Thursday, February 18, 2010

What we eat

Ever since Oprah had her show "Food 101 with  Michael Pollan" I have become very interested in the food we eat. I picked up Michael's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.
WOW! I learned so much from this book. He gives you a couple rules to live by. One that stuck out to me was "Avoid food products that make health claims"(Pollan 154). Yes, I am  was a total sucker for buying into that. Did you know that brands (like cereals, and dairy) that have The American Heart Association seal on them pay a fee for that? This logo is on that sugary cereal with that cute little leprechaun (without naming names :) ). I mean now that I read that how can that at all be good for our heart health? Bogus! 
Okay, so processed food is bad for you. I liked when he said "Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food" (Pollan 148).  His whole point was would she be able to idenify the food we eat now, i.e. Go-Gurt. He lists the ingredients and more than half of them aren't "yogurtlike."
I feel like I could just go on and on about all the things that opened my eyes. He used the term "flexitarian" which I really didn't know what it meant. I did a Google search and learned a flexitarian is a semi-vegetarian diet focusing on vegetarian food with occasional meat consumption. A self-described flexitarian seeks to decrease meat consumption without eliminating it entirely from his or her diet.
That is me! I thought about being a vegetarian, asked a friend that is for advice, and researched. I came to the conclusion I enjoy chicken, a lot. Michael himself isn't a veg and listed some great websites at the end of the book that help you find beef that is 100% grass fed (cows were meant to eat grass not grains like what most are because it makes them grow bigger and faster)  and eggs that are pastured (Free range doesn't mean the chicken had access to grass: sometimes it's just an area of dirt). My favorite site is Eat Well Guide. Just enter in  you zip code and there you go! 

This is a must read! Our bodies are all we have and we should know everything we put in them. I am ready for the change (slowly!) and look forward to all the food I can try! I will leave you with one last quote from the book, and after you read it let me know! I already have his new book on my list at the library!

"In countries where people eat eat a pound or more of fruits and vegetables a day, the rate of cancer is half what it is in the United States." (Pollan 164)

All info was from:
Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto New York: 
The Penguin Press, 2008


Emily said...

I love the *idea* of being a vegetarian and don't even like meat that much, but I lack motivation to properly balance my diet. Interesting conundrum!

Heather said...

Allison! I used to follow your blog from another blog of mine :) I'm now blogging again. I also remember you from planning on thenest. I hope you're doing well. I looooove the subject of this post! So relevant :)

Daphne said...

Great post. Michael Pollan is my hero. His words on food are so straightforward and so obvious that I'm amazed how easy it is to forget them. We're not vegetarians, but I won't touch the processed stuff.

Becky said...

We have made some significant changes to our diet for medicinal reasons and we have cut out a huge amount of processed foods! The changes have been a God Send!