansers" doesn't sway me as an argument, because so is water. I have to know more.

chickybird
05-18-2008, 01:26 AM
yeah, I've seen that sight. It's a good read and helps put things in perspective. I agree that most nutrients can be found in whole foods, but for simplicity's sake, we sometimes have to get them from foods with additives. Do we want to load our bodies up with a bunch of crap? No; but some additives are pretty innocent, and if we took the time to research we would realize that. Personally, I'm hoping all the preservatives will "preserve" me and keep me young looking! :laugh:
I really like this thread--we have a good discussion going:)

nelie
05-18-2008, 10:48 AM
Personally, I thought the reason to avoid frozen prepackaged dinners was the taste :) Although I know many people have used them to lose weight, I think you can also make your own frozen prepackaged dinners (or at least microwaveable dinners/lunches). Of course it takes more time than picking something out of the frozen section in a supermarket.

Ija
05-18-2008, 11:53 AM
Maybe I haven't made it clear that I believe there are valid reasons for avoiding some or even all additives. Even "I don't know what that is," is an awfully good reason in my book to avoid ingesting a substance.

Of course we would all agree with that, but I also believe that it's also good to be cautious of food additives if they're used as pesticides, solvents, etc., because alternative uses can say a lot about the chemical properties and potential biological effects of those additives. That's why I choose not to ignore that information, but of course we're all free to do what we like.

kaplods
05-18-2008, 02:43 PM
I didn't suggest that the information should be ignored, just that should be better understood. The acetic acid is a perfect example, in small concentrations it is safe and delicious, in high concentrations it can burn skin and eyes. So, the chemical properties and uses for this "additive" in high concentrations, says absolutely nothing of it's properties in dilute concentrations.

Unless you know more, you may know very little. Which as I said, isn't a bad reason for avoiding a substance.

Ija
05-18-2008, 11:37 PM
I completely agree that the best approach would be to do thorough, painstaking research on each food additive to determine what it is, how it acts biologically, and what the FDA has to say regarding its safety (while recognizing that testing doesn't prove a chemical is safe, it only increases the FDA's confidence in it's safety at certain doses). Doing that would require investing a lot of time and energy, and it still would not guarantee that you're not doing your body harm by infusing your diet with chemical additives.

Can each of us do that? I don't know about you, but I think most people can not. And that means they have to rely on more general rubrics to make their decisions about what to consume. And yes, I believe very strongly that "scary industrial" uses for chemicals can be informative to that end.

I don't know everything about the chemical additives used in processed foods, but neither does anyone else, nor does the FDA. I choose to play it safe by making natural foods the bulk of my diet and eating processed foods sparingly. And I believe I'll be healthier for it.

kaplods
05-19-2008, 01:05 AM
Again, I think my point is completely getting lost and I'm failing to communicate it.

I am not advocating for the safety of any or all additives. If every single one of them were instantly deadly, it would not change my point.

I am not suggesting that anyone needs to do exhaustive (or even cursory) research, and definitely not that they should be considered safe unless proven otherwise.

I'm simply observing that if "scary industrial" can be considered a sufficent argument against a substance, then water fits that bill as well as anything.

____________

The funniest part of this, is that I was not, and have never suggested that any of these addititves are remotely safe, but that is how it has been repeatedly interpreted. Nor have I advocated that any one consume them or do research to prove to themselves whether they are safe or not.

_____

My point was actually intended as humorous more than anything, in that even water would be considered dangerous if "scary" was considered a sufficient argument against the use of a substance. Insinuation, implication, stereotype, reputation, cultural taboo - they all influence our decisions without us even realizing it, so much that we don't even understand why the reasoning may be flawed even when pointed out.

For the record, I try to avoid additives and processed food as much as I can - even the ones that do not have "scary" associations. Fear is not the primary reason I do so. I believe processed foods, inevitably lose nutrients (some of this I know for a fact, some of this I suspect and could be very wrong, in fact I would bet there's probably an exception somewhere). I also believe much of food processing is done to make food more appealing - even addictive, if you will. Sweeter, saltier, fattier - humans have biological preferences for all three, and natural foods are rarely, if ever as concentrated as in processed food. In essence, I think that our biological systems interpret these fake foods as nutritional goldmines, when they are the opposite (only because we live in an unnatural world, where calories are abundant rather than hard-earned).

Does knowing that a substance has an industrial "scary" use, sway me - OF COURSE, and when I first read the dihydrogen monoxide email, I though "yikes, this substance is dangerous, it should be banned." Finding out that it was water showed me that anything could be made to sound scary with a little effort. Does that mean that additives are safe? Of course not. It just means that "scary" is not nearly as informative as it seems (otherwise, we'd better stop drinking water).

Ija
05-19-2008, 02:52 PM
I don't think I've misunderstood you; rather I'm merely making the point that "scary, industrial" uses can be informative, and the counter examples you've cited don't really change that. For example, the facts you provided regarding water were obviously compiled with a specific (and I would argue manipulative) purpose, because the uses of water are inappropriately described. For example, you wrote that "produce remains contaminated by this chemical" despite thorough washing. However, water is not a contaminant. That's a very misleading statement. And after having read the article regarding food additives a couple of times, I still haven't come across any statements that were so inaccurate.

The original poster proposed that the "scary, industrial" uses represent another reason (not the only reason) to make whole foods the foundation of your diet, and I haven't read anything on this thread to make me disagree with that.

My point is this --if a chemical is used in "scary, industrial" ways, it may have properties that are unhealthy or dangerous when consumed every day. Of course, there will always be counter examples to that supposition, but that doesn't mean it can't be used as part of a general rubric for daily decision making when it comes to food. It follows the old adage that it's better to be safe than sorry. And I think it's perfectly natural, understandable, and even beneficial to use that information even if it means unnecessarily avoiding some food additives that are generally safe to eat.

362638
06-12-2008, 02:06 AM
oh, this one's a keeper!!! I laughed so hard I scared my cat!