Some Effects of my watching Food Inc.
It’s 2 weeks and a day since I saw Food Inc. and some I’ve begun doing a few things differently since then. They may seem small, but they represent significant changes in my life.. Here they are in no particular order:
I haven’t been to any of what I call the “mass market” grocery stores (which include Safeway, Lucky, Raley’s etc.) since then. I’ve been going mostly to the El Cerrito store of The Natural Grocery Company, the new West Berkeley store of the Berkeley Bowl Marketplace and small, specialty stores including farmer’s markets.
Salads – I’ve had a salad with lunch and dinner regularly – which if you know me is a significant change. It’s not that I don’t like salad – I do – but unless a single person LOVES salad, it’s hard to eat your way through a typical purchase of a bunch of lettuce, celery, scallions and many other salad vegetables before they go bad. Yes, I’ve ended up wasting a bit of it, but the bulk of it segues into my next change…
Meats – for me this includes poultry. Still the focal point of my meals, but no longer the bulk of my meal. I’m treating meat as only one of a minimum of 3 dishes, and I don’t allow its portion size to exceed the size of any other thing I’m eating.
Starches – Previously, to me this meant potatoes, rice, and occasionally pasta. I’ve already experimented with (and liked!) warm smashed chickpeas and I look forward to trying rice pilaf (combo of rice and pasta), couscous and bulgur.
Vegetables – I’m trying to have 4 small portions with each meal – Meat, Starch, Vegetable and Salad. No breakthroughs (yet) on the vegetable front.
Before Food Inc., I ate out for lunch EVERY workday. And at least 3 days out of 5 I ate what I call the “Burger King Value Meal” ordering a Whopper Jr, Fries and a soda, all off of the Dollar Menu. Not the greatest food in the world – by a long shot – but keeping the portions as small as I could.
Since Food Inc., I’ve brought a bag lunch twice – and intend to do so far more often, and I’ve only done the “Burger King Value Meal” once.
Long before Food Inc., I ate dinner out at least 3 times/week. Once with a weekly visit to my Mom (and that’s going to continue – but I may make some of the picnics with food I cooked), once on the weekend, and once during the week. This was a minimum! I probably averaged 4 dinners out/week plus breakfast on at least one weekend day.
My dinners out reduced in frequency about 2 months ago when I started doing much more cooking for myself. Since Food Inc., however – and not including workday lunches – my only eating out has been my weekly meals with Mom!
I’m trying new things. Last night I made oven roasted Tandoori Chicken – which included turmeric, cumin, cardamom, coriander and chili powder – none of which I’d ever used before! This was actually because I saw Rachel Ray do it and part of her patter was “try it – you might be surprised!” which somehow resonated with me. I intend to keep experimenting. In fact, I’d already bought some ingredients (not used yet) toward this end: Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Jalapeno Peppers in Adobo sauce.
I just started reading Michale Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” which has 3 things as it’s central conclusions:
- Eat Food
- Not Too Much
- Mostly Plants
Each of these has far more meaning than can be gleaned by it’s simple summation above. Generally, the book is an attack on “nutrientism” – the belief that you can eat healthily by identifying nutrients then eating foods that contain them – that path leads to fads, bad science and highly processed foods products produced by food conglomerates and agribusiness.
I’ll write far more about this as I proceed through the book.
I don’t know what the future will bring. I intend it to include brown bag lunches every day, continuing consumption of non-processed foods and continuing experimentation with new ingredients.
One thing I think I know – I need a new refrigerator. But I’ve made major purchases in the past that I turned out having no need for; so before I buy the refrigerator, I’m going to do a post on this blog with my reasons and ask y’all for feedback!
‘Nuff for now…