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late to the train, but happily on board

May 10, 2010

Has anyone else read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food?  If not, do!  I listened to it, read by Scott Brick (oh, my what a dry and snarky voice!).

While his descriptions of the history of the western diet and reductionist, nutritionist explanations fired my ire, my favorite part was towards the end, where Pollan comes around to his opening statement: “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.” and defends each sentence.  He gives excellent guidelines for breaking away from a diet of processed foods and embracing not only a healthier diet but also a healthier and more enjoyable food culture.  From grocery store to farmer’s market to garden and around to stove top and table, Pollan sets out some simple methods to eat well, eat healthy, and enjoy eating.

Happily, I find myself already following much of his advice–I stick mostly to the margins of the grocery store, focusing on produce and dairy (he includes fresh meat and fish for those of you who cook with it, too).  In the summer, I garden and shop the farmer’s market.  I buy local dairy as much as possible (and thankfully, is it ever available here!).  I avoid processed foods.  I cook.  I clean up.

I’m going to work on enjoying my meals, though.  I do spend all my happy breakfasts with my partner, something that Pollan cites are rather important: eating with others.  But my lunches and a few dinners are solitary.  I also am guilty of wolfing my food, and not eating at the table.  I will work on this.

I’m also going to pay more attention to those packaged items I do buy, like tortillas or taco shells, condiments, and the occasional carton of ice cream (I’d so love my own ice cream machine .  . . silly small apartment).

And for a third little resolution, I’m going to pay more attention to my refined flour and sugar intake.  I’m planning on not restocking my sugar when it next runs dry and instead sticking with local honey and maple syrup (both of which are more expensive but if I eat/bake with less, it shouldn’t be a burden).  Instead of white bread flour, I’m going to buy whole wheat bread flour and incorporate more non-wheat flours (I already make rye bread and buckwheat pancakes).

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