Mother Earth Monday – Beaver Bottoms and Paper Food

WARNING: Do not read this if you are currently eating or are prepared to eat in the very near future.

So I sort of wonder to myself just how many of you have enjoyed anything raspberry flavored recently? Just out of curiosity, did you happen to see “Real Raspberries” on that list of ingredients. Granted, that doesn’t render the product immune to tampering by the producers of the product. Still, I am willing to bet what it listed was “Natural Flavors” as the origin of that taste. Congratulations, you have beaver anus in your mouth. It could be worse though, at least that one is relatively intact from the animal of origin.

I wish I could say that was a joke, but the stuff really does originate from the anus of a beaver. They have little glands similar to those of a skunk in their anus that produce castoreum. Don’t expect that word to show up often. Instead it lists as ‘Natural Flavor” along with any number of other products from MSG to Aspartame. Then again, I’d rather have carefully tended beaver secretions than the 90 percent of meat that ends up with fecal bacteria present thanks to modern food practices.

The modern marvels don’t stop there though. I found a little video that expresses some of the ridiculous ways that the food industry gives us the cheapest garbage (literally in some cases) they can manage and passes it as very healthy. Everything from “Fresh Squeezed” zombie OJ to steaks crafted from spare bits using meat glue.

The one that I think really takes the cake is the use of wood pulp in a huge number of products we eat. Ground up newspaper being used to replace things like flour and oil. This is verifiable information too, not just some crazy guy rambling off his own conjecture. Kraft Mac and Cheese or Eggo waffles number among the partial list shown, but have no doubt there could be a whole video dedicated to this issue alone with products scrolling in a side-bar the whole time and still not all would be listed.

The video is playful, with a bit of strong language, but it brings up some seriously ugly points that really should be more common knowledge. People sometimes ask why I spend so much time in the kitchen making everything from scratch when I could just get something in a box or a mix that would cut my time down. Every time I get tempted to buy pre-made pie crusts or some all in one box product, I remember what goes into them. It is more work, but the food ends up tasting better most of the time and I can be certain of what I am putting into it.

Well, as certain as one can be without GMO labeling laws and some of the insane things allowed into “Organic” products. Still, the more control I take, the better what I eat is for my family. Every vegetable I grow is one I know everything about. Every time I buy meat, eggs or milk from a farm I can visit in person and whose practices I know is one more time I am avoiding dangers hidden in everyday foods. I don’t claim perfection. It is very hard to feed a family on a budget and not buy at least some things that are less than ideal simply out of the need for saving money. Subsidies generally go to the least healthy things it seems, which means they are invariably cheaper than the healthy ones.

That’s okay. Someone recently pointed out that if they subsidized the healthy things, people would figure out ways to make them less healthy to save a buck. Anyway, enjoy the link. Enjoy the video. Hopefully you weren’t eating when you read this, but hey, I have some good recipes for making all sorts of things from scratch. Just ask and I will make a point to post them.

What are your thoughts?

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