Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Food Journey in 2009

I haven't eaten any beef or pork products since 2001. I haven't had a glass of milk since then either. No I am not crazy...seriously. I'm just unique! Or at least my mom thinks so. I'm still trying to live the same way as I did eight years ago. But I admit, I've gotten a bit lazy. Which is why 2009 was the year of food for me, reminding myself of why I started on this Journey of Crazy years ago.

I started listening to Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food when it first came to the library on audiobook. I typically cannot STAND to read adult nonfiction but I do love to listen to it, and the narrator of this book does a great job of keeping the listeners interest. Pollan's food laws are simple: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." He argues that humans used to know how to eat but nutrition and diets have since been distorted by scientists, marketers, writers, and the phenomenon of convenient food. As a result our once interesting and nutritionally complex diet is now based on foods that aren't nutritionally real. This is a great book or audiobook and I recommend it..not as a diet book but for anyone who wants to eat the way their great-grandmother used to.

After Pollan's audiobook, I HAD to listen to more. I was so intrigued, mainly because he suggested ways I could eat red meat again guilt free. Hoorah! Immediately I began to listen to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The book follows Kingsolver and her family as they make a commitment to become locavores -people who only eat self or locally grown foods. This meant having to move from Tuscon, AZ to a family farm in Virginia. Thankfully Kingsolver and her husband already had a hand at gardening and their daughters were up to try 14 different varieties of potatoes and squash! The novel was enchanting and even though I cannot grow a plant to save my life Kingsolver and her family inspired me to visit my local farmer's market! What an experience (and wonderful food!).

So at this point I was in love with Pollan and Kingsolver. Ha. . .but seriously I was intrigued by their stories and theories. This interest finally led me to the Angelika Theater in Plano where I saw a movie by myself for the first time ever. And yes, it was a bit weird, but definitely worth it. Food, Inc. was a phenomenal documentary that talked to farmers, authors, and advotcates like Michael Pollan (fan love!) and Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation. I don't know how to explain this movie other then to say see it. See it and let it change the way you look at your food. The movie is not overly preachy or stuffy and it is quick to praise those who have taken steps to be responsible eaters (including Wal-Mart!).

For the new year I'd like to give you a challenge to think about what you eat. Quit counting calories and hounding yourself for eating that last chocolate chip cookie. Instead read and watch and become aware of what you put into your body.

Other titles I would recommend:

King Corn

Super Size M

Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser

The Omnivore's Dilemma
by Michael Pollan (adult version)

The Omnivore's Dilemma
by Michael Pollan (teen version)

The End of Overeating
by David A. Kessler

written by Jenny Ethington, Young Adult Librarian

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I watched Food Inc based on your recommendation and I was dismayed and crying by the end, but hopeful of the suggestions that the documentary makes about what we can do to make the country's food safer.