For most of human history, people have eaten relatively simple diets. Food came from whatever you could catch, kill, pick, or grow–from nature. The only manipulation was via mixing those ingredients and then either cooking, curing, drying, pickling or some other type of basic preservation.
These days, the picture is much more complicated. Many ingredients may have started on a farm, but they’re increasingly modified and manipulated in factories and laboratories. Our modern day food system depends heavily on the use of toxic chemicals and synthetic inputs that pose threats to our health–especially children’s whose developing bodies are more vulnerable to these toxics.
Do you know where your food comes from? Or, what’s in it? You might be surprised.
Today, 70 percent of the calories Americans consume come from highly processed foods and the average American child consumes more than 5 “servings” of pesticides every day from food and water.
Start creating healthier eating habits with the help of a few easy steps. To learn more, visit www.healthychild.org.
5 Easy Ways to Avoid Toxins in Your Food
- Eat whole foods. Choose whole foods as much as possible. The fewer processed, convenience foods you eat, the lower your exposure to questionable additives, preservatives, and harmful chemicals. Shopping the perimeter of the grocery store where you’ll find the basics like produce, grains and dairy.
- Get to know your food. Whatever you grab, read labels to see where foods come from and what’s in them. Even if you don’t understand it all, the simple practice helps you become more aware and informed about what you’re eating.
- Peek into what’s in packaging. Avoid canned goods lined with Bisphenol A (BPA) and non-stick packaging. Look for safer plastics, (numbers 1,2,4 or 5 in the chasing arrows symbol).
- Eat lower on the food chain. Some of the most persistent and toxic chemicals in food are found in animal fats. By eating less meat and dairy and more produce, beans and nuts, you’ll avoid exposure to these contaminants.
- Visit a farmers’ market. Try local, fresh foods and talk to the farmers about how the food is grown and raised. Use LocalHarvest.org to find a farmers’ market near you.
Learn more about creating lifelong healthier eating habits for your family by downloading our FREE eBook, “Easy Steps to Eating Healthy & Safe Food” at www.healthychild.org/saferfoodsebook.