Monday, April 17, 2006
What are we eating?
Have you ever driven across the country in the summer on 80? What do you see? Corn. Corn corn corn. Well, I read a review in the Chron a few weeks ago about this book, The Omnivore's Dilemna, and now I'm listening to the author talk about his book on Science Friday....wow, amazing stuff. Did you know that ecoli is caused by feeding cows corn? And that if they stop feeding the cows corn for 5 days before slaughter, and feed them grass, we wouldn't have to irradiate beef? AMAZING. He says that we are eating SO MUCH CORN that it is starting to cause malnutrition in people who are actually well fed. That's what happens if too much of your food comes from one source. If you look at the products you eat, corn is in almost every single one. Our meat is fed corn, our processed foods almost all contain corn based sweetners, bread, canned foods, etc. Practically the only things we eat that don't contain corn is our fresh veggies. You know, except for the corn.
Now, I love corn. Corn on the cob, corn in my soup, etc. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about corn by products that take TONS of oil to produce. Not good stuff.
He talks about a lot of other things besides corn, like eating locally produced veggies and fruit, to cut down on the amount of oil required to get the food to the table, and to encourage farmers to keep their farms up and running. Eating family dinners. Looking for grass fed meat if you can find it. Cooking meals, rather than convience foods.
So here's his advice, if you want to take it:
Eat locally produced food. If it comes from Argentina, don't eat it. If it comes from a thousand miles away, within your own country, don't eat it. Tomatoes in the winter? No. Strawberries now? No.
If your great grandmother wouldn't recognize it as a food product, don't eat it. That means cheetos and gogurt and on and on.
I can't do it. I love my strawberries when I want them, and cheetos...give me a break. But I can go to the farmers market and buy local things, and I can look for grass fed meats...don't know if I can AFFORD them, but I'll look. Maybe we can all try, a little bit, and maybe we'll be healthier for it.
I highly reccomend listening to the podcast of Science Friday...it's very interesting. Try to leave your preconceived notions behind. I don't read much non fiction, so I probably won't get the book, but it's highly reccomended if you DO read non fiction.