Thursday, July 22, 2010

High Fructose Corn Syrup Inventory

When I took a nutrition class at BYU about 6 years ago, I learned that most "wheat bread" is really not made with wheat flour; it's enriched white flour, with carmel coloring added to make it look darker. It didn't really have a whole lot of nutritional value. At that point in time, I resolved to only purchase bread which listed as the first ingredient "whole wheat flour." I have done this very successfully. I have been a careful consumer, and although we have paid more per loaf of bread, the result is more than just peace of mind. True whole wheat bread has better fiber and protein content. We are a very fiber-conscious household, and if we can get more than 4 grams of fiber per slice/serving of bread, bagel, tortilla, or pasta we feel like we've found the nutrition jackpot--this usually means anything that is designated as "whole wheat" or "whole grain."

Well, it's time to find a new loaf of bread again.

I have recently resolved to eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from my diet. It is an unneccessary sweetener in so many of our regular groceries, it almost makes me sick. If we consumers change the way we shop, the food industry will hear us. That is how we can make a change.

Take for example rbST. If you look on your milk carton, I guarantee you that it says "Made from cows not treated with the artificial growth hormone rBST." Ask my brother, and he'll tell you that artificial growth hormones as a principle are not bad, but the point is that consumers changed the industry overnight. When a large body of consumers changes the way it shops, the industry changes in response.

So with that said, I am changing the way I shop, and we are changing the way we eat. I've been the primary grocery-shopper for my household for 7 1/2 years (and for the last year and a half, I have also been a paid grocery shopper by trade), and I have come to rely on some favorite brands. Here is a list of all of our favorite, regular foods in my house that I now intend to replace with their non-HFCS sweetened couterparts. Well it is all about to change. And this is going to be painful.
  • Sara Lee Classic 100% Whole Wheat Bread
  • Yoplait Yogurt
  • Smucker's Strawberry Jam
  • Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque Sauce
  • Kraft Barbeque Sauce (all varieties)
  • Heinz Worchestershire Sauce
  • Hunt's Ketchup
  • Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing
  • Slim-Fast
  • Mountain Dew (and all other sodas)
  • Keebler Fudge-Stripe Cookies
  • Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sauce
  • Keebler Club Crackers
  • Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies
  • Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
  • Applesauce, most brads (unless it says "All Natural")
  • Frosted Flakes Cereal
This list only represents the things I currently have in my house and intend to replace as soon as present stores are depleted. Few of our suspected-guilty favorites made the HFCS-free cut, including Cheerios, Peanut Butter, Bulls Eye Barbeque Sauce, Life Cereal, Quaker High-Fiber Oatmeal, Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce, Hunt's Tomato Sauce, Campbell's canned soups, etc.

While it might be hard to enjoy foods sweetened naturally instead of with HFCS, it is all a matter of conditioning. If you are conditioned to the taste of super-sweet applesauce, naturally sweetened applesauce will be hard to adjust to (hard to "swallow" if you will). That's why we're switching. I don't want to be accustomed to unnaturally sweetened products anymore. I want my children to appreciate the tast of applesauce for what it is: apples.

Once we've conquered HFCS, our next battle might be switching to free-range chicken, or grass-fed cows, but I can't wrap my brain around them all at once.

Here are some resources (from both sides of the debate) to educate yourself before you jump down my throat. I don't like debating, I just know what irks me, and HFCS irks me.

The movie that started it all: Food, Inc.;
A list of HFCS-free foods:

I welcome your input on your favorite HFCS-free brands.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I earned my title today, thank you very much

For a self-proclaimed "supermom," I don't have that many days that demonstrate my supermom-ness. Except for maybe today.

Today I....
  • Gave the kids baths
  • Cleaned up vomit several times (which is why they got baths)
  • Camped in a tent in the back yard with the kids
  • Swept and mopped the kitchen and hallway
  • Scrubbed and bleached all the garbage cans in the house
  • Cleaned the kitchen counters and ran the dishwasher twice
  • Washed and put away more than four loads of laundry.
  • Organized our bedroom closet, picking out the things to go to DI (and those blue capris that I thought were goners actually fit me instead!)
  • Rounded up all the winter gloves and hats and scarves and put them in their own bin. (Okay, I know it's July....)
  • Got out the sewing machine and did all the mending that has been on my to-mend list forever, including make Leah a pair of cut-offs (and with a double needle, ooh, la, la!)
  • Made cookies (with two preschoolers helping, mind you)
  • Cleaned up after the cookies
  • Had a steak and potato dinner ready when my husband came home at 6:00

Okay, so I guess if I delivered the cookies to my visiting teachees with a hand made card, I would get a few more points. I did pull one weed tyring to find the garden hose, but theres a lot more I didn't pull. And Samuel is still not potty trained....

Wait, I'm trying to make my case for Supermom.

Well, the night is young, maybe I'll still manage to get to the gym!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Vacation Part 5: Everything Else

Here are some of the other fun things we did on our trip to Illinois. Our other adventures included canoeing with Grandma and Grandpa, visiting the DuPage Children's Museum with the cousins, going to the Naperville Municipal Band concert in the park (every Thursday night!) and Jessica and Leah playing together famously at every turn.