Clean Eating: Is Your Food Clean?
By Ann Quasarano
A growing number of Americans are becoming more aware and concerned about what they are putting into their bodies and demanding “clean” food. These people are not referring to how much dirt is on their produce, but rather the state of the food that they are consuming. This is not a new concept, in fact, it’s more of a retro, “back-to-basics,” lifestyle choice that most Blood Type and GenoType Dieters have been embracing for years.
Clean eating refers to something that is beyond organic and sets a new standard for purity. The movement calls for avoiding foods that contain artificial preservatives, coloring, trans fats, synthetic pesticides, fungicides, ripening agents, fumigants, drug residues and growth hormones. The focus is on grass fed beef, and antibiotic free/free range chicken, wild caught fish, whole grains and fruits and vegetables that are not only grown organically, but picked at eaten at the peak of freshness when flavor and nutrients are at their best. Probably all things you are already doing if you are eating Right for Your Type!
In addition to better health, more people have been turning to clean foods due to the recent breakouts of e coli bacteria in our food supply. From spinach to peanuts to cookie dough, many products have been re-called because of this illness inducing bacteria. Yet others are doing it for environmental reasons or to feel a connection between the land water, air and life.
Clean eating is not complicated or expensive. In fact, it is often cheaper to buy clean foods than pre-packaged, processed foods. It just involves a bit more label reading, kitchen planning and cooking – but your health is worth it.
You’ve noticed that tiny stickers that now appear on almost all fruit, and probably been annoyed that you have to peel each one off. These contain codes for the check-out clerk, but they also contain a secret the store might not want you to know. The numbers on the stickers can tell you how the fruit was grown, and frequently, the country of origin of the fruit. This is helpful to know when you are trying to select organic and non-GMO produce or to avoid fruits grown in countries where the pesticide regulations are somewhat “relaxed.”
Breaking the Code: What the Stickers on Your Fruit Are Telling You
Here’s what to look for:
- A four digit number means the fruit is conventionally grown. For example, a conventionally farmed peach may have the number 4044 on the sticker.
- A five digit number beginning with 9 means the fruit has been organically grown. If your peach has the number 94044 – you know it is organic.
- A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it is Genetically Modified. A GM peach would have the number 84044 on the sticker.
A new laser technology that tattoos fruit with identifying information may soon take the place of the annoying little stickers. The stickerless technology was designed to track and trace food and allow for greater protection of the food supply during distribution. The process involves the laser removing only the outer pigment of the skin of the fruit, to reveal a contrasting layer underneath and make the tattoo visible to the consumer and scannable at the check-out counter. Produce distributors are beginning to use this technology, but no one knows when it will be widely available throughout the industry.
Until then, be an educated consumer and check the stickers!