A week of reading food labels

healthy_foodOur ‘Change the World Wednesday’ challenge has begun again for 2010, thanks to Reduce Footprints.

Each week, we are set a challenge to make our lives a bit greener, a bit healthier and altogether more eco friendly. It’s all about caring for the earth and everything on it and for this week we’re starting with ourselves.

We’ve been challenged to take a look at our diets; after all, we are what we eat.

After watching ‘Fast food junkies go native’ this week, and seeing the impact of what we eat and how we live on our health, this is a great way to begin the new year.

Fortunately I don’t think I personally will have much problem with this, but I will be looking closely at some of the foods I give to Little Miss Green. Because, not being superwoman or the best mother in the Universe, I do buy some processed food for her. We are especially using things up at the moment from the cupboards and freezer because of weather conditions. Shop shelves are empty around here and it’s hard for us to get out in the snow.

Reduce Footprints wants us to home in specifically on the following:

  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial flavours, colours or preservatives
  • Bleached or bromated flour
  • Any ingredients we are not familiar with or can’t pronounce!

The fructose syrup and artificial ingredients won’t be a problem as I never buy those anyway. But I’m sure some hydrogenated oils will creep in, as will bleached flour and possibly some of the non-pronounceable ones. In fact I even say to LIttle Miss Green (who is an avid label reader due to food intolerances) that if she can’t say it, she shouldn’t eat it.

So this week I need to practise what I preach a bit more as far as her diet is concerned. Breakfast today will be porrage made with milk and water, along with manuka honey and fruit, so there will be no problems there. Lunch is usually some kind of home made soup, but I do resort to tinned sometimes. Usually it’s home made bread, but again I will buy shop bought. It will be the cooked meals in the evening that I will need to watch. When I’m feeling supermum, everything is freshly prepared with natural ingredients. When I’m feeling tired / lazy / stressed out come the convenience meals from the freezer – and I bet these are full of bleached flour, hydrogenated oils and possibly some ingredients who’s name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue….

What about you – do you eat a pure, unprocessed diet or could you improve the way you eat?


  1. Mummy Zen on January 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    This is a good challenge! I do try to carefully read labels of anything I buy but like you say, sometimes I’ll get something that contains less desirable ingredients. I think the not buying anything with an ingredient you can’t pronounce is a great easy tip for avoiding some of the nasties!

  2. WhatACard on January 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I agree, I sometimes cheat, especially for my little ones on those hectic days. Though I try not to be too hard on myself for the occasional cheat/treat, as I think that’s very different than being completely unaware and getting those ingredients in many food choices. On the plus side, I find the longer I try to eat this way, the easier it is not to need to rely on cheats and treats 🙂

  3. Mrs Green on January 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

    @Mummy Zen: Good to hear you’re a label reader too – we often take a lot for granted so it’s good to read up. I did discover I was feeding my daughter sodium nitrite on one occasion and the bleached flour crept in too.

    @WhatACard: Good point. the 80/20 rule is a good one and we should never beat ourselves up for the occasional slip up / lazy moment. It’s all about balance isn’t it?