Friday, June 25, 2010

My life without high fructose corn syrup

So, I've been hearing a lot about how bad this high fructose corn syrup is. Yeah, yeah... it's in everything. How can I avoid it? Well, for reasons I don't really remember, I decided to challenge myself to go all summer without buying anything containing HFCS. I have made an exception (OK, two) - red vines/Twizzlers and Slurpees. I really need those once in a while. Anyway, since I started this experiment in the beginning of June, I have 1) survived!! 2) really started eating better 3) learned a lot more about the food industry (trickery! deceipt! jerks!).

I'm reading a great book - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She and her family made a commitment to eat foods they grew on their farm or could buy locally for 1 year. She mixes their year in review with recipes, what vegetables and fruits they ate in each season with interesting facts and statistics about the food industry. I'm now convinced that I need to eat locally (thank goodness I have a fabulous farmers market in town) and buy organic meat. I never knew chickens grown for our consumption don't get to see the light of day. Poor feathery friends...

I'm not going to throw away my cute heels for Berkenstocks or stop washing my hair, but I am making a commitment to eat "whole" foods, read labels, avoid anything made with HFCS and not eat anything containing ingredients I can't pronouce. Am I sad? Do I miss monosodiumgludamate rednumber 40? Nope. And neither do my intestines. I feel SO much better.

I'm new at this, but here's what I've found without HFCS:

1. Hamburger buns - Aunt Millie's Honey hamburger buns
2. Hotdog & hamburger buns - Arnie's (if you live in the W Michigan area)
3. Crackers - Meijer Naturals Baked 12 grain crackers. They are so buttery & delicious, you'd never know they were good for you
4. Cereal - read labels... most of the "healthy" cereals don't have it
5. Ketchup - Heinz now makes "Heinz Free" (I think that's what it's called)
6. BBQ sauce -good luck. Tastefully Simple (www.tastefullysimple.c0m) has quite a few sauces without HFCS. I happen to sell this product, so call me if you want to place an order :)
7. Ice Cream - Breyers!
8. Jam/Jelly - Costco has an organic variety or make your own! Freezer jam is EASY and fruit is in season now. Tap into your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and start canning! Your grandma will be so proud.

In general, organic food is going to be your best choice. I love Costco for this reason... they have lots of affordable organic food and meats.

Are you challenged to kick the HFCS habit? Go for it! Your body will thank you for it.

I've gotta go make some granola.