mindfulness ~ the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something
In case you haven’t noticed, Monday around here is very quiet lately. It’s my day alone with Claire, our “love day” as she has named it. She doesn’t have school and we have the entire day to ourselves. We tend to just hang out and do fun things together all day. It’s sweet and I never want to distract from our time with writing a post. Especially a post I don’t feel worth my time away from Claire quite frankly.
The one subject I felt would make the cut was mindfulness. Such a broad scope of topics can fall under this word and I think I will have an endless stream of posts pertaining to it. From a product, new found information, thoughts on a subject or posing a question to all of you for suggestions or advice. Being mindful is how I life my life and I would love to share more of it here with you.
For the very first one, I’ll start with food! Rather something in our food I have been wanting to write about for a long time. Well, now I have a place for it!
A few years ago when I was reading the ingredient list on a box of crackers, something I always do, I noticed BHT listed. Before I let the kids dig in, I pulled out my phone and looked it up. What I read was enough to make me say no and once again be THAT mom. But hey, I make no apologies for wanting to become educated on what we are putting into our bodies.
BHT and BHA Do you know what those letters stand for? Do you know that most store bought boxed cereals, chips, vegetable oils, butter, meats, gum, beer, shortening, cosmetics and even some vitamin supplements contain one of them? That is a long list and with all the controversy surrounding the preservitatives, it’s worth taking note of what may contain them in your shopping cart or already at home in your kitchen cupboards.
Let’s break it down shall we?
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) and BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole)
- Used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of molds, bacteria and oils from turning rancid.
- According to the National Toxicology Program BHA “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” (cancer causing)
- They are absorbed by the body.
- Conflicting reports on the harmfulness.
- Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA
Are you confused yet? I was at first, but when in doubt, I play it safe and avoid anything containing those ingredients. I won’t be convinced they are safe until it can be proven. And quite honestly, it’s not even close at this point. Here are a few reports and findings if you want to dig into the details yourself.
(Added 2/4/13) Here is a report from McGill University stating both pros and cons and talks about it being “in the packaging” not in the product. Same health concerns as it is put into the packaging to transfer to the foods for preservation. Hmm.
I’m OK with keeping the BHT and BHA out of our daily diets because it fits perfectly with my method of consuming natural, organic and fresh whole foods. Although, like most, I do buy plenty of packaged foods for lunches and snacks. The difference being I read the ingredient list very carefully and make sure these three letters are not there.
At times, you can hear Jake and Cole in the grocery store shouting to me from down an isle, “Mom, can we get this? It doesn’t have BHT in it!” My heart sighs just a little bit knowing they are becoming more aware everyday.
What are your thoughts on this additive? Are you a label reader like me? How strict are you? I have a hard time unknowing something so I tend to be very strict sticking to it.
If you have any suggestion or topic ideas please feel free to e-mail me.
I’d love to have this be a space for a continuous conversation!