I've been spending some time lately reading and thinking about food. I'm working through both Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and Mark Bittman's Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. After that I plan on reading Pollan's In Defense of Food. It's some sobering reading. I don't even like corn on the cob but it looks as though a huge percentage of my diet is, in fact, corn.
Basically, I'm trying to figure out why, after all this time, I'm still far too quick to opt for the unhealthy foods. Sure, I've made great strides when it comes to sweets. That's a good thing. What I haven't done is made any sort of meaningful strides when it comes to processed meats, white flour and sodium, three areas in which most of us could do with a habit change.
So, I'm picking up the books I once kind of avoided. Avoided? Yup. Basically I didn't want to hear what these writers were saying. Out of sight, out of mind, as it were. Which is a shame because I do like these books. Both of them are well written and contain a lot of those a-ha moments where you read something and then wonder why you never realized this or thought about that. I'm also left a little nervous (how are we going to get out of this mess?) and a whole lot pissed off (how can an elected government opt for the oil and industrial food business at the expense of the health of their citizens?).
I'm not predicting any earth shattering changes for myself, though I'm going to try. I kind of like the simplicity of the mantra on the cover of Pollan's In Defense of Food - Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
The catch is that most of the stuff you find in the grocery store is not food. Pollan refers to all the processed stuff as food like substances. Sounds extreme, but it really isn't. It's surprisingly and scarily prevalent. Just look at Wonder Bread and its "enriched white loaf". Think about what they have done. They have taken good healthy grain and sapped it of all nutritional value. After doing that, the inject the product with nutrients to replace the ones lost when they sapped it of all nutritional value. And then they market this atrocity as a smart choice for kids. Nice.
As always, once you start thinking about something, it's amazing how much info. starts to pop up that you missed before. For instance, I was doing my morning scan of the Huffington Post and found this article:
How Unhealthy Foods Hijack Our Brains
So that's what's on my mind today.
ps - On Newsworld, it looks as though poor little Dow Chemical is going to fight the Ontario pesticide ban because they are being treated unfairly. I'm shedding real tears here. It's just not fair that we want to keep them from unnaturally warping the environment with chemicals. I feel for them.