I’ve never had a guest post before, but my 9 year old daughter, knowing that I was stressed about some upcoming deadlines, wrote the following blog.  I love it (and her for wanting to help me).  Here’s a little heads up: check out my note after the post to find out what is behind my daughter’s comment about bugs.


Cheese is healthy but cheez isn’t.  Motzarella, cheddar, montery jack, and swiss are all cheese but what is that stuff called cheez?  Cheez is what you find in cheeze whiz, processed chemicals with a perfume for smell and chemicals for flavor, even the color doesn’t strike true.

At least the color in cheez whiz isn’t made of bugs.  Some red or purple food deyes are made with ground up bugs! All the words on the outside aren’t anything close to what’s on the inside. Of course the ingredients tell all.  If a list of ingredients is long in any product it is probably unhealthy, but if the list is short, for instance, there is one ingredient in banana and that is bananas, it is definitely healthy.

Nothing is better than a fruit or a vegetable.  Your daughter is home from school and she want’s a snack.  You want to leave soon so you put some cheez on a cracker and say to yourself, she is getting some grains and some dairy. Instead,  you could grab an apple and say to yourself it’s an apple it’s healthy.


My daughter makes her momma proud!

What’s the takeaway?  Eat real foods, don’t con yourself into thinking something is healthy by parsing the nutrients, stay away from food made from bugs. (I couldn’t have said it better myself!)

I want to say one other thing: My daughter hears a lot about food and eating in our house (in fact, it’s impossible for her to avoid it), and sometimes I worry that it’s too much.  But then the other day I walked into the kitchen and she was reading my copy of Chew on This by Eric Schlosser & Charles Wilson.  I hadn’t even cracked the cover yet!

The bugs in the food dye that she is referring to comes from pages 121-122:

One of the most widely used color additives comes from an unexpected source. Cochineal extract (also known as carmine or carminic acid)) is made from the dead bodies of small bugs harvested mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands. The female Dactylopius coccus costa likes to feed on cactus pads, and color from the cactus gathers in her body and her eggs. The little bugs are collected, dried, and ground into a coloring additive. It takes about 70,000 of the insects to make a pound of carmine, which is used to make processed foods look pink, red, or purple. Dannon strawberry yogurt gets its color from carmine, as do many candies, frozen fruit bars, fruit fillings, and Ocean Spray pink grapefruit juice drink.

By the way, Boysenberry, Cherry, Raspberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Dannon yogurts also get their coloring courtesy of bugs!  Yum!!

To see my take on processed foods read The Ingredients Game and The 10 Most “Dangerous” Foods.

~Changing the conversation from adults to kids. ~