Thursday, September 25, 2008

What exactly am I eating?

I am reading a fascinating book right now, "The Omnivore's Dilemma, A Short History of Four Meals." It's about where our food comes from, and how the industrial food chain has led to a major obesity epidemic in our country. Basically, we all live on cheap corn products....from the meat we eat (which is unnaturally corn fed), to the soda we drink. One-fifth of all the oil used in this country goes to food production, food which used to be grown using SOLAR power and other sustainable energy. Now, we use fossil fuels to grow our cattle and process those fancy chips we eat with cheese, which sometimes isn't even real.

I've been on a personal journey to eat healthier this summer. Most nights of the week, David and I eat whole food, not processed or refined food. We use a gas grill, and mostly eat mildly seasoned halibut or salmon, and also throw whole vegetables on as well. The veggies are eaten with no spices or butter; sometimes provolone on a portabella. Dessert is warm, grilled peaches with (yes, processed) cool whip. My body has taken a great liking to eating these whole foods, so much that when I go out to a restaurant, my body reacts poorly. I'm bloated and my stomach hurts, I feel full and heavy. Probably because those foods are laden with fats and energy dense chemically processed corn products.

Reading this book is so enlightening, our food chain is really, really messed up. I don't particularly have a moral dilemma when it comes to eating meat, but I do have a problem with how this meat is raised. I don't eat meat very often, but when I do, I'd prefer to eat grass-fed cattle, who live their longer (4 to 5 years) lives in the sun and relaxed in pasture (corn-fed cattle live for a little over a year). Humans have been eating meat for hundreds of years, but this meat was HEALTHY, low on satured fat, high in Omega-3's, because it was raised naturally, on grass, and roamed the plains freely. Now, meat is bad for us, being raised on corn and antibiotics, and fattened too quickly for its own good, and for our good.

I hope something is done to change the food chain in our country, but our leadership keeps signing farm bills that encourage farmers produce CHEAP CORN. When are we going to wake up, and move to a diet more focused on fish, vegetables, legumes and whole grains? David and I talk about eating more vegetarian meals, but am so bombarded with meat I don't know where to start. I don't know what to cook or how to cook it. Recipes, anyone?


Anonymous said...

Like mother, like daughter! (Mom)

Travis said...

i love fish...and during my recent cholesterol cutting binge... Curtis and I ate a lot of it. Now that things have calmed back down...I miss having all that fish...I think there's a good balance though somewhere for us.

good for you on eating such wonderful fresh, whole foods!

danielskiffington said...

One of my housemates is reading that. I'll probably pick it up next.

Lisa said...

There have been several books on this corn debacle lately. I'm just stunned by the prevelance of corn in our food supply. "King Corn" is a great documentary on the subject.

I've been a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish) for about 4 years now. It's not fact, fun! But you have to watch that you get enough vitamin B-12 and D!!!!

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

I'm not technically a vegetarian or a pescatarian-- but I don't like meat. Too many years of eating it as a kid EVERY DAY!!!! Yuk.

I have this book on my Kindle and will have to read it now.

Colleen said...

Good for you Kristin! It's so good to hear from someone who disciplined herself to just try a different lifestyle. It's EASY to eat crap. That's why we do it, but once you get off the crap and treat your body to whole foods - you'll never go back to an all-crap diet. I experienced the same 'body revelation' when I stopped eating meat. Horrah!

Anonymous said...

And don't forget corn syrup - not good for you and in so much stuff. (Mom)

Kathleen said...

Oooh, I loved that book! It was really enlightening.

As for vegetarian recipes, I have lots, most pretty easy. Want me to email you some? I've been a vegetarian for a long time, since I was about 5, actually. I just don't like meat much.

I also recommend a couple vegetarian cookbooks -- one is Vegetable Heaven, by Mollie Katzen, and the other is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison.