During the week I am not as diligent about reading the newspaper as I used to be. Part of it is the busy monster we all talk about (too much) but it’s more that I love the “real” paper we only receive on the weekends. This past weekend, other than the horrible story of the girl killed in her school hallway the day of junior prom, what first caught my attention was a series letters to the editor about salt.
In response to an article that I must’ve missed during most letters called the FDA out. One, from a pediatrician, asked “for how much longer will our country allow the producers of highly processed foods to cause heart attacks and strokes by force feeding us so much salt?” A couple other letters contained more of the same blame. And then finally one brief comment expressed what I had been thinking, it said “there is a solution to this problem that is often overlooked: home cooking. It is healthier, cheaper and additive free.” I wanted to hug this Allison Eisner who wrote the article.
Trust me, I am horrified by the FDA’s actions. Every week I read about an ingredient or pesticide banned by the European commission but permitted here. Innocent until proven guilty when it comes to our food is not something I support. But rather than bitch and moan (which I’m pretty good at) an article in the Business section supported Allison’s suggestion.
The article focused on baby food. Since 2005, mothers in droves have been making their own baby food. In turn, sales of commercial food have been falling. Now you’ll find Beechnut, hardly a cutting edge brand, with quinoa and pomegranate and fewer preservatives. And there are an abundance of new companies in this sector that had stellar ingredients from the get go.
I know from my practice that there are no more motivated clients than pregnant women and new moms. Women who had never opened their registry pots and pans will make baby food when the time comes or forego sweeteners while pregnant for the sake of their babies. However, if and when we make these changes on behalf of ourselves, when we stop buying sodium bombs and convenience foods- the companies will have to follow suit.
If you don’t think it’s worth speaking up, I’ll give you a recent example why you should. It came to our attention that a supplement we endorse contained caramel coloring. We let the company know (ok we tweeted to them) we were concerned. Fairly quickly they let us (and the rest of the Twittersphere) know they were reformulating.
I’m happy to play bash the FDA but I think we’re better off showing the companies that go the extra mile our love by purchasing their goods and like my girl Allison suggested above taking control of our food by cooking more at home.
What do you think, should the FDA take a stance on sodium and additives or do we have to take matters into our own hands?
FYI I received this interesting sodium visual which is relevant to the subject matter above.