Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thought for Food

Recently, I have the developed a healthy obsession (no pun intended) with reading books on why the way we eat food now is terrible for us and the environment. I'll be the first to admit that I approach my reading with somewhat of a evangelical zeal, having lacked a religious upbringing, it's always nice to have something you believe in that (you feel) actually affects the fate of humans. I am now a convert in the truest sense; I can no longer stomach 100 calorie packs (100 chemical packs), cheetos made by other brands than 365, or anything out of a can that didn't grow on a tree. I actually understand the term "Whole Foods", and why a handful of almonds (which is one. whole. food.) is a better choice that just makes more sense than a small part of a food combined with 16-18 chemicals which twist the whole food around in order to make it taste like something else. As a result, my cravings for things bad for me have actually gone way down, which is a refreshing change. I'm still not good with portion control (at all), but I guess when you get right down to it, I'm not exactly trying to lose 20 pounds. Cake is great. Pizza, great. FOOD IS GREAT. But not the fast food kind, and not the processed kind!

As for the vegetarianism, it is coming along, slowly but surely. I haven't eaten chicken now in almost a month, but that's not the first time I've made it this far. I think it might stick this time, and I've even spoken to my parents about how I'd like their help with this, as opposed to their constant offer of a roast chicken.

It's fascinating to consider the trajectory of food culture in America. So much of what we eat has been forced on us by big business, who have worked tirelessly to convince us that we need expensive meat to be healthy, and that processed corn syrup tastes the best (because it's the cheapest to produce). I've really tried to keep an eye out for the size of my coffee, too. If it doesn't seem like they'd be seen on the street with it in Europe, I try not to drink it. This is definitely an adjustment.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to self-righteously label myself as "cured". I just urge you to take a look at books by Michael Pollan (not a vegetarian), Mark Bittinger (not a vegetarian), Peter Singer, "Fast Food Nation" and "The End of Food". I'm not saying "Change the way you eat, now' because that takes time and, like weight loss, it's something you have to find in yourself. But at least take a look at a variety of opinions on the subject -- after all, we get the opposing view shoved down our throats every day, along with pictures of unreasonably shiny sandwiches.

I don't know, I feel pretty good these days.

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