9.29.2009

Read This Not That

I'm currently reading this lovely little book:

You've no doubt seen some of their other "eat this not that" books and this one if pretty darn good and interesting as well. I especially appreciated the authors' acknowledgment that I want to eat food that tastes good--there are enough "diets" out there that try to convince us not indulge in real food that tastes good; it is so refreshing for health experts to say your food should taste good and be good for you.
One of the interesting things I have learned is that research has shown that sodium benzoate preservatives and some artificial food colorings (such as Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Red #40) are directly linked to increased hyperactivity in children--go check your child's breakfast cereal, and soda, or jellies. In Europe this research has lead to companies removing these additives from foods sold there (as in American companies removing these additives for their European customers but not for their American customers). Why not here? (insert your own comment about what this says about Americans and why we don't demand better here)
Probably the most valuable thing I've taken from this book is how to read and compare labels. Really that may sound pretty simple, but other than checking out the fat and calories of a product I didn't really know what I was looking at or for. Now I do. There are also a few pictures that help to illustrate what you should be looking for and what it really means. For example, there is a picture showing a 20 oz. bottle of Minute Maid Lemonade next to 5 Good Humor Vanilla Ice Cream bars with captions showing that they contain the same amount of calories and grams of sugar--and then they go on to say to work off that 1 drink you would need to do 60 minutes of vigorous housecleaning. That is the kind of information I need--and need to be able to understand.
On the what not to read front, please don't read Julia Child's My Life in France. I found it long, pretentious, unorganized, and unfocused.

5 comments:

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Pretentious and unorganized? A bit like like France itself?

As for the labeling thing--well, Americans HATE government intervention. It took fifty years of lobbying to get the government to force food and drug manufacturers to label their food. In the late 1800's, a doctor could be put on trial for murder for an abortion, but most of the drug companies were selling female "cycle restorers" laced with abortive herbs and enough opium to knock out a horse. But hey, free enterprise. Not America's finest hour.

Janssen said...

I just got this book but haven't opened it yet. Will do so tonight!

Jenny said...

I saw one of those books, and really did want to look into it. But truthfully, I'm afraid of all the eating and food-serving habits I'd have to feel guilty about and break as a result. I will give it another go...

Denise said...

I stood in target reading a few of these books (too cheap to buy them!) Very interesting stuff. A lot of my friend’s kids have "reactions" to red food coloring. I have not noticed a difference but do try to stay clear of them. Got to love America!!

Kristi said...

Thanks for the review! I think I'll pick it up and read it. And I wish they would just get rid of all food coloring. Who needs it? It just stains and makes a mess! I pay extra for the dye-free tylenol and motrin for my boys. I wish other things (like food and drinks) had that option.