Part II - You Have No Idea What's In Your food...the saga continues

The below is going to sound like a rant of a crazy person if you haven't read You Have No Idea What's In Your Food, so please do so before continuing.

As most of you know, this is not a food blog, it is one that focuses on the many social issues affecting our world. However, in response to requests from you guys, I have made this blog entry below.

It gives a breakdown of actual steps that you can take to ensure you can avoid the nonsense within our 'natural' foods. I have taken each food item from the original article and separated it into two sections. The first is ‘problems’, just to remind you of the issues affecting the food source. The other is ‘the changes to make’, which allows you to see the things you can do to differently.  I have only included things I think are the most important changes one should make, to ensure that this is as easy for busy lives as possible. 

Please feel free to print this out and stick it on the fridge, or wall, or wherever to help remind you of the choices you are trying to make during your shopping trips

Problems with MEAT: 

  • There is untested and unlabelled cloned meat already on farms and on the supermarket shelves, removing the right of consumers to choose this meat for their families
  • Governments refuse to remove GMO, or pesticides from animal feed regardless of proven health hazards, such as nerve damage, birth defects and cancers
  • Animals are unnaturally fattened using chemicals 
  • Sick and diseased animals are readily accepted as edible meat
  • Vegetarian animals are being fed non-vegetarian diets, which has proven to cause degenerative disease
  • Hormone, antibiotics and synthetic hormones are being administerd and put into animals’ diets that pass to humans through consumption
  • Slaughtering animals on fast, unmanned production lines, means animals have their necks only partially cut, resulting in many slow and painful deaths to the animals
  • The disproportionately large farms that house animals produce waste that has alarming effects on human health and the environment

The changes to make:

Buy meat that can guarantee as many of the following as possible:
  • Organic
  • Hormone free
  • Antibiotic free
  • Is vegetarian fed 
  • Certified humane

Tip: Buy your meat from local organic farms if possible. 


Problems with FRUITS and VEGETABLES:

  • Governments continually allow chemicals proven to be damaging and fatal during animal testing into the food chain
  • There is much controversy around the diseases and illnesses that pesticides and GMO's cause people, including birth defects, nerve damage, reproductive disorders and cancers
  • There is not enough backing or activity to claim GMO crops could significantly alleviate world hunger, but there is explicit data expressing the need for countries to prioritise natural agricultural farming above all other practices  
  • The dedicated counsel set up for its ability to gather evidence on the usefulness and consequences of GMO use is being ignored. Despite detailed four year research from the UN and World bank organisation, IAASTD (made up of 900 experts from 110 countries), GMO production continues, regardless of the scientific advice against it
  • Many fruits and vegetables are unlabelled as genetically modified organisms (GMO) so consumers cannot make the choice even if they wanted to
  • Governments refuse to remove GMO, or pesticide crops regardless of proven health hazards from 'healthy' foods, such as apples, potatoes and tomatoes

The changes to make:

  • This Dirty Dozen list from the Environmental Working Group shows the produce containing the highest numbers of pesticides. They have ordered them by those that must be bought organic, against those you could probably get away with (I would rather not wait for a list showing me how the crops I have already been eating all year are now toxic with pesticides - so I eat organic)
  • Buy organic
  • Buy GMO free - that goes for everything; fruit, veg, pulses, rice, bread – you name it, make sure it’s GMO free and organic
  • Get your produce from local farms and farmers markets, they are fresher and they can be trusted more

BE AWARE: If a product is not labelled when buying from a farm, always ask whether the produce is organic. Many farmers are organic, but cannot afford to go through the admin process, so just ask them. With stores however, if it doesn’t have a label it is normally GMO as standard, but ask to make sure.



     Problems with MILK:

  • Baby calves are removed from their mothers 48 hours after birth to maximise the amount of milk that can be taken from the cow and not 'wasted' by giving it to the calf
  • Calves are fed 'milk replacers' that contain controversial meat proteins, ensuring the risk of CJD - the fatal, degenerative, human form of Mad Cow Disease (BSE) - is an ever-present risk
  • Cows are kept perpetually pregnant to serve the milk industry 
  • Mastitis is a potentially fatal infection of the udders and is one of the three most common illnesses to affect dairy cattle
  • Levels of Mastitis bacteria in milk (which is actually pus!) are almost double in US milk compared to that in Europe (not that half the amount of any pus sounds better!)
  • Cows are fed chicken litter and other unnatural items such as corn as part of their diet, causing them need to be injected with antibiotics to prevent disease

The changes to make:

Buy produce that can guarantee as many of the following as possible:
  • Organic
  • Hormone free
  • Antibiotic free
  • Vegetarian fed
  • Pasture raised 
  • Certifed humane
Or, don’t drink animal’s milk, there are many healthy alternatives, such as Soy and Almond. 

Tip: remember to try and buy organic versions of your milk alternatives. I found a very funny and interesting blog about our insane relationship with animal milk by the way.

BE AWARE: If you're a cheese fan, make sure your cow and goat cheese is humanely produced. We stopped buying our cheese from one vendor at our local farmers market, because we found out they removed the babies from their mothers. But, two stalls down, hurrah we found one that didn't. And they were certified humane too, which is a tough seal to get attributed to your product. So be patient, ask questions and look around.



     Problems with FISH: 

  • A two year study found 40-100% of fish in the world’s waters contained unsafe levels of mercury that were unfit for human consumption 
  • Consumption at only once a month is the new urgent guidelines that is being presented to the UN mecury treaty meetings  
  • Mercury causes permanent brain and kidney damage and only exists in our food chain because of the massive pollution from industrial manufacturing and production
  • Mothers can pass mercury to their unborn children with blindess and retardation as a result
  • The largest fish fraud investigation in the world conducted this year, found 1/3 of all fish are incorrectly labelled, poisonous or unrecognised 
  • Fish banned in other countries for severe gastrointestinal complications are in abundance in our food chain through fradulent activity
  • Fish fraud is dominantly occurring in sushi joints, restaurants and supermarkets

        The changes to make

  • Do not eat large fish more than once a month to avoid mercury poisoning
  • Do not buy pre-cut, packaged fish. Buy fish whole and get the fishmonger to cut it for you, so you know that it is actually the fish you intended to buy
  • Avoid sushi restaurants (this is hard, if you’re a sushi monster like me)
       BE AWARE: 
  • There are many fish that look identical without their heads and skin, so always buy your fish whole - the fishmonger will prepare it in any way you like
  • This study was conducted across all waters, so for your own safety, adhere to the recommendations (once a month). More sad news; countries such as Japan and Uruguay are being recommended not to eat fish at all anymore :(

Problems with WHEAT

  • Unnatural cross breeding has resulted in wheat that our body is biologically incapable of tolerating
  • Unnatural proteins from crossbred wheat cause numerous dietary problems, including IBS, diabetes, coeliac disease, psoriasis and arthritis

The changes to make:


  • Find Einkorn or Emmer wheat (wheat that's unchanged from biblical times!) and make your own flour, bread and cakes
  • Try avoid eating wheat (it's in pasta, bread, cakes, muffins, chocolates, flour and many other yummy things)
  • Organic wholemeal bread, or pasta still has the same problems, but if you can’t find Emmer or Einkorn - and cant do without wheat - then settle for organic wholemeal
  • There are proteins other than gluten that are causing health problems, so Gluten - free bread and snacks are not really a solution. However, if you just can’t do without wheat, then go for gluten free products
  • Although there are wheat - free products, I would suggest avoiding them too if possible, because they are still processed goods

  • Potatoes are a clever alternative to wheat, in place of bread and pasta. They are much more versatile and there is no harm if you choose to eat them every day with your lunch and dinner - just try and ensure they are organic
  • You will be very surprised at how much better your body feels once you remove wheat from you diet. As hard as it may seem, try it for 14 days to see how much difference you notice. I have family and friends that are shocked at how good they feel after just a few days of a wheat - free diet and refuse to eat wheat products in the amounts they used to - with many of them stopping altogether!

·       Problems with EGGS: 

  • Chickens are given chemicals to make them fatter and grow faster
  • Because of their unnatural diets and their unhealthy living conditions, chickens are given many antibiotics to prevent diseases
  • They are regularly fed cattle remains and other proteins in their diet (yes we know they are onmivores, but that's just gross)
  • Unmanned and quick production lines means the blades don’t always fully cut the chickens' necks as they are supposed to - which leaves them fully conscious and extremely stressed. This is before they are plunged into boiling water, as part of the process
  • Chickens go mad living in extremely close quarters and peck each other alot. However, instead of giving them more space, farmers choose to cut the beaks of the chickens with blades, either when they are chicks, or fully grown
  • Inhumane treatment of chickens is widespread, including caging, cramming, light tricking, removal of roosters, destruction of male chicks, blindness and foot lacerations

·       The changes to make:

·       Buy eggs and chickens that are: 
  • Organic (have access to outdoors and are raised on organic feed)
  • Cage free (not in a cage)
  • Fertile (hens live with roosters and can engage in natural mating behaviours)
  • Pasture raised (hens live outdoors with access to housing
  • Free range (hens have access to outdoors)
  • Certified humane
TIP: there are many protein alternatives to eggs and chicken, such as nuts, quinoa, tofu, tempeh and flax seeds, to name a few.

BE AWARE: Try never to eat chickens and eggs from battery, or caged farms under any circumstances. Their lives of torture, cruelty and disease is inhumane and should not be tolerated.

·  Problems with PACKAGED FOODS (wrapped, boxed, jarred, etc):

  • Governements refuse to remove pesticide - ridden crops, regardless of proven health hazards from sugar crops, fresh produce and meats
  • Packaged foods almost always will contain synthetic materials, colourings, additives and toxic chemicals for preservation
  • Unnatural ingredients contribute massively to cancers, asthma, heart disease, tumors, hyperactivity, skin diseases and many other illnesses

    The changes to make:

  • Make a habit to check the ingredients list 100% of the time, with every product you pick up
  • The food items you choose should only contain natural ingredients
  • Do not allow yourself to select items that contain any names, chemicals, or things that you don’t understand in the ingredients list

TIP: In an ideal world your shopping cart should contain 100% of natural, non-processed items and 0% of processed items. As you go around the supermarket, make sure to read the ingredients list on each item that you intend to place in the shopping cart. If there is anything on the packet that you don’t understand, or recognise as a natural food substance, simply put it back - there will surely be another alternative to that item, which will not contain unnatural ingredients. 

BE AWARE: We have on many occasions returned items to the shelf that say things like 'natural' and '100%' on the front of the packet, but clearly contain other things on the ingredients list.

Food is to be enjoyed. Without realising it though, most people hardly eat any natural food these days, opting for, unnatural, sugary, preserved goods. But for those of us that truly want to enjoy life, eating food the way it was intended; natural, pure and wholesome, gives us sincere pleasure.  It is important that we refuse to tolerate bad practices within the industry dealing with the natural foods we have left.  Empower yourself with the knowledge you need to make better choices.


Stuff Mother Taught Us


  1. this is a great post <3 thanks for your hard work

  2. Thanks Letitia, that's much appreciated!

  3. Couldn't agree more. There will be no change until people make that change happen by refusing to purchase the food industry's commercial rubbish and that goes for the stuff produced on so called farms. Appreciate all the hard work-thanks. Let's hope people listen and take steps. Change will happen if they start losing money.

    1. I'm a believer in people and I really think that most people will want to make a difference, once they are empowered with the knowledge. Communities of people have come together in the past to affect positive change and I'm hoping, just like you, that this will be no different. Thank you for commenting Lynne


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