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Archive for March, 2009

Life Long Eating Dilemma

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 30, 2009

I am in a constant state of being in an eating dilemma. It is nearing the edge of obsession. OK, it is obsession. I just finished reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, the second book of his I have read. (The first “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“, both recommended) I am now more convinced than ever that radical eating habit changes must occur. “The Western Diet” is killing me!

Did you know that in nearly ever packaged food you consume you are eating a form of corn? Next in line is soybeans? Did you know that nutrition information as we know it has been derived from thousands of scientifically weak conclusions and government decisions to incorporate this “science” into “nutrition” as we know it in America today? Our dinner tables are being legislated just as much as our checkbooks. We cannot escape politics!
Basically it goes like this, and it is going to sound completely conspiracy theory, I know, so bear with me: Farmers grow corn. Farmers subsidized by government to not grow corn. Food scientists challenged to do something with the vast amounts of corn. Voila – cold breakfast cereal fortified with nutrition! If you are interested in filling in the blanks a bit, I highly recommend Mr. Pollan’s books. Very enlightening.
Now where all of this gets complicated for me personally is that my whole upbringing, my entire babyhood through college graduation was funded by this system. The whole intellect and energy of both of my parents has been dedicated to this system. My dad is a PhD agronomist whose life has been researching and developing corn and soybeans that can withstand tornadoes and produce massive yields. Not only that, but my mom is a clinical dietician who has purported her entire career the value of nutritionism, helping thousands of patients find their way through the flurry of modern food (although I must say, my mom is very realistic is saying what is crap and what is not in terms of advise).
So now, not only am I living in a life long eating dilemma about the simple question, “What should I eat?”, I now have the additional burden of, “Oh my God, my parents dedicated their entire lives, their brains, their time to this way of eating which paid for my clothes to my CDs to my college education and if I reject it am I rejecting them?”. I love my parents dearly and I cannot bear to think that is what is happening here.
But I am going to do it. As I type (starving, by the way), I am finding ways to wean myself off of “The Western Diet”. As little processed and packaged food as possible on a daily basis. Whole foods, fresh foods, or packaged foods with 5 or fewer ingredients I can pronounce. The current exceptions will be (I am flexible to what I need to adjust): Diet Coke (see The Case of Diet Coke), all the Girl Scout Cookies in my cupboard, and, of course, cake in any of its delightful forms. Wish me luck!
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