What is "healthy" cooking to you?

Discussion in 'Healthy Outdoor Cooking' started by CaliforniaPoppy, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    Just wondering what all of you consider healthy.

    Are processed, reduced calorie foods healthy?

    Are whole, unprocessed foods healthy, even if they're high in calories or fat?

    Do you consider artificial sweeteners healthy?

    Do you care about GMOs?

    How about organic?
     
  2. Dad2futurecampers

    Dad2futurecampers New Member

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    I'm a novice at healthy eating but I'm learning from my wife as she has been transforming the family eating habits.

    My understanding is

    Processed and reduced calorie foods are generally unhealthy due to preservatives, artificial preservatives used to make them shelf stable and artificial sweeteners added to them to replace sugar.

    Whole unprocessed food high in calories or fat - Yes but everything in moderation (which is a struggle for me honestly)

    I do not consider artificial sweeteners healthy - due health concerns over the substances involved and the fact that it makes products too sweet in my opinion and more addicting.

    I do care about GMO's but I don't have enough cash to be crazy about them.

    Organic - again I like to go organic but cash again is a consideration.
     
  3. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    Yeah, that's a lot like our house. We used to garden a ton, but now we subscribe to a CSA that provides locally grown, mostly organic produce. We try to avoid processed foods, but with a husband that burns 7,000 calories a day and a teenaged son, some processed treats do make their way in.

    We don't buy Coke or anything like that. We avoid HFCS and artificial sweeteners. We're not afraid of the fat in olive oil, nuts, avocados, organic butter, etc. My husband can eat more of that stuff than I can, though. He has a crazy metabolism and is really active.

    We'd rather eat really high quality, local pasture-raised meat infrequently than cheap factory farmed meat more frequently. Also, I have health issues related to antibiotics, so feed-lot meat is bad news for me. We don't eat farmed fish for the same reason.

    I think Michael Pollan is on track with "eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

    Of course, I just got back from buying white flour and sugar for a holiday cookie exchange I'm participating in. But, like you said, everything in moderation.
     
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We are in the "things in moderation" camp - though what is our moderation, I'm sure the food police would think horrible.

    Over the past decade or so, we've reduced our fat, salt and processed food intake even more than it had been. One of the largest use for processed foods for us was camping, and we have changed the food we take almost completely.

    We both miss the large gardens we had back east, I think mine was a bit more varied in produce than my MIL's was. We attempt to grow things in our yard, but 6000', lack of water and temps that go from frost at night to too hot for most tomatoes to set in less than a week can be challenging. I have lost a lot of my sense of smell, and my sense of taste has partially changed, so many of the fruits and vegetables I once loved now taste horrible. I search for a couple of years for good green beans, only to realize the problem was me.
    On top of the smell/taste issues, a picky digestive system limits my diet too - some foods are just not worth the price I pay for eating them, and for others I simply have to be aware of my limits. That's not always a bad thing, I really don't need that extra piece of pizza, nor to eat supper after 6:30 or so - a snack instead of a meal is just fine.

    I do use saccharin in my tea, to reduce my sugar intake, but I usually drink one or two servings a day. Saccharin is the only artificial sweetener I use, all the others taste funny to me, cause gut issues, or both, "natural" stevia included. I have to be careful to read ingredients - it is amazing what foods have some form of sweetener added.

    I don't like whole wheat, though I have tried since I was a kid - almost all of it tastes very bitter to me. So, DH makes hefty breads (whole wheat, pumpernickel, multi-grain) and I do my own (current favorite for me is oatmeal, so I get some whole grain). Neither of us can stand packaged loaf breads, so if we don't make it, we buy from a local bakery that grinds flour daily.

    We figure that we do the best we can. We'll never know if we were too careful or not careful enough.
     
  5. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I don't do organic anything. Having a bit of prior pest control experience to me organic means not treated with any pesticides. Great right? Not always the case...those pests that may sometimes be killed off can, not always, enter your food and go to the larval stage of life. I would rather eat a bit of harmless pesticide than willingly eat bugs.

    To me a "healthy" meal comes from nature itself. As in wild game, or freshly caught fish. I spend a great deal of time hunting and fishing through different seasons of the year, anything from bream to catfish, rabbits to deer. They all provide a healthy meal to me that contains no added growth hormones, no preservatives, and has eaten natures best browse all its life.

    To me something labelled "organic" is kind of like seeing a car lot advertising "$10, 000 off MSRP", just a way to get your attention and buy a product.

    If you really want healthy then do it all yourself, or IMO don't complain about something being UNhealthy if you aren't taking full control of your diet from seed to dinner, bullet to block either.
     
  6. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    I won't argue with you, but I have put a lot of time into studying the organic/pesticide issue and am confidant that our decision is right for our family. I don't do big corporate organic, though. It's kind of meaningless at that level. I';m lucky to live in a place where we can buy organic from people I can talk to and farms I can visit.

    One thing that's funny, though, a friend stopped buying organic when she found a bug in her lettuce. I said, "I'd be more nervous about eating something bugs can't survive in!"
     
  7. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    What's the goal of healthy cooking?
     
  8. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    I'm of the opinion that the best things are what you grow yourself. Since I have a very brown thumb I try to shop the local farmstands rather than the supermarkets.

    On a side note, I read something recently where either the USDA or FDA was looking to sharply limit the amount of antibiotics used in livestock, due in part to the rise of drug resistant disease strains.
     
  9. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    That's another good question! I'm sure there will be a lot of different answers!
     
  10. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Well, the way I look at it, we're all on our way to dying... might as well eat some bacon along the way. [2C]
     
  11. Tacoma_Jim

    Tacoma_Jim Member

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    Healthy cooking to me means making better choices as much as possible. I'm diabetic, so now it's low in bad fats, low salt, low in sugar and watching carbs and making sure they are good carbs. I feel 10 times better than I have in a long time. I'm not saying that I never use a processed food, but I try to find the better food value for what I cook with. Example: lower fat and sodium mushroom soup for a casserole. As for artificial sweetner, I think a little here and there is ok in moderation and better than eating pesticides everyday. And definitely organic and range fed animals. No one is going to convince me that eating a bug is worse for you than eating pesticides. And how can chemicals in your food be better for you than eating food grown by your local organic farms?
     
  12. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    This is where the word "organic" become confused with supporting local farmers. Buying local doesn't mean buying organic. And buying organic doesn't mean buying local.

    Chemicals are in everything natural you eat. Most pesticides to treat fields of crops are pyrethrins, those made from certain flowers, discovered by the chinese a LOOOOONG time ago. So if the word organic to you means natural, then these fields treated with pyrethrins are organic.

    50 years ago people ate many more chemicals than we do now, our life spans are rougjly the same, and we are all going to die anyways.
     
  13. CaliforniaPoppy

    CaliforniaPoppy California and beyond!

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    I'm certainly not confusing the two. Both are important to me. I buy from local farmers who follow organic practices. Even if they're not certified organic, which is a costly process, many who are producing in our local area are following organic practices. When you know your farmer, you have the opportunity to learn about where your food is coming from and how it's grown.
     
  14. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I certainly agree that knowing where your food comes from is important. If buying from a specific local farmer appeals to you in that sense then that's great! You and your family should be well cared for in this aspect.

    There will always be debates on whether to eat organic or not, support local farms or buy big box, this debate will never end. However I'm sure we can all agree that doing your research and deciding what you want to do for you and yours is the best route.

    My way of looking at it....I didn't grow it, nor butcher it, then its not organic no matter what anyone says.
     
  15. Tacoma_Jim

    Tacoma_Jim Member

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    Here in the NW many of our stores try to fill their organic produce with local growers. I know that "organic" means many things, but I think that's a better risk than knowing it has chemicals.

    That all being said, I still have to have some bacon on something once a month. [:D]
     
  16. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    Organic does not mean no pesticides, it typically means no synthetic pesticides.

    'Organic' can mean different things in different regions....

    I grew up on a farm and am fine with gmo and tradition ways to grow crops.

    Healthy eating to me is maintaining a healthy weight, have a well balanced diet and don't skimp on the goodies...
     
  17. fritz_monroe

    fritz_monroe New Member

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    I don't eat what most would consider a healthy diet. I prescribe to the all things in moderation. My idea of healthy is to try to avoid as much processed food as possible. I don't go out of my way to go organic, but I attempt to avoid GMO as much as possible. We also try to stay away from HFCS as much as possible, but this is REALLY difficult.



    This could open a can of worms, but there is no such thing as a harmless pesticide. Many pesticides are seen as Generally Recognized As Safe by the FDA. This means nothing when the "studies" are paid for by the chemical maker.
     
  18. drosengrant

    drosengrant One Day at a Time

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    Anything I eat while Camping [:D]
     
  19. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Processed foods, high sodium, high calorie and high fat is unhealthy! Hey, everyone loves certain foods that are just not good for you. But, eating right size portions and limiting the "unhealthy" foods to once in a while to satisfy that craving is ok. Just don't eat it multiple times a week.

    Soda is also bad! Having a soda here and there is ok, but not in excess everyday.
     
  20. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    Did you also know that humans unknowingly eat thing such as rat droppings and other unwanted things?

    I realize my comment could open up a can of worms by all means. To me some pesticides are harmless, to someone else they may not be. Please bear in mind that this is MY way of looking at things, I'm not trying to press that on anyone else just putting my thoughts out there.

    Many pyrethrins in a sense, to me, arent stout enough to be harmful in small doses.

    "The difference between medicine and poison is in the dose"

    Twenty years ago organic foods didn't exist, and most of us who were around then are still around now. I'm not a health nut, I had enough of my healthy lifestyle in the army. Now I live for me, and what I prefer to do. I don't take offense to anyone else staying healthy, nor do I want anyone else telling me I need to be healthier. I kids eat healthy, and don't live at mcdonalds because its easier onus. As a result I suppose I eat fairly healthy meals. So I'm not really quite sure ehat the point of all this was....but tthere's my opinion anyways! [:D] Take that portal! [LOL]
     

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