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NO SUGAR policy at my niece’s school
Posted: 01 May 2010 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Gene, bravo! I couldn’t have said it better by a long shot! Further even, the group responsible for the food pyramid recommendations are bought out by big agribusiness, and many of it’s chairmen or what have you, actually work for them as well. It took a subpoena and a lawsuit to eventually bring about that truth though. Nah, they’re not hiding anything I tell ya! I feel a bit of hope though as we all keep talking about this, and I see how educated we are, and know that eventually if we are persistent when we can be effective in doing so we will re-inform the country of what is going on in their midst and help them reclaim the fate of their own bodies and reshape the future of their children’s lives.

As for my family, we are nutritarians except for select days of the year where we get to eat whatever we want in celebration of life and it’s many spendid events!  Think holidays, anniversaries, birthdays etc. Nutritarian is a newer term coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Author, Eat to Live) meaning someone who only eats foods that are high in phytonutrient density, like whole foods, fruits veggies nuts and seeds. No oils, salt, etc nothing unless it is in it’s natural form and unprocessed for the most part. It is pretty ironic that I have such a thing for cake decorating! That truly came about before my nutritarian revolution, and I have made it a point to integrate it into my new life in a mindful way. Good thing most of them are for others! Rose’s cakes take their place in my life during my celebrations—they make my celebration days even more precious and glorious!

Sorry for the hijack Hector, you ignited a passion and have my apologies! Stepping off of soapbox now…  red face

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Posted: 01 May 2010 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Hector,

I always love everything you post and agree with everything, but I have to offer my thoughts on your comment that “kids should be taught about eating real food.” That is very correct, but sugar isn’t real food. Sugar beets and sugar cane are. Sugar is so highly processed, it no longer resembles the plant from which it was made.

Your small, financier, bite-sized cakes would not have been too much sugar, and this sounds like an over-reaction on the part of the school, but sadly, Type 2 diabetes, which used to strike mostly adults, is becoming more common in children. The schools are trying to do their part to control the obesity epidemic and the greater frequency of diabetes.

Children (and adults) also need to be taught the importance of physical activity and weight control, as those who are overweight are at the greatest risk for Type 2 diabetes.

I included a photo of “panocha”, an unrefined sugar in Mexico. It is made by boiling down sugar cane syrup until thick. By comparing this with white sugar we use for baking, you will see how much more processing is needed to produce white cane sugar.

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Posted: 01 May 2010 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Hiya Kathleen!

You bring up a valid fact about white sugar (that photo is amazing!!) and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in children is incredible today and only getting worse. However, I think the maddening issue here is that schools feed the kids those school lunches that are far worse for you than sugar and multiple times more processed to include being mostly comprised of chemicals, and compared process to process, make homemade baked goods much more wholesome than the processed non-food items that make up the ingredient lists for school food. Imagine chicken nuggets with no easily recognizable food ingredients anywhere, but all synthetic dyes, colors, artificial fibre, artificial vitamins added, man made hydrogenated oils and more sugar and salt hidden in every bite than in the cupcakes to begin with, then deep fry them, then salt them! Oh, then dip them in sugary high fructose syrup tomato ketchup, great also for causing type 2 diabetes in children at a record pace when fed daily! That is what our beef is here. The hypocrisy, the control issue and the double standard. Then, telling our kids that is healthy for them (food pyramid meat section lol) yet, demonizing home baking.

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Posted: 01 May 2010 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I respect your facts and opinions, too.  I believe it is WRONG to single out a single ingredient.  Moderation and small portions is my mantra.  Refined or unrefined sugar have the SAME amount of calories aka obesity factor.  We need calories to live, we just don’t need more than what we can use.

The lowest laugh I do is when I see people avoiding 2 tsp of SUGAR on a cup of coffee.  That is ONLY 20 calories!

In Italy, we eat REAL food, lard, butter, sugar, prosciutto and pancetta skins.  Have u seen a fat Italian?  Their paninis use only 1 slice of meat, not 3 or 4, plus the mountain of mayonaise and corn syrup ladden catchup.

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Posted: 01 May 2010 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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hectorwong - 01 May 2010 08:45 PM

Have u seen a fat Italian?  Their paninis use only 1 slice of meat, not 3 or 4, plus the mountain of mayonaise and corn syrup ladden catchup.

Sure, in America! LOL *teasing* You’ve reminded me of a book I absolutely adore called “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.  It speaks about the phenomenon you just described, and how to bring those habits to other countries to enjoy real food and not become obese.
It was one of the catalysts that changed my life health wise,  while introducing me to the concept of truly tasting and appreciating fine foods and whole foods alike. Boy, it was hard to break myself of the salt and butter habit on everything! For a while everything tasted like cardboard, then suddenly about 3-4 weeks into eating a salt-free diet I began to discover amazing flavors and complexity in natural foods I never knew existed. Rose’s cakes taste so exquisite to me because of this, she really allows the true flavors to shine through (steeping cocoa like tea, for instance for her choc cakes) instead of just relying on butter extract and vanilla. Gotta love it!

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Posted: 07 May 2010 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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What an interesting topic you’ve started Hector.  As an elementary teacher, I have to put in my two cents.  Our school is on a no homemade rule right now regarding birthday treats.  It’s very frustrating to see so many processed, fattening treats (mostly store bakery made cupcakes) come into the room throughout the year, especially when I know they could be having a sweet treat that is not as chemically processed.  Most of my students have learned to eat half of the cupcake and take the rest home to share with someone or eat at a later time. 
My daughter’s school has the no homemade/no sweets birthday treat rule.  I can see the good intentions behind it, but I don’t really agree with it.  I think we need to work on teaching moderation and self control of sweets-not just an outright ban.  Does it really solve the problem?  Birthdays are so special for children and as a teacher it doesn’t bother me that we celebrate birthdays with 20 some children a year. If planned properly it does not interrupt instruction either.  How embarrassing for your niece to have such a special treat taken away.  I hope she wasn’t too upset by it. 
Regarding the school food part of the conversation…AMEN!  We could be doing so much more to teach healthy eating, but day in and day out I see frozen/canned/pre-packed processed food being prepared for the next day when I watch my children in the lunch line.  The gov’t funding that comes to schools has a hold on the food our children are served.  Until we work from the top down have a change in our “food culture” we will be fighting a losing battle.  Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution blew my mind…I wish he would come to our town and show people how accessible and easy real cooking can be.

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Posted: 07 May 2010 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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cm874, thx for the time to write this.  very informative.  i love it.  let me share something i just wrote to one of my best friends, and adult.  i am in general referring to non-highly processed or unprocessed food

Kathy wrote:  “I’m making chicken marsala.  Haven’t made it for a long time.  I try to cook something healthy once a week.  I know, this dish can be kinda rich but will put over pasta and a big salad on the side.”

Hector says:  “it is NOT what is on the food, it is how MUCH you eat.  everything is healthy, as long as you eat small portions, NOT MORE THAN WHAT YOU CAN BURN.  i see SO many people eating “healthy” chicken dishes over salad, but GIANT portions!  i sure hope you make the chicken marsala, FULL fat, with butter if called, olive oil, skin, and whatever else.”

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Posted: 08 May 2010 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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cm874 - 08 May 2010 01:37 AM

The gov’t funding that comes to schools has a hold on the food our children are served.  Until we work from the top down have a change in our “food culture” we will be fighting a losing battle.  Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution blew my mind…I wish he would come to our town and show people how accessible and easy real cooking can be.

When school budgets were being squeezed many years ago, big food corporations saw the advantage and started offering discounts, subsidies, etc to get into the school lunch program in various communities.  It’s like letting the fox into the henhouse.  Food service in a school is never expected to make money, but they were seen to be siphoning off funds that could be used for libraries, supplies etc so schools accepted the lower cost highly processed foods.

Over a period of three years, our new food service director has brought in salad bars with freshly cut veggies and fruit, the lunch staff now COOKS instead of just dumping frozen things on a pan and heating them up and pizza is available from local businesses.  About 10 years ago, I participated in a focus group with Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese company (they’re local) and got into a spirited discussion about how the food corporations were insidiously feeding our kids. Some parents actually said that for one meal, it wasn’t so bad.  Even multiplied by the 180 days of school; it’s still a problem when you’re feeding kids highly processed foods.  They develop a taste for things that are overly salty, or sugary or ... ok, I’ll stop preaching to the choir!

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