Friday, 28 January 2011

What is actually in our food?

When Liam got sick over two years ago, we started to seriously look into what types of chemicals were in our house and what was in the food we eat.  We made some changes such as cleaning with all natural ingredients and eating less processed food.  We started to read labels and to not buy products with ingredients that we could not pronounce.  Since that time each little step has led to another, so that we now make our own bread from scratch (recipe), make all our own cleaning products including our own laundry soap (recipe) and eat less meat and sugar than we once did.

Trinity's recent bout with what the doctor has described as an illness from food contamination (vegetables most likely grown in untreated human waste) has led us to again seriously look at what is in our food and how and where it is grown and produced.  In fact, just four days ago USA Today published a story on this topic.  As I try to provide healthy meals for our family that will not make us sick,  on a budget,  I am truly frustrated.

Milton is not a big city so finding organics in our town is not plentiful at the best of times.  Here is my issue, as I have been looking over the past couple weeks, almost 70% of the organics that are available here are not Canadian grown and are from countries that are known to have a reputation for using untreated human waste as fertilizer and for serious food safety concerns.  Just because it has organic on the label cannot guarantee that the food is ethically grown or produced.   From what I have been able to research so far the standards for organics vary from country to country.  Even though in order to display the USDA seal, farms even a half a world away are suppose to adhere to the stricter standard of the USDA organics program, there have been problems with inspectors and inspections.

I also resent that "produced" or "packaged" in Canada or the United States is prominently displayed on the front of many organically grown frozen fruits and vegetables at major supermarkets and yet in very small print on the back of the package, it says where it is actually "grown."  This practice seems sneaky to me and for that reason alone I have decided not buy from those companies.  I have even travelled to Oakville to buy from actual organic grocery stores and although they have more choices I still have to be careful because many items are "packaged" or "produced" here but "grown" somewhere else.  I feel like I need a computer brain in order to find safe food that we can afford. 

As we try to learn more about the food we eat, we are looking for good and reliable information and recipes that work with Canadian seasons so that we can buy locally and on a budget.  I would love to hear about where you shop and if you have any ideas on this topic or any recipes or information that you think we could benefit from.


  1. Kimberley, I too have been alerted to where our food comes from - and where it is actually grown. My concern started last year when Gerald said I needed to start eating fish weekly. I headed to the local Metro store and dug through their fish freezers earnestly checking out the labels for BC fish. I didn't want fish from Vietnam, Cambodia or China. Do you know that I could not find one single package that was a pure Canadian product. Needless to say, the addition of fish to my diet has not happened. I think we together need to dig deep to find food that is Canadian grown, produced and packaged!

  2. Me too was so curious what is chemicals is in my food that I was eating. So we decided to clean first our kitchen things and the food that we eat.

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