Getting my family to start eating healthy seems to be a yearly goal around here. It being the start of a new year, I headed to the grocery store determined to fill my cart with healthy foods. I know all the rules and most stores now have labels to guide you in making healthy choices. Setting the framework for eating healthy would be a snap. Or, so I thought.
I started down the aisles. I picked up a bag of our usual long-grain white rice. I put it back on the shelf and picked up a bag of brown rice. Yes, brown rice will be healthier, I thought. It has more fiber and protein. ”And more arsenic,” a little voice in my head reminded me. I remembered recently reading an article in Consumer Reports about unhealthy levels of arsenic in rice. Brown rice might have more nutritional value than white rice, but it also seems to have more arsenic. I put the brown rice back on the shelf. Consumer Reports recommended limiting rice to once a week and rinsing it before cooking. I picked up a smaller bag of white rice. I already have enough things I have wash. I do not need to be washing rice 3 times a week, too.
I moved on to the next aisle. Soup is a healthy option. I picked a few cans of our favorite Progresso Lentil Soup. High fiber, full of protein, loaded with minerals and vitamins, I thought, what could possibly be wrong with this choice. “Uh-hm,” interrupted the little voice in my head. “Don’t you remember that petition you received. Progresso soup cans are lined with BPA.” That’s right, I thought, and BPA has been linked to cancer, obesity and heart disease. I put the cans back and wondered which aisle had the dried lentils.
I headed over to the seafood section. We could really use more fish in our diet. “If you also want more mercury in your diet,” piped up the little voice in my head. I reached for some lean beef. “Guess you don’t mind clogging your arteries and risking e-coli,” chided the voice. I put down the beef and picked up the chicken. “Oh, really. Do enjoy salmonella?”
I wandered the store. Apple juice has too much arsenic. Most of the cereals are made with rice. More arsenic. The fresh produce is covered in wax (or crawling with spiders!). The packaged shrimp has been soaked in bleach.
By the time I reached the register, I had only one thing in my cart, bottled water. We have well water at home. Apparently, according to the DEP charts my sister sent me, we live above or near an area that has a lot of granite/pegamite. While there isn’t anything conclusive, these types of bedrock usually mean high levels of uranium and radon in the well water. I prefer that my family not glow in the dark. Though, that would come in handy during all those times we lose power each year.
I have decided to set a new goal for the year. I’m going to stop reading or listening to anything about our food supply and just pretend, we are actually eating healthy.