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Group Says Minnesotans Are What They Eat

February 23, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - The saying goes, 'You are what you eat,' and it represents what an advocacy group is diving into as they take a closer look at the "stew" of chemicals in products we consume every day.

Dr. Patricia DeMarco, executive director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association, says they want to help people make healthier choices. For instance, how about some of those label ingredients we can barely pronounce ...

"We don't always know that some of these additives, or things that are used as preservatives or colorants or stabilizers, are things that aren't necessarily good for us."

DeMarco says Americans' lack of connection with their food started as they looked to canned and packaged foods to help get them out of the kitchen.

"People wanted things that you didn't have to cook yourself right at dinner time or at lunch time, or that you could take with you whenever you left to eat on the way, and so the convenience was the focus."

She says we should also take another look at something many more families used to have; their own vegetable garden.

"Nowadays, everybody buys their vegetables, and we've lost that sort of commitment that you grow at least some of what you eat yourself."

DeMarco also says the notion that organic foods are more expensive could be put to rest if more people purchased them, thereby driving down prices. She says that transition could also be beneficial to replenishing pesticide-heavy soils present on many farms, and could provide jobs, since organic farming utilizes more manual labor and less machinery than traditional farms.

Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MN