My mind has been trying not to think about this article since I read it — although I think it's very well written (minus the fact that humanely raised animals are not really thrown into the mix), it kind of just makes me crazy, makes me want to scream, throws my insides into a tizzy.
What? Organic is bad for you? Huh?
The message is not that black and white, I know. And while I appreciate the undercurrent that even folks like Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman would support — that the bottom line is, we should all be eating more fruits and vegetables, organic or not — now there's this part of me that wonders if I even SHOULD be spending (wasting?) my money on organic apples...or broccoli...or peaches or plums or berries, all of which are conventionally sprayed with heavy pesticides — synthetic pesticides, that is. (But are they worse for us than natural pesticides? Read the article and decide for yourself.)
Sometimes I wish I could throw all the food and nutrition knowledge that I've accumulated over time right out the window, and maybe that way I would just eat what I wanted and wouldn't be so overwhelmed by the barrage of tips and tricks that I've absorbed over the years, which actually play tricks on me in some shape, way or form every day:
- Organic is best, when you can afford it
- Don't eat anything processed with more than five ingredients
- Cooking at home is better than eating out (so why are there so many yummy takeout places in my neighborhood? why does Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives exist?)
- It's better to cook your meals with only four to five ingredients also
- Whole grain is best (apparently, famous chefs and line cooks have never heard this before)
- No snacks, sweets or seconds on days that don't begin with "S"
- Limit treats to the weekend (and it seems like anything with refined flour is a "treat")
- Sugar is the devil. Limit it in every way possible — including honey and maple syrup; agave is the devil's best friend
- Don't drink the juice; eat the fruit
- Grilling meats at high temperatures causes possible carcinogens to weasel their way into your food; you can counteract that to some degree only by marinating with rosemary and olive oil
- Braising and poaching are the safest ways to cook meats
- Boiling vegetables causes them to lose a lot of their nutrients; steam or eat raw
- Meat is bad for you anyways. You should just be a vegetarian.
- And a vegan. Get used to the smell of fake cheese.
- Limit your fruit intake; even natural sugars are bad for you if you overdo it
We all know what's best, come on, even I know and understand what the real message is here. As Pollan would say, Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Fine.
But they make it SO hard on us.
The supermarkets, the kids, the husbands, the family members, the advertisers, the radios, the TVs, the smells, the lines out the door, the coupons, the marketers, the multi-billion-dollar industry pundits...
Did you see that? In just five sentences I went from wholesome and virtuous to thinking about pizza, cardboard boxes and a combination of milk and cereal that has now somehow become a little brick of sugar that our kids can put in their lunch boxes and take to school. Wow, look at all the pretty colors...
I'm so fed up with it all (pardon the pun). A week goes by and I feel like I have nothing to write about, because maybe I don't want to write about this any more, and then something like this floats through the blogosphere, and I'm reeled back in. I'm hooked. I've been baited, tamed and made to question my sanity by some other more informed blogger named "Nerdy Christie." Blech.
I need a vacation from food. That is, a vacation from the everyday supermarket blues, the fluorescent lights, the crinkly packaging, the disappointing meals. I need to be taken away to some place where the pineapple and papaya are as fresh as a Hawaiian breeze, lunch consists of lightly dressed greens and thinly shaved feta (if that even exists), no one needs any snacks or cocktails because life is so delicious and peaceful already, and then another breezy, happy meal rolls around (ie, dinner), and my every sense is delighted, my every wish fulfilled, in a small dish of gnocchi with ham and a light cream sauce. Put some veggies on the side, serve me an amazingly decadent dessert after, and let me feel no guilt. Just deliciousness. Hope, peace, love and deliciousness.
Maybe that should have been the new name for my blog.