No Junk Food!

My teen aged daughter told me that she had eaten “Tuna Helper” at her friends house. “Oh my gosh Joanna! Don’t eat Tuna helper! That is old food!!”  I blurted my surprisingly strong reaction.  I was shocked.  I am the no junk food preacher. Both my daughters regularly confess to me what no no’s they eat.  They love that raised eyebrows look of horror on my face. They know that I want to know and they oblige me.  It is a game to them.  It is not a game to me.

“What’s wrong with Tuna Helper?” Joanna asked. I warn against eating things like the french fries at school lunch, or the Doritos at Britt’s house, gummy bears from the kid on the bus.  I plead with them to go easy on this kind of stuff.  But Tuna Helper?  My girl was taken aback with my agitation.

Packaged and prepared food is old!  That is why manufacturers put in preservatives and artificial color!  I found an article that rather supports this claim.  Here is an exerpt:

By Martha Filipic (614) 292-9833 filipic.3@cfaes.osu.edu

Editor: This column was reviewed by Lydia Medeiros, food safety specialist with Ohio State University Extension, researcher with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and professor in the Department of Human Nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology.

Just how old are those packaged foods? It could be hard to tell. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require an expiration date for shelf-stable foods, since the storage time for these foods is a quality issue and not a food safety concern. But if you’re curious, you may be able to find out if those foods are older than Methuselah by looking for clues on the packages and contacting the manufacturer.

I say rather because food safety is not what I was so alarmed about.  No. Eating Tuna Helper, even if it has been in the pantry for a couple of years won’t kill you, right away!  No. But, all the stuff that is in there to keep it “shelf-stable” is not usable by the body.  Once ingested it becomes lodged in the liver, or the kidneys or it is deposited into our fat cells.  Over time this spells toxicity.

That is what I am talking about.  Real food is not toxic.  The body digests real food completely and is nourished, and energized as a result.

My daughter is reading Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser for school.   During the class discussion, my daughter spoke up and said that she has no junk food in her house.  The teacher, yes, the teacher, looked at her and said, “I feel sorry for you.”   My daughter does realize that our no junk food status at home is not the norm.  We fight about it because of people like her teacher and her friend’s dad who regularly serves Tuna Helper think it really is okay to eat stuff that is not nutritionally sound.  I don’t think it is okay.

There are many many absolutely amazing tasting foods that not only serve, and support  our bodies, but delight us!  Google up a recipe!  Crack a cookbook!  Make something out of fresh ingredients.  Enjoy a fresh food restaurant.  It is worth the time, effort (and expense) and your liver will thank you. However, your teenagers will eat what everybody else is eating.