Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Goodbye Texas Toast

In courageous attempt to collect, consolidate, and share my favorite recipes and useful nutritional information, I am setting out out this exciting virtual adventure through the wild world of blogging. 

I am a food junkie. I love eating so much that my sister pointed out there has never been a time she has called me when I haven't been eating.  And she calls a lot.  Not only can she hear me crunching away on the other end of the phone, but thanks to Skype, she can also see me stuffing my face. Lucky her.  And lucky for me and my figure that I am starting to become a GOOD food junkie.

Thanks to Michael Pollan's recent book fame, many of us are familiar with the quote, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." So I think to myself: Eat foods- check. Not too much- I've already admitted guilt to that. Mostly plants- ha!  And then I wonder, does what I eat really qualify as "food?"  Can I really count the steraroyl lactylate, azodicarbonamide and xanthan gum in my Texas toast as food?  Those ingredients seem to belong in a science lab, not my stomach.    

My scientist husband's thought process was that our bodies must be strong enough to break down that ambiguous chemistry and discard the byproducts.  The FDA otherwise wouldn't approve it. Edible=safe, right?  Wrong! Just read Byron J. Richard's, Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA's Betrayal of America or go watch Food, Inc.  You will never be the same.  He wasn't. Not only that, but if our food was so safe, why is the epidemic of diseases so rampant in the past 30 years? Obesity has risen 300%, diabetes 233% (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), and cancer cases in the U.S. out number the rest of the world. Coincidence that 70% of our food supply has become processed food in the last 30 years?  You connect the dots. 

The answer to what food (a source of nourishment) is, is simple.  The closer to its natural state something is, the closer it is to being food.  Coincidentally, the closer you get to being able to pronounce the ingredient with ease, the more like it is food. The garlic is the only ingredient in my beloved Texas Toast that is in its natural state. That's easy to say. Garlic. Garlic. Garlic. Azodicarbonamide on the other hand, took me a couple of slow sounding-out tries to pronounce. The use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned in Australia, Europe, and Singapore. In fact, Singapore's punishment for using it is 15 years imprisonment an a $450,000 fine!  Why? The thermal decomposition of the chemical results in nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and ammonia gases. It is used in the production of foamed plastics such as door gaskets, exercise mats and shoe soles.  And oh by the way, it may cause asthma. I think I'd rather eat a raw garlic clove. Next time I will.