Monday, February 25, 2008

The challenge of eating...

There is danger in doing to much research or thinking to much about issues. It tends to turn simple things complicated rather quickly.

I remember the days when I would go to the grocery store and wander up and down the isles and buy whatever I wanted, the entire store was open to me. If I decided that I was watching my fat that week, I would get fat free salad dressing, the fat replaced with unpronounceable chemicals. If I wanted less sugar I would get diet coke (I miss diet soda!) or other artificial sweetened treats. If I wanted a burger or a glass of milk, what ever was on sale was fine.

But today, like many of my readers, I'm sure, buying is not so easy.

First is the dairy issue. If you do one thing organic, make it your milk, especially (in my scientifically unsubstanstated view) if you have children. So my milk is more expensive, but organic milk is readily available. But wait! Is it really organic if the cows do not have access to the outdoors? And if it still is, what do I do. So my milk and yogurt purchases are confined, and will soon switch to other, more local and wonderful sources...

Then there is the chemical issue. On the top of that list is the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup. So basically the entire interior of the grocery store is off limits. Gone a majority of salad dressings, tomato sauces, snacks, basically 90% of your grocery store is no longer in play.

After that comes local and organic produce. With local being more important, except in certain things, like potatoes, which we will buy organic before we buy conventional local. This is a constant challenge still.

Then seasonality, which to be honest I am still working on! I love my lettuce in the hot days of summer and a crunchy pepper in the cold days of winter. And fruit? When is the local banana season?

After that comes a huge list of do's and don'ts which we want to implement in our diets but are a struggle. Our recent joining of a food co-op will help us get decently priced, grass raised local beef and pork which will be a huge help in our next big step... No factory farmed meats...

The challenge is to readjust your thinking to what you can have and not what you cannot, but that is hard. Eventually I will get there, but for now it is one slow step at a time.

The good thing is that after something passes from challenge it becomes habit, and easier and more automatic to do. I guess I just have been thinking about food a lot the past week, when in my rush there was no time for good food, I was in my car 1100 miles in 2 days with a tightly scheduled and no time for real food day in between. So in that time I broke almost every rule I have set myself about food. Artificial sweeteners, transfats, fast food, high fructose corn syrup, conventional dairy, fast food, fast food, and fast food. Much of it while listening to "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and feeling bad about what was in my food and mouth.

It is time to get on the bandwagon again (which should be easy because, honestly, I feel like crap.) One day at a time and one step at a time, we can all eat better and change our world a little at the time along the way.

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