Grab Bag Warning Bell:
An article on Taco Bell’s “Taco Meat Filling” and the legal troubles the fast-food purveyor is now embroiled in because of those ingredients really prompts the question, even more loudly than ever, “What is really in the food I’m eating?”.
Here is an excerpt from the article, found here on Dr. Mercola’s site:
“Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder …
…autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2 percent of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.”
The filling also includes 36 percent beef. The other 64 percent consist of the ingredients listed above.
According to the USDA, this can’t be called “beef” at all, which is why it comes in a big package labeled “Taco Meat Filling.”
Now an Alabama law firm is presenting Taco Bell with a lawsuit for false advertising for claiming they sell “beef” products. But Taco Bell might be in violation of the law even if they sold “Taco Meat Filling” burritos. The USDA says that any food labeled as “meat taco filling” should at least have 40 percent fresh meat; Taco Bell’s contains only 36 percent.
And if this happens at Taco Bell, do we really think it doesn’t happen at most other fast food purveyors? Truly, the fault lies with us… as a culture… who want cheap, fast, tasty food… that can be mass produced, consistently, at numerous locations around the globe….and we stick our heads in the sand when considering how that is accomplished.
Grab Bag Snack Stuff:
Hungry, tired, in a hurry… a (healthy) snack is both an important part of keeping blood sugar balanced and a calming mechanism for the stressors in life. The trick is to have healthy snacks stocked, prepared and available, or the pace of life and the impulses we fall victim to will guide our hand to the bag of chips or the stash of cookies instead.
Remaking habits starts in the mind… so…first, think about your guilty snack moments… see yourself indulging in things you know are counterproductive.
Now envision yourself snacking on healthy things instead…. happy…healthy…satisfied… a halo over your head…. now keep it there .
Here are some really good snack ideas from Dr. Andrew Weil.
- Seasonal fruit with good-quality yogurt and freshly ground flaxseed (note from LK…also try plain kefir instead of yogurt)
- Whole-grain crackers with a small piece of cheese (my choice: Reggiano) or some smoked salmon
- A small handful of lightly roasted (or raw) nuts
- Toasted whole wheat pita and hummus
- A hardboiled egg (look for omega-3 enriched eggs for added nutritional value) sprinkled with smoked paprika (replace the yolk with hummus for a new twist)
- Fresh vegetables with high-quality yogurt – add fresh herbs and seasonings for more flavor (as I write this I am eating veggies with a yogurt dip blended with minced capers, garlic, parsley and some black pepper… YUM!)
And one of my favorites should definitely make the list… half an apple with crunchy almond butter.
Grab Bag Heart Wringer:
Here’s an enlightening, heart wrenching, heart soaring experiential opportunity:
Become a reader of OrganicGreenDoctor.com. This blog was started, innocently enough, last year by a family physician in Texas who intended on sharing his interest in sound medical practice and navigating the medical system, as well as his love of organic gardening and green living (he and his wife have solar power, collect rain water, recycle everything). Wrap all that with his unique brand of presentation (think ee cummings) and wit, and you have a mix of nods, raised eyebrows and smiles that make for a worthwhile roadstop on the internet highway. Cute. Fun. Great. Thanks. But…..
Then the unthinkable happened. A few months ago The Organic Green Doctor began to notice subtle changes in his thinking patterns. Unnoticed by family and office staff, The OGD nonetheless felt testing was called for, as Alzheimer’s runs deep in his familial river.
Just before Christmas 2010 he received the devastating diagnosis that he, indeed, has early-stage Alzheimer’s.
I suggest you go back to late December and January and read some of his brief posts from that time to really understand and feel how one processes this diagnosis. We all wonder what that would be like, never wanting to know first hand. This is a much-preferred window into that reality. More recent posts include reports on his medical journey and his mental processing of it, in addition to much of his humorous observations, as well as his gardening and green living tips.
But what strikes me here, as it has so often with others who live with devastating circumstances, is how life goes on, passions persist, the mundane is addressed…. perhaps because of, perhaps in spite of, the trump card now carried in his hand.
So I salute The Organic Green Doctor for his willingness to share, his willingness to show, and his willingness to allow us on a very private trip down the rabbit hole.
Grab Bag Humbling Moment:
Feeling stressed and worried by some human, earthly circumstance? This puts everything, both our triumphs as well as our tragedies, in DEEP perspective.
Thanks to my sis, Tally D., herself a perspective changer, for this.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Loads of letters float around the board. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to click on all the Zs, Is, Rs, Cs and Hs before time runs out. Need we mention that things get more difficult as the levels progress?
This is excellent for concentration.
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
If men baked Valentine’s cookies….