Week 6: This was somewhat of a drastic week. I spent a good part of the day going through our pantry and refrigerator reading every label and discarding products containing preservatives, refined oils and sugars. This may sound wasteful, but a lot of the condiments in the refrigerator were actually expired anyways . A lot of the canned food and boxed food that was not expired was donated to food banks over the holidays. Once you go through this activity you will be shocked at how many products contain Sodium Benzoate and how many creams and alternative milks contain Carrageenan.
We went FROM –> TO:
1. Soy Sauce –> Coconut Aminos
Coconut Aminos is a healthy alternative to Soy and Tamari sauce. No table salt or preservatives are added — soy sauce contains sodium benzoate and soybeans (91 percent of soy crops are genetically modified.) The most notable nutritional benefit of coconut aminos is the amino acid content compared to soy-based sauces — commonly described as the building blocks of protein.
Although it’s often lauded as a healthy, cholesterol-free, cheap, low-fat protein alternative to meat, soy is not a health food. Any foods that list soy in any form as an ingredient should be avoided. Soy protein, soy isolate, and soy oil are present in about 60 percent of the foods on the market and have been shown to impair fertility and affect estrogen in women, lower sex drive, and trigger puberty early in children. Soy can also add to the imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The only soy products fit for human consumption are fermented and organic and you will never find this type of soy in any processed foods.
2. Pancake Syrup –> Pure Maple Syrup, Organic Grade A or 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup, Grade B
I was shocked when I realized my pancake syrup contained Sodium Benzoate, and most of them do.
There are two varieties of maple syrup to choose from, USDA Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is the most popular, with a light maple flavor and a relatively thin consistency. It’s a good choice for pancakes, and can make a great topping for desserts and other foods.
Grade B maple syrup is much darker and has a stronger flavor. It also is a bit thicker, tending towards the consistency of pancake syrup rather than the runnier Grade A. Grade B is often recommended for baking because its stronger flavor comes through more readily, but it can be a better choice for pancakes or waffles than Grade A if you are a fan of the flavor of maple in general. The two are interchangeable as far as what will work in a recipe that calls for maple syrup. Grade C maple syrup, it is now called Grade B. Thus, Grade B & C are the same.
3. Ketchup –> Organic Ketchup
4. Pickles –> Organic Pickels
Most pickles contain Sodium Benzoate. We find the organic ones in the organic section of our grocery store. If you shop at Wegman’s they can be found in the organic section near the salad dressings.
5. Salad Dressings –> Homemade or Bragg’s Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing are good choices.
Most salad dressings, even the organic ones, contain canola oil. Over-consumption of oils like canola cause an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids — this imbalance increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and prostate and bone cancer. Further, 75 percent of canola crops are genetically modified. If you do purchase salad dressing, you want to make sure it contains ONLY olive oil and not a combination of olive oil and other oils (i.e. canola, vegetable, soybean, etc.).
Our pantry now consists of the following:
- Coconut Milk
- Organic Diced Tomatoes
- Organic Tomato Paste
- Organic Chicken Broth
- Coconut Flakes
- Coconut Flour
- Almond Flour
- Arrowroot Flour
- Raw Almond
- Raw Pecans
- Raw Walnuts
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
- Pine Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Almond Butter
- Grass-fed Beef Jerky
- Canned Wild-Caught Salm0n
- Canned Wild-Caught Tuna
- Artichoke Hearts
- Dried Unsweetened Fruit
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Tons of Spices
Our refrigerator consists of the following with fruit varying through the seasons:
- Free Range Eggs
- Grass-Fed Ground Beef
- Organic Chicken
- Organic Deli Meat
- Organic Bacon
- Organic Mustard
- Organic Veganaise
- Organic Lettuce Mix
- Organic Apples
- Organic Blueberries
- Organic Limes
- Organic Lemons
- Organic Pears
- Organic Grapes
We always have the following in our freezer (preferably organic). Frozen vegetables are great to keep on hand for nights you need to put together something quick. While canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process (notable exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin), frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed.
While the first step of freezing vegetables—blanching them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzymes—causes some water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freeze locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to the fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine. In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and the B vitamin thiamin. (Source)
- Frozen chopped spinach or collard greens
- Frozen chopped broccoli & broccoli florets
- Frozen cauliflower florets
- Frozen baby Brussels sprouts
- Frozen green beans
- Frozen, wild-caught, cooked shrimp
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“When you know better, you do better.”
You should also not eat things with carageenan in almond and coconut milks and other products. It comes from red seaweed, but the way they process it, make it a useful acid in de-icing airplanes! Read more about this before consuming!
Hi Elaine! Agreed! You would enjoy this post It contains a link to a petition to sign to have carrageenan removed from our food supply. http://wholefoodrealfoodgoodfood.com/alternatives-to-organic-milk-boxes/
I instinctively eliminated sodium benzoate from my diet 3 years ago and my pantry and fridge are very similar to yours. However, last time I checked, Sriracha Hot Sauce had MSG in it.
That is very interesting about the msg in Sriracha sauce. I don’t see it listed on the one in my fridge. What are the ingredients in yours? Here is a write-up I did on msg and the names it hides behind. http://wholefoodrealfoodgoodfood.com/msg/
Thanks for the info!
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