Friday, March 5, 2010

On Food and Eating

The other night Jeremy told me he was in the mood to make cupcakes. We were at Target and the trip lasted later in the evening than we wanted, so at the end we stopped in the "grocery" section and were considering the easy way out--purchasing some Hostess cupcakes.

"But do I really need a whole box?" Jeremy asked.

"Well, it is only eight of them." I said. I was trying to be a supportive wife.

While we sat there debating whether or not we would actually buy them, Owen noticed the aisle that we were on and pointed excitedly to the Hostess Zingers.

"Look! It's traveling snacks, for when we are traveling in our car!"

"You're very right Owen." We said, and moved along from the snack-y cake aisle.

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That moment made me happy for a number of reasons. First, Owen recognized packaged convenience foods as something that we don't buy regularly, and he wasn't going to even ask for them. But second, that he recognized them as something that we do allow them to get once in a while for special occasions, like a family road trip.

This is really what Jeremy and I want: moderation in all things. We really try to eat healthy and naturally and eat "real food." But yet we don't want to be crazies.

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Recently we have watched this:


And this:


And read this:
They all share some similar themes. They talk about how much processed food Americans eat and how much of that processed food is corn and soy-product based. How the corn growers vs. government situation is totally out of control. How this impacts the meat products sold in this country, and how unhealthy that whole system is. . .

It's alarming, thought-provoking and frustrating all at the same time. Really, leaving the question of what's a person supposed to do about food?

That's why I liked this one:

This one had the answers of what a person was supposed to do. "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants," explained in a few hundred additional and interesting pages. But the reason I liked it so much was because so much of this book was so intuitive to me. It just made sense.

Michael Pollan himself wonders in the book why we feel like we need anyone else to tell us what to eat.

There are so many lifestyle-diets out there that lay out a wacky food philosophy and then go into all these complicated explanations and obscure examples to explain their reasoning and why their idea has to be right. Things that leave me scratching my head thinking, "Did all that 'science' actually add up, and can that really be right?"

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I personally believe in God and that he created our bodies and expects us to respect and care for them. Therefore I don't believe that God intended that the principles of feeding our bodies would be such a complex thing that we would require "experts" to lay each calorie out for us.

And as God created the earth, that's the place I believe I will find good nutrition. Plants that grow on the earth and animals that live on the earth. And from an evolutionary standpoint it would also make sense that our bodies would be able to be sustained by the things of our environment--not that we should require eliminations of whole groups of intuitive food sources, or necessitate scientifically calculated dietary supplements in order to actually maintain health.

See?! I already sound like a crazy, and that's just from me saying I want to eat food from nature, and not listen to people who tell me not to eat meat, or dairy, or whole grains or the ones who insist that I can only be really healthy from eating things made by scientist who engineered the food and supplements to provide perfectly for the needs of the human body (at least--as far as we understand the body this year. . .).

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So although I want to eat healthy, Michael Pollan talks about the serious problem we have in our country about stressing too much over food and nutrition. So I really don't want to do that. I just want to eat healthy most of the time.

So here's my youngest, happy as can be after eating handfuls of yummy delicious red raspberries:


And here's my oldest, happily and tenderly caressing the most recent addition to our shelf-stable "food" supply:

And I don't feel guilty at all. . .

moderation baby.

4 comments:

aleatha said...

I think that if you have to much anxiety about what kinds of food to eat, well then, you have an eating disorder. What you're eating and how much may or may not be the problem -it's the unhealthy attitude towards eating that's the problem. I like the way you think about it. And good for Owen!

I love love love to read the Word of Wisdom and think about it a lot with regards to this subject. It makes me so happy. I think it is the answer to a lot of our health and environmental problems. I wrote a post about it a few years ago...I think it's under my "church" tag if you want to read it.

JackJen said...

I owe a lot of my current eating habits to Michael Pollan. He makes so much sense. Omnivore's Dilemma is sort of like the "WHY" of the matter, while I found In Defense of Food to be the "HOW."

Also--one of my favorite things I've ever heard Michael Pollan say is this: You can eat whatever you want--as long as you cook it yourself.

Meaning: if you want french fries? Fine. Cook them yourself. Chocolate cake? great. Make it from scratch.

The point being, you're STILL not going to eat as much junk because it takes TIME to make those things...and also, you'll be using good ingredients in place of chemicals and preservatives.

SUNRYZEZ said...

I always love reading your blog. I totally agree, everything is good in moderation =)

Mama said...

Yummy snacky cakes! Only on special occasions. Homemade filled cupcakes are the best, as are homemade Oreos, homemade bread, homemade chocolate milk. Nesquik is still a staple at the Merrill's house in Oregon.

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