Archive | April, 2013

Cutting down on additives

29 Apr

The real jumping off point for me came from reading information on Sue Dengate’s “Fed Up” website http://www.fedup.com.au.  This site has a great list of additives to avoid and became my starting point.  (I should point out that this is Australian-based so the additives are referred to by numbers but the names are listed so you can make it applicable to other countries and there is a list of additives to avoid in the U.S.)

I started in small steps by cutting out (or at least reducing) artificial colors, switching to bread which doesn’t contain calcium propionate (Brumbies in Australia) and margarine that doesn’t contain sorbates (I use Nuttelex in Australia).  Not difficult at all. The biggest change was really starting to read all the ingredient labels at the supermarket, learning to identify which ones to avoid (again using the information on fedup.com.au) and then finding out whether there was a better alternative.  Sometimes this could be found in the supermarket, for other foods it meant more home cooking (more on this later) and sometimes (with some protest from my boys) cutting it out altogether.

Note: I should point out that the “fed up” website isn’t geared towards those of us trying to eat more unprocessed, organic, non-GMO food but it is a great resource for identifying and avoiding all those additives in processed foods.

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Starting our real food journey

28 Apr

We are a very ordinary family; mum, dad, two gorgeous boys. We like to think we eat well (most of the time) but at the end of last year when my youngest son started getting rashes around his mouth and severe nappy rash which seemed to appear after eating tomatoes I started looking into our diet. I need to point out that  this is not a blog about food intolerances.  We do not appear to have any major intolerances and we certainly are fortunate enough not to have our lifestyle or diet dictated by them.  However, my son’s apparent reaction to tomatoes last year began a real interest in the food we were eating and I started to investigate ingredients and their possible effects.  And I discovered that our diet involved a lot of processed foods with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. So we started making some changes to try and reduce the amount of additives and preservatives.  We made further changes when we moved from Australia to the U.S earlier this year and discovered that even the same brand of products have different ingredients in different countries.  We also discovered (and try to avoid) the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup in the U.S.  Without a lot of effort we have managed to make some  changes to our diet and now most of the time consume a diet of “real” food.

This blog shares what I have learnt and continue to learn about the food we eat and the enjoyment that comes from cooking with real ingredients.

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