Yesterday’s news made me think about Skittles and real food. It was a revelation in terms of knowing about the food we eat and where it comes from.
A truck load of hundreds of thousands of red Skittles was accidentally spilled on a highway in Dodge County, Wisconsin. At the time, we were in the midst of an ice storm, and the Skittles actually helped with traction on the highway.
That in itself is a crazy story. I thought it was a hoax. It was too funny to be true. Just picturing a highway filled with Skittles is amusing.
It was real. Apparently the smell of Skittles wafted through the area.
The even stranger part is that the rejected Skittles were being hauled to a farm to provide food for cattle. Yes, cattle were being given candy. Apparently, according to the sheriff, Skittles provide good nutrients for cattle. An animal science professor even called Skittles “a viable diet. “
Are you kidding me? I have no doubt eating all those Skittles will fatten those cows right up. It is no surprise that cheap carbs cause weight gain. I also learned that farmers buy malformed potato chips and the grain left over after breweries have squeezed all the life out of it during the brewing process.
Buying cheap commodity carbs is a way for farmers to bring us cheaper meat. Tasty treats for tasty meat?
You are what you eat. No wonder Americans are fat and that we have a serious problem with childhood obesity in this country.
In the past year I have begun a serious study of nutrition. I hired a nutritionist, have read a LOT about food and nutrients and have been, for the most part, eating a very clean and healthy diet. At first I struggled with the decision to buy more expensive organic and locally farm raised, grass fed meat and eggs.
Then we started to feel better. We started to lose weight. My husband noticed if the eggs were not my usual free range organic ones. We discovered hamburgers made with cheap beef were not as tasty as those made with the grass fed locally grown meat.
The more I learned about chemicals in processed food, the more I revolted. I was aghast to find that the first ingredient in something as seemingly healthy as apple sauce was corn syrup. I quickly came to appreciate cottage cheese whose only three ingredients included milk, cream and salt.
I became a convert.
In no world will you ever be able to convince me that cows raised on Skittles, which are made of artificial color and sugar, will end up as healthy food.
I still feel like I am in the beginning of my journey to learn about food. I am regularly surprised and amazed that what I have been taught and what seems “healthy” is often not healthy. For example, I was surprised to learn that diet salad dressings are worse for you than regulars ones or that polyunsaturated fats, especially corn oil, are the bad fats. It is difficult to know who to trust, and difficult to wade through the real science.
This one isn’t difficult. Just say no to Skittles. Eat real food, and if you eat meat, eat meat that has eaten real food.
What are your struggles with food and healthy eating? I’d love to hear your ideas.
P.S. After my article about diet coke, read it here, the Diet Coke people reached out to me to inform me that it is an acceptable treat used in moderation. Dear Skittles people, I am not suggesting that no one ever eat a Skittle. Thanks in advance for not suing me.