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Archive for the ‘Food Reading’ Category

Food, Inc opens this weekend, go see it!

For me, it really just affirmed a lot of the ideas I had about large scale production agriculture.

Some practical things that I’m trying to do:
-Only buy meat from a purveyor that I trust. Meaning, the animals were humanely raised.
-Only buy eggs that were laid by free-roaming hens. I see a lot of egg cartons with “cage-free” labeling which is not the same. Most hen houses don’t have cages, the hens are just crammed into a windowless building where they’ve grown at a rate that their bodies can’t support.
-Not buy stuff that has GMOs in it. We don’t generally eat a lot of processed foods as it is but I try to keep my eyes on things like tofu as well as products that could be made from corn. Of course, that’s really hard, since SO many items are made with some form of corn. One thing in particular that I look for is some form of veg oil.
-Buy local produce. This one’s easy right now since it’s summertime!

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Cause here’s a doozy.

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What to eat?

Anthony Bourdain eating a sandwich named The Three Little Pigs which consisted of a fried porkchop, sliced, deep fried pork loin, two pieces of huge bacon, and two fried eggs VERSUS my nightstand reading, The China Study. Yikes, what a juxtaposition on this rainy Wednesday evening! While I’ve been more discerning in the last couple years about what I choose for us to eat, the extra pounds I put on over the winter really pushed me to do some serious reading about nutrition. There are a lot of opinions out there about what we should eat, what diets we should be on, what supplements and vitamins we should take. It’s all pretty confusing, especially since everyone claims to be an expert.

Late last year I read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food which is an easy read that outlines the basic advice Pollan touts for better health: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. By saying “eat food” he means REAL food, not processed, packaged stuff full of unreadable ingredients. I feel like we do pretty well on this front. The “not too much” part refers to eating less food of better quality. And the “mostly plants” is pretty self explanatory. WHY we should eat more plants is a little more complicated. Pollan claims that eating lots of veg is the one thing that all the nutritionists he interviewed could agree was good for us. The China Study provides much more detail into the actual data that proves that eating mostly plants plays a strong role in warding off cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, among others. I’m only about a quarter of the way in but it does a pretty good job of making the data accessible. By studying rats and mice, Campbell proves that animal protein adversely affects our health and plant proteins help it, specifically in the cancer arena. In addition, the investigation into the lifestyles and eating habits of thousands of Chinese also provides several patterns that arrive at this same conclusion.

It’s pretty crazy how much we take food for granted in this country. And we eat like crap for a host of reasons: we can’t afford to eat better, we don’t have accessibility, we don’t care, we want to eat what tastes good, we want to eat what we grew up eating. Nutrition has been an “industry” for a long time, telling us what’s good for us. It takes a little more digging than just listening to the latest headlines the media glombs onto to figure out what really good for us. I’m becoming more and more convinced that eating whole foods and less meat is the way to go. The evidence is really piling up.

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Food, Inc

I have plans to go see Food, Inc this Wednesday as part of the Philly Film Fest with some co-workers. Should be interesting.

In the same vein, check out this link about how most producers don’t know where their products come from. Talk about scary.

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Saw this on Mark Bittman’s twitter this morning. The Strategic Alliance for Healthy Food and Activity Environments has published Setting the Record Straight: Nutritionists Define Healthful Food.

It’s pretty self explanatary, right? Like who needs to hear this stuff spelled out so explicitly?  In the same moment I say that, I think about the little kid I saw this morning scarfing down a breakfast sandwich from some fast food joint. That sandwich was probably made of ingredients that are a. heavily processed, b. full of preservatives, and c. full of fat and calories, or d. all of the above.  It may be obvious but it’s definitely not simple. And as my favorite yoga teacher likes to say “simple doesn’t mean easy.”

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Time Suck

Bad news right here. Bad news because any plans you had for the rest of the week will be spent reading, bookmarking, printing recipes, following links, as well as general procrastination. Who thought that putting together a master list of the most wonderful food blogs was actually a good idea??? Yikes. Happy Tuesday.

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