Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Old foods versus new foods

A recent discussion with someone about old time food versus new food prompted me to repeat my personal thoughts on healthy eating.  I am not a nutritionist or a medical person.  I’m just a little old lady with an opinion.  When I say “old days” I’m talking about the time before the common use of GMO and CMO food.  (Genetically modified and Chemically modified)  When I say “we” I  mean anybody who consumes food.

In the old days we ate bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, lard, vegetables, meat, and other stomach filling foods.    The food we ate back then was REAL food.  Portion sizes were much smaller because it took less real food to satisfy hunger.  Super sized portions were unknown to us.  Personally I don’t believe nutrition has anything to do with portion size but rather how dense the food is.  The more dense the food the less it takes to fill you up.  Real food is more dense than any of the fluffy puffy stuff sold as food today.  Back in the old days most of what we ate came from our own physical labors.  We grew gardens and raised meat animals.  Even city folk had back yard mini farms.  These days there are laws in some communities preventing folks from growing healthy food in yards.

Many people don’t realize it but they are not eating real food.  They are eating “food like” products made to resemble food so we will eat it.  Our bodies can’t tolerate chemical food so we are given pills that will suppress our body’s natural instinct to reject the chemicals.  Then we are given more pills to keep us alive after consuming all those chemicals so we can eat “diet” foods made of different chemicals.  Repeat after me…. there is no profit in keeping people healthy.

Let me give you just one example of a food that many people have been brainwashed into believing is bad for us and a chemical alternative is better.  Lard.  I’d say most people have heard that lard is bad for us to eat.  Clogs up our arteries and all that hype.  In the old days we ate lard because no chemical company had created a campaign against eating it yet.  Lard is a natural product created from animal fat.  If you eat the animal then what is so wrong about eating the fat from the animal? Lard is called by many different names to represent the animal from which it originates.  Lard actually comes from a pig.  Schmaltz from chicken.  Confit from duck.  Suet from lamb.  Tallow from beef.  Pemmican from buffalo.  Akutaq from caribou.  There are many names for animal fat.

Butter is also a fat that comes from the milk of dairy animals.  If mother nature put fat in milk and milk is the very first food a baby consumes then why is it so bad for us to eat as a food?  Now let me ask you a question or two.  Can anyone reading this post name for me one single vegetable that contains fat?   Can you explain to me how a non-oily vegetable can make all natural vegetable oil?  I’ve tried squeezing it, freezing it, whizzing it, whipping it, steaming it, boiling it, grinding it, and I still cannot get any vegetable to butter itself for me. 🙂

I’m told corn oil comes from corn.  Strange but corn never tasted oily to me unless I smeared it with butter first.  I was told not to eat corn or cornmeal because it would raise my blood sugar.  I was told this by the very same person who just a few minutes later told me to use corn oil instead of lard as a healthier option.   I was told there is an even healthier vegetable oil called canola oil.  What kind of vegetable is a canola?  How do you know its at the peak of freshness?  Is it better cooked or eaten raw?  🙂  Did you know canola oil is actually made from the seeds of a GMO plant created in the 1960s?

Another lard substitute used mostly for baking is Crisco.  The front label on the can says its a spreadable “all vegetable” alternative for lard but truthfully its not even made from vegetables.  Its made from the mixture of cotton seeds and hydrogen with some other chemicals thrown in.  Cotton is not a vegetable.  Crisco was invented back before the civil war as a machine lubricant and for making soap.  It was invented by two  entrepreneurial half brothers; William Proctor and James Gamble.  Get it?  Proctor & Gamble.

Many foods we ate in the old days are said to be unhealthy by those who wish to keep us believing chemicals are better.  Let me repeat again; there is no profit from healthy people. Think about it. The chemical food industry needs for us to believe chemical food is better so we want to eat it. The diet industry needs for us to keep buying more chemical foods believing it will help us get as thin and beautiful as movie stars. The pill makers need us to believe taking a pill will make up for not getting proper foods. Many of the so called organic foods are nothing more than imitations of real food. Organic is the newest money making buzz word used to convince people to pay more.  Organic does not mean healthy.  Organic means in original state or form.  Snake venom and dead spiders are organic but I really don’t want to eat those.  Do you?

When I talk about eating like the old days its because back then food was real food. We ate real food but in smaller portions because it took less to fill us up. Food in those days was more organic than anything grown or produced today. What people ate back then was not a bunch of chemicals made to resemble food. We didn’t have all the sugary, salty, chemical laden foods we have today. We didn’t need to take pills several times a day just so our bodies could tolerate chemical foods. Lard was a real food before a chemical company convinced people that chemical oils were better. Bread was real bread, not some mushy resemblance of what bread is supposed to be. Meat was real meat and not bits of something put together with meat glue and pink slime. Fast food was how fast Grandma Mama could cook a meal from scratch.   It was not something that resembles food we could get from a dollar menu at a six second drive through window.  In those days people grew their own food. They knew exactly where it came from and knew exactly how it was preserved because they did it themselves.

People today seem to be obsessed with food and diets because the chemical companies want us that way.  We become mesmerized watching people cooking on YouTube or tv while we sit munching on our chemical made unhealthy snacks.   Our bodies grow larger as we dream of being as thin at the person we watch.  Do you realize WHO pays for the studies saying bread, lard, potatoes, and other old time foods are bad for our health?  Can you trust the research studies paid for by the chemical companies who want you to believe chemical food is better? With enough money and the right advertising people can be convinced of anything.

I’m very skeptical about things these days. I don’t just take some research as truth.  I investigate and think for myself.  The more I research, the more determined I am to eat fewer processed food.  Maybe you are feeling the same?  Are you investigating or researching the food you eat?

20 comments on “Old foods versus new foods

  1. Margie in Toronto
    October 5, 2017

    Have to say that I agree with you Anita. I have been cutting out as much processed food as I can and adding much more fruit & veg to fill me up. I pay extra for REAL bread – not that spongy stuff the supermarkets sell and I use lard & olive oil for cooking – I even save fat from bacon and schmaltz from when I cook a chicken and then reuse it – delicious! And, after years of recommending that we use such things as corn oil – the Health community has backtracked – yet again. No wonder people can’t keep up – things are constantly changing!
    I believe in Michael Pollen’s advice – Eat Food, Not too Much, Mostly Plants. And he also says not to buy foods containing items that your grandma wouldn’t recognize or be able to pronounce!

    Like

    • Anita
      October 9, 2017

      I had to look up who Michael Pollen was. I’m terrible at remembering names. I saw him on a PBS show a few years ago and that’s when my eating habits went through a drastic change. He is the person who made me realize what I was getting and eating from the food bank was nothing like the foods I ate as a child. I don’t remember reading any of his books but maybe I should. He is a frequent guest on Charlie Rose’s show on PBS which I watch often.

      Like

  2. carenowplease
    October 5, 2017

    You are so right.

    I’ve just been to the store with a friend and we were looking at labels of yogurts marketed with various ‘healthy food’ claims, they were equally as unhealthy as all the other yogurts! Just way more expensive! Before that we went for lunch at a restaurant which markets itself as ‘everything made from scratch’, well the mushrooms for the side were canned- I suppose they opened the can themselves! Everything else tasted pre-made and then heated up in a microwave. Reminds me why I rarely eat out. I spent $13 on about $4 worth of food including of course the tax and tip.

    I find a simple diet works best for me as I get older, a sweet potato, banana or apple, oatmeal made with half milk half water. I recently bought semolina, which I’ll make into a porridge and serve with fruit or jam. When I live on my own I will rarely need to grocery shop. Years ago we did not go into the grocery store over and over, and people would not have appreciated hauling half-empty packages and heavy artificial drinks when they had to walk home!

    Things were kind-of self-moderated when I was a young woman I guess, no credit card, no marketing gimmicks or manipulative misleading advertising, no supermarkets, no internet, no car. I was 13 before my parents bought a car and a house, and they worked long hours for years both of them to afford it. But the ‘better life’ they hoped to give our generation hasn’t materialized, just a life of endless debt, no healthcare and a lot of high maintenance gadgets. It’s all surface. Even education, so many people going into massive debt to get a degree but a shortage of people with actual skills. I dread getting a workman in, they almost always do a shoddy job, then overcharge for it.

    Doctors are seriously de-skilled I think because they are given their information by companies with a vested interest in keeping people unhealthy; my last doctor office’s biggest skill was combing through insurance to find things which could be billed. They had no programs for educating people on health because as you say they weren’t interested in health. And a doctor who is more interested in profit than the patient isn’t likely a very good doctor, probably not a very good person all round.

    I read the vice-president announced he wants a new space program to put ‘boots on the moon’. So we can then send astronauts to Mars apparently. We can’t organize healthcare or gun control, send effective aid to Puerto Rico, build homes that withstand the challenges of natural disasters, develop new antibiotics, but taxpayers will be expected to fund a space project? Except the super-rich who are apparently getting tax cuts. The phrase ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ comes to mind.

    It was fun to shop with my friend, she is wealthy and doesn’t need to budget but I saved her over ten dollars with offers I had downloaded to my shopping card, it’s just automatic to me!

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    • Anita
      October 9, 2017

      Its not enough that the 1 percent want to muss up our own planet, now they want to ruin all the others out there too. Must be some money to be made someplace way out there in space.

      Back in the days when doctors went to patients houses there were fewer illnesses to learn about. The new chemical foods meant new illnesses and new pills for them and the movement toward doctor offices. When doctors went to homes they could see the living conditions and the foods eaten. It was easy to recommend planting a rose bush for rose hip jelly for extra vitamins or to take a plant cutting to the family to grown healing herbs. People rarely called for a doctor because basic medicine was taught from mother to daughter and father to son. People knew about wild edible plants and their healing powers but those same plants are considered weeds today. So much knowledge is being lost every day because the young don’t want to listen to the older generation.

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      • carenowplease
        October 9, 2017

        For all the ‘advances’ in medicine people seem just as unhealthy to me overall. Just kept alive longer. But the loss that will really hit humanity will be antibiotics in treating serious infection, I’d much rather see the US government fund that than space projects. Or WW3.

        We were all born at home, with midwives not doctors. But when my young sister contracted tuberculosis it was antibiotics saved her. 1.5 million people a year worldwide still die from active TB, where they don’t have access to antibiotics I presume, in populations with high rates ( 80 % ) of infection; in USA about 10% of the population has inactive infection.

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  3. Melinda
    October 4, 2017

    I think you’re exactly right. I was just told I am pre-type 2 diabetic. I am going to eat the way you just laid-out and see how my blood-sugar does. I know you are not a doctor, but you make good commonsense! I will let you know how it goes!

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    • Anita
      October 5, 2017

      You gotta read the label. Just the ingredients part. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or spell an ingredient it can’t be good for you. They are hiding something. This is just my personal opinion but I believe anyone over age 35 becomes a new prime candidate for diabetic prescription sales. After the “diabetic diet guidelines” starting with fake sugar substitute, fake butter, and other fake food substitutions that do not work.

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  4. Donna
    October 4, 2017

    Anita this is one of the best you have ever written and so very very true! I have been on the ketogenic diet since Jan 20 and lost 80 lbs eating all that “real” food you are talking about. Bacon, eggs, real veggies, using bacon grease for seasoning, real butter, etc. No fast food, no pasta, nothing but honest grown food. No soda which is so full of poison to the body! I feel great, no brain fog, I have energy, not tired all the time. I have AFIB but Very few symptoms and my heart Dr approved the keto. Some people don’t agree with keto but that’s OK with me. My husband is off much of his diabetes medicine and he has lost 40 lbs. Hopefully off his last pill soon. Real food does fill you up faster and keep you full longer because it has fat in it. Fat does not make fat, it burns fat. Carbs make fat. As for me, I have adopted this way of eating (not a diet) for the rest of my life. You have to read EVERY label because so many items are filled with sugar and carbs. You are a smart lady. As for me, I am going to stay away from the snake venom venom and dead spiders!

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    • Anita
      October 9, 2017

      I had to look up that diet. I’d not heard of it before or maybe just don’t remember it. Are you doing the diet under a doctor’s supervision? Who first suggested the diet? Will you eventually eat grains and fruits again? I’m just curious. I don’t think I could do that diet. I like my carbs too much and I’m allergic to stevia.

      I’m not on any specific diet, just eating the way I remember as a child which means nothing my Grandparents wouldn’t recognize. Some might call it a ration diet or a depression era diet. I just think of it as eating foods that came before chemicals were made to taste like food. I have a doctor but we don’t discuss my eating. We sometimes talk about canning and gardening but not about my specific eating.

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      • Donna
        October 9, 2017

        Keto was recommended for me by an endocrinologist. It was also approved by my cardiologist. I have lipo/lymph edema as well as AFIB. This way of eating has made a BIG difference in how I feel. Once I reach goal weight I can add fruit and carbs back in but limited or I will probably start gaining. We are both doing so good. I miss popcorn, he misses bread but the benefits far out weigh the missing food. Cravings disappear and you just don’t get that hungry. Our grocery budget has gone down as well.

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        • Anita
          October 9, 2017

          Thank you Donna. I remembered reading about the Adkins diet long ago. Seems the keto diet is very similar. My doctor is an endocrinologist but has never recommended any kind of diet except the Diabetes Assoc carb counting one. I’m going to ask her about it at my next visit in January. I’ve already got a list of several questions to ask. I searched for a keto doctor in Kentucky. There is only one in a town several miles away and very expensive. Takes cash only and does not take medicare. This makes me think its another fad diet designed to get money.

          Are you monitored regularly or left on your own to follow the diet? Do you have a book of recipes and guide lines to follow? I’m interested in the diet not only for myself but my sister who weighs over 400 pounds and confined to a wheelchair. From what I can tell none of the foods I get from the food bank are allowed on this diet. That would be a problem for both of us.

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          • Donna
            October 9, 2017

            I see my endo and cardiovascular every 6 months. There is a great Facebook group Ketogenie Success and a sister site for keto menus. They advocate high fat, moderate protein and low carb. Check them out. Keto has actually been around for a long time. Atkins is similar but allows more carbs. I stick to whole foods and stay away from fancy recipes. I know food banks do provide lots of carb heavy items so that is a problem. Many doctors disagree with Keto but the proof is in the numbers. Doctors are not nutritionists. There is a great book Keto Clarity that does a good job of explaining this whole lifestyle. Library might be able to get it for you. However, the Facebook site has lots of info and explanations.

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          • Anita
            October 11, 2017

            Thanks Donna, I’ll look for the book at the library. I don’t plan to do the diet but I’m always curious about how things work. I don’t do Facebook. I keep the fresh food and get rid of the processed stuff. The fresh produce we get from the mobile food bank is almost always, carrots & cabbage, potatoes & onions. Once in awhile we get a couple of sweet potatoes. None of the food is sell-able in stores because of rotten spots. Its store rejects. The food is meant to keep a person alive, not healthy and that’s what it does.

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  5. Sarca
    October 4, 2017

    Great write-up! The latest fad around here is “gluten-free”. Before that it was vegan. There are fat vegans, y’know! I definitely cannot get behind that, especially when they have their fake hamburgers with fake mayo and fake lemon meringue pie! How do they think that stuff is made? Chemicals. For many of them, veganism is a lifestyle for a cause, not for health.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 5, 2017

      I totally agree with you. If a person doesn’t believe in eating certain foods then why come up with fake ones to replace them.

      Like

  6. Linda in NE
    October 4, 2017

    I’m pretty cynical about food as well. Doctors and drug companies too. My husband always plants a big garden & I can, freeze or dehydrate a lot. We have fruit trees and I can, freeze & dehydrate that too. He hunts and fishes so we have venison, rabbit, squirrel, occasional pheasant as well as several varieties of fish. I make most of our bread. I also admit to buying some stuff that aren’t so good for us, but on the whole I like to avoid as many of the chemicals and preservatives as I can, as well as GMOs. I just can’t be made to believe that they are good for anyone or anything to eat. And then there are the doctors always trying to push pills on you because that’s what the drug companies want them to do. It seems too, that once you get old enough to be on Medicare the try to push even more on you. Mine has been trying for years to get me on cholesterol drugs & I keep refusing. Those drugs are way more dangerous than slightly high cholesterol. At my last visit I was prescribed another blood pressure med. It seems to me it’s raising my blood sugar level so I will be doing some experimenting with it and if it is I’ll not be taking it any more. Why do we have to fight so hard for our health??? I really don’t care to help some rich CEO buy another vacation home in some tropical paradise…..which then blows away in some hurricane & my insurance premiums go up to help that poor soul replace it!

    Like

    • Anita
      October 9, 2017

      Ooo, I haven’t had squirrel since I was a child. Grandma Mama cooked it often for breakfast. I wish I could visit your house to eat. I don’t know any hunters in my area. Last month my brother brought me some bluegill fish he caught in a nearby lake. It was the first fresh fish I’d had in about two years. Fish at the market is way too expensive for my budget.

      Like

  7. sarasinart
    October 4, 2017

    That’s a lot of very good info! I eat as many natural foods as possible, and cook from scratch a lot. I do cheat on some things…….. 🙂

    Like

    • Anita
      October 5, 2017

      Thanks. Do you remember the old song “I did it my way”? Well if it works for you then you did it your way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sarasinart
        October 5, 2017

        I do remember that, cos I’m old(er)!

        Like

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