Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gelatin

So I've heard, in passing, before that gelatin was made of pigs hooves.  I think that it sounded so outrageous that I just let it slide.  Well, I'm reading 'Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies' and somehow seeing it written down, I want to gag.  Apparently it's actually made from extended boiling of skins, bones and cartilage (including hooves) from animals .  I'm not a vegetarian, and don't believe I ever will be one, but that just sounds wrong.  Pieces of animals that have been mis-bred and mis-fed are being ground down, treated with acid,etc and then turned into gelatin that we eat in everyday foods.  I have never been a Jello fan, it's texture just never suited me, and thank goodness! Although I do love me some s'mores.   Good news is there is vegetarian forms of gelatin available.  But you should count on gelatin being from animal byproducts, if it's something processed, being bought off a normal grocery shelf and not being labeled vegetarian.  I guess I'll have to search out for marshmallows minus the nasties.

Friday, June 24, 2011

HFCS?

There has been much debating with the subject of High Fructose Corn Syrup (hfcs).  Is it worse for you than sugar or the same as sugar?  Let's start off by saying sugar is not good for you in any form.   And of course, that's why it's in everything.  Well, sugar used to be in everything, but it was replaced with hfcs to save on cost.  Experts say that hfcs in moderation is fine.  So tell me, how can you eat it in moderation when it is in almost everything from bread, canned fruit to salad dressing.

I often think of where my food originates.  High fructose corn syrup is derived from, most likely, GMO corn.  GMO....what's that you ask....GMO is a genetically modified organism.  Seeds that have been genetically altered to do that which is not natural.  It is created in a lab and mutated to do what the scientists want.  From there it goes through many processes to come out with a sweetener that is chemically equivalent to sugar.

Supporters of hfcs will use the argument about the chemical equivalency until they are blue in the face.  What about how others argue that it is addictive, like many (many) other chemicals that are put in our foods.  That it contributes to type 2 diabetes.  Or that it is originated from corn, not sugar cane, but corn.  Corn that has been altered, processed, and treated with chemicals.

I started looking at labels when I was pregnant with my first child and found out I had gestational diabetes.  Taking out high fructose corn syrup was one of the things the nutritionist suggested.  That is when I noticed it was in everything.  Five years later and hfcs is one thing that I've been able to almost completely take out of my diet.  Be careful, they are pretty sneaky about it, it will sometimes be called corn sugar.