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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Outsourcing Food

I happened across this report this morning that was on the Nightline website on outsourcing our food. (Watch it and listen carefully for an old commercial on Twinkies and how the announcer pronounces the word "protein." Who does that?)

A Nightline reporter interviews author Michael Pollan on his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."—is something I actually try to do. At least when I'm not stuffing my face with fast food or bad chocolate. :(

Pollan calls most of what we eat "edible, food-like substances" which are items that we have created in the last 5o years that look like food, smell like food, and may even taste like food, but really are not whole foods that are real. Eat the things that your great-grandmother ate 100 years ago. I love the discussion in the video on margarine. It is an example of edible, food-like substance.

It is rather interesting to do an informal survey--how much of what I ate today is real food? Things like meat, milk, fruits and vegetables--whole, unprocessed, unpackaged. Then how much of it is packaged and processed?

I agree wholeheartedly with Pollan's conclusion that in order for us to really eat healthier we may have to do unpopular things like spend more money on food. (Pssst! Don't tell my sister. This will give her a heart attack.)

We are in a crazy social situation at this time where the cheapest food is making our bodies sick. In my opinion, we need to reconnect with healthy, local food sources to nourish our bodies with whole foods. I think that is one reason why I like this author's conclusions so much.

I'm going to read Pollan's book. And I'd love to hear what you think about this report or the book.

(Update: I wrote most of this a week ago and then didn't publish it. So, I'm putting it up now with its date from last week. Hope you enjoy it anyway.)

5 comments:

Cissy said...

This sounds so interesting. I may boorow that book when you're done, but please do not bring it to Denmark...way too serious for a vacation. (By the way, I'm not sure it is always more expensive to eat fresh, but it is more time-consuming to prepare those foods. Unfortunately, I think that's where the convenience foods really have the edge.)

L&H&Q said...

I'm reading Pollan's last book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, right now. Fascinating stuff -- most of which I learned from my mother while growing up. She's said for years that the reason we bless our food isn't so much to be thankful, but to ask the Lord to actually make it nourish us instead of kill us... because we usually have *no idea* what we're actually eating. Even those of us who try to eat well and with purpose are subject to all sorts of badness in our food, simply because we cannot escape it. I think it's a good point, one that I've never heard anyone else bring up. Thanks, Lord, for dinner -- please keep the ingredient carcinogens at bay.

Eden said...

Cissy--excellent point that eating fresh may not be more expensive but is more time-consuming. I missed that Pollan did include that in his reference to spending more on food: he said that we may have to spend more money and we may have to spend more time in order to eat good, whole food. Thanks for pointing that out. I am certainly a convenience eater and find that is one of my biggest challenges. When I am hungry, I am hungry now, and I don't want to wait an hour to prepare an entire meal so I go for whatever is fast.

Oooh, Hadley, I hadn't heard about Omnivore's Dilemma. I will have to check that out soon. I really like the point your mom made about praying over our food--that gives me a whole new angle to think about now.

And Cissy, I was thinking this book would be the perfect read for Denmark!

Meg said...

Hey, easy...I'm still working on my food budget. :)!!

Eden said...

Meg--tis true, tis true. You are doing an excellent job as well. I was just sending out a little gentel ribbing. In truth, I need to adopt some of your skill at conserving money in my own life.

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