Thursday, December 8, 2011

San Antonio Families Returning to Traditional Food Practices with ‘One Bite at a Time’

Industrial pizza interests passed under Congress’s rod with flying colors last month and corporations like Del Monte Foods and ConAgra must be celebrating the decision to allow pizza to be considered a vegetable in the government’s school-lunch program. The problem is that canned tomato products are notoriously contaminated with Bisphenol-A — the endocrine disruptor that’s to blame for altered sexual development in children. Additionally, in the case of pizza, any nutrients potentially left in a processed sauce are being delivered in minuscule amounts — nowhere near the “make half your plate fruits and vegetables” message from the government’s MyPlate initiative. Common sense has gone by the wayside as such nutrition-poor foods continue to slide into the mouths of those most susceptible to craving carbohydrate-rich, calorie-dense, sugar-laden processed foods: children. And as research and science consistently illustrate, the more processed the food, the more likely it is to damage our health.
But increasingly parents are fighting back. Fed up with imbalanced school lunches and highly processed foods in general, a growing number of moms (and some dads) in San Antonio are getting back to the basics. They’re making most everything from scratch. Not because they have to or because it’s always convenient, but because they enjoy the food more and know their families are better off for it. “We must get away from the mentality that our food will just be handed to us at the ready,” said Veronica Ramirez, mother of two. “My beef with restaurants and fast food is that they just don’t take the time to do things the right way and pay the food enough respect for it to be healthy. Why not make from scratch?”
Ramirez connected with other moms and dads over a love of cooking traditional foods via One Bite At A Time, a food-focused Facebook group (and offshoot of San Antonio Natural Parenting), that’s given way to in-person meet-ups. They cook food the way your great-great-great-great-grandmother did. No white sugar or white flour. No soy cheese, autolyzed yeast extract, or Yellow FD&C #5. No vital wheat gluten extract or caramel coloring. “Traditional Food,” as it’s called, are those foods eaten by people for thousands of millennia in all known civilizations; they’re organic foods harvested from the earth full of natural nutrition. They’re old and have history; they’re nothing new, processed, or improved.
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