>> Monday, February 16, 2009
POM Wonderful week continues! Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a coupon for a free bottle!
I'm reading the book Food Matters by Mark Bittman right now. I'm not sure that I completely agree with him on everything, but his book is thought provoking and I do find that I mostly agree with him. After an interesting discussion on the problems with interpreting and conducting meaningful food studies (especially when food companies themselves fund the research), there is this paragraph:
This is all conjecture on Mr. Bittman's part, but I think that he does have a point. Our food has become processed to the point of being unrecognizable at times. Instead of reaching for an apple at breakfast, we reach for an apply-goop filled breakfast bar. If we were to reach for good, minimally processed foods - fresh fruits and vegetables, for example - instead of crackers and bars and chips and all of the other junk that is so tempting and easy to turn to, our waistlines and health would undoubtedly be better for it.
It could well be - and this is as close as I can get to Something I'm Very Nearly Sure Of - that by eating simple, natural, minimally processed foods, known to be at least benign if not beneficial, in place of foods that are suspect in any quantity (junk food, highly processed carbohydrates), or those that may be damaging if consumed in large quantities (animal products), you're going to be healthier and quite likely thinner. And if you believe me, you don't need to follow the results of any more studies.
We eat more than our fair share of processed foods around here. And we also eat more than our share of meat and animal products. But it's changing. We're eating more vegetarian meals - not such a hard sell as my kids are not hugely fond of meat. My son is a champion complainer about meat dinners and vegetarian dinners equally. I hope that we can tip the balance toward fresh, minimally processed foods - fruit instead of crackers for a snack, nuts instead of pretzels, a homemade granola bar or pumpkin muffin instead of a pre-packaged bar. It's a hard sell with the kids (even with me sometimes!), but I hope that we can give them a taste and desire for fresh foods. The taste for real food will serve them well the rest of their lives.
We're striving for that balance, and we're getting there, I think. It's easier in summer than in winter, and it's easier with my daughter than it is with my picky son. And it's easier with time. I'm not looking to rid our house of processed foods - I think that would be excruciatingly hard with kids (heck, even for us adults) - just minimize their use.
What do you think? Do you agree with Mr. Bittman?
My guest poster last week, Jenna from Food with Kid Appeal, is having a giveaway herself! She's giving away the book 101 Foods that Can Save Your Life. Head on over and find out what you need to do to win.