Food ‘Strategies’

20 Dec

Because we might actually need them…

Background:  I was at work remarking to a clinician how food ‘rules’ are always slightly off-putting to me as they seem so full of fluff and disorder.  “I can’t eat this because ____”  (But there’s dairy in chocolate!)  “I’m vegan except for _____”  (I’m sure that pigs are fine with that too ;)…)  “I don’t eat that on days that end with “y”.”  Really?!!!

Now, sarcasm aside, please keep in mind that I’m often surrounded by a lot of college-aged women and women who do not always like themselves very much.  (So sad :(!)  I’m thinking that that ruling feeling  (and not food policy…) is probably the crux of the matter. 


What’s up with that rule? 

And, didn’t high-school teach us that rules meant to be broken.

Or, at the very least, understood.

Still, we have to fuel our lovely tummies.  Nourishment matters.  Even if it’s not strict or an ‘ism’– (which is probably for the best…)  Following, I’m not going to give you rules.  (Or, me for that matter!)  But, I am going to give you informationA chance for some more understanding.  Sometimes, a good source can mean a lot too.  After all, we are talking about our bodies here!

From a GREAT source, Michael Pollan, some food strategies:

Our family is on a budget and can’t afford to eat all organic. Where should we direct our money to get the most benefit? Organic produce? Meats? Dairy?

This was the most popular question by far, and it’s a good one: some organic products offer the consumer more value than others, so if you’re on a budget, it’s important to buy organic strategically. Here are a few quick rules of thumb:

If you have young kids, it’s worth paying the organic premium on whatever they eat or drink the most of organically. So if they drink lots of apple juice — which they shouldn’t, by the way — or milk, then spring for it there.

On produce, some items, when grown conventionally, have more pesticide residue than others, so when buying these, it pays to buy organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, the “dirty dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collars. The “clean 15″ are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms. So if you’ve only got a little money to devote to organic, buy the organic apples and skip the organic onions. But do keep in mind that it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables regardless of how they’re grown.

In meat, organic is very expensive, and doesn’t necessary ensure that the animals didn’t live on feedlot. I look for grass fed for beef instead, milk and butter, too.

What is the single best food we all should be eating every day? Cutting to the nitty-gritty, here.

Single best? Probably whole grains — they offer a lot that’s missing from the industrial diet, from fiber to important antioxidants and healthy fats. People who eat lots of whole grains are generally healthier and live longer than those who don’t. But if I could add to the list of important foods missing from the standard American diet, I would add leafy greens and fermented foods with live cultures.

What must government do to make a healthful food as affordable as its evil counterpart?

This is the $64,000 question. There are certainly steps the government can take to make healthful food somewhat less expensive: underwrite farmers’ transition to organic and other kinds of sustainable agriculture; support the renaissance in local meat production by making it easier to build and run small slaughterhouses; use crop subsidies to reward farmers for diversifying their fields and growing real food rather than “commodity crops” like corn and soy; enforce federal antitrust laws to break up the big meatpackers and seed companies.

But these measures will never make high-quality food as cheap as industrial food, some of which will only get more expensive if we take the steps needed to civilize feedlots, clean up water and protect farmworkers from exploitation. Faux populists in the food industry battle such measures on the grounds they want to keep food prices low for the poor. But the institution of slavery kept crop prices low, too — at a cost we ultimately decided was too great for a democratic society to pay. (Come to think of it, slavery still exists in parts of the food system, according to reports out of Florida.) Cheap food has become a pillar of our low-wage economy, one reason Americans have managed to stay afloat as their wages have declined since the 1970s. In the end, if we want healthful and conscientiously produced food for everyone, we’re simply going to have to pay people enough so that they can afford to buy it.

He gives a TON of other sage opinions and ‘strategies’ here.

Check it out.

And, then check out your ‘rules’ :P…

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