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Food Revolution or War: Fried ‘n’ Smothered vs. Clean ‘n’ Vegan

May 10, 2010

I'm sorry, but do these veggies come with a side of toxic chemicals?

Have you noticed the increased focus in the media on what kinds of food we should – and should not – be eating?  Can you really go a day without seeing a TV clip, Yahoo headline or Tweet on the crap that is in our food supply?  And yet…what’s in your supermarket? What’s on your restaurant menu? And more importantly, what’s on your table?

I don’t know, folks, I believe we are, indeed, in the midst of a potential Food Revolution, but right now, I’m knee deep in processed crap out here in the trenches. I’ve got two sides coming at me in full force, but I’m just a Mom in the ‘burbs, so what am I supposed to do?

In one corner is what we’re not supposed to eat: the fried, smothered, overprocessed food that seems to be readily available no matter where we go.  Most any restaurant, family picnics, convenience foods.  We’re not supposed to eat this stuff, so why is it everywhere?

In the other corner is what is supposed to be the best for us: clean, nonprocessed food, preferably of non-animal origin.  Expensive, hard to find, and few of us know how to prepare this style of cooking.

In the past few months, I’ve seen Food, Inc, revisited Super-Size Me, watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, read Jillian Michael’s Master Your Metabolism, as well as the completely misleading Skinny Bitch.  (The latter, I would like to note, turned out to be The Vegan Manifesto, not the fun little get-off-your-ass read I was expecting.)  I get it, folks.  This is not your grandmother’s food supply we’re eating from.  Right now, there are terrible things in our food, and we’re giving it to our children.  In addition, we’ve resigned our children to a diet of chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese and french fries, and then wonder why we see so many chunky kiddos.

But I’ve read the eat-healthy books, too, and I find myself thinking…well, I’ve never eaten this way in my life, I am a stay home mom trying to feed a family of five on one income, and I can cook the dickens out of a chicken, but not tofu.  (Plus, I’m allergic to soy, but that’s another matter.)  And if you’ve been out to eat in the Midwest, such as I was this weekend while visiting in-laws in Hannibal, MO, you might notice the complete lack of vegan options on the menu.

Anyone see how ridiculous this has become?  I just want to feed my children good, healthy, non-poisonous food.  Is that really too much to ask?  I don’t want to feel guilty because I’m eating a cow…I mean, this is how my ancestors’ ancestors ate, right?  I choose the leanest (more expensive) ground beef, is it too much ask that that beef be treated humanely and without chemicals before it gets to my plate?  Anyone else feeling like we’re fighting both sides?

Somewhere in the middle, I suspect, lies the answer.  I liked Jamie Oliver’s stance the most – eat real, whole, homecooked foods.  Now, who’s door do we have to tear down to make sure that food is real?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. kate permalink
    May 10, 2010 7:22 pm

    Wow. You read my mind and what’s been troubling me lately. I recently read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Disease Proof Your Child and it helped some but I struggle every day with raising children in a world where processed, harmful frankenfoods are ubiquitous. I also feel that we are in the midst of a food revolution but it’s going to take time. It starts in our own backyards. The only way we really know what’s in our food is if we grow it ourselves or get it locally.

  2. May 12, 2010 1:22 pm

    Have you read Nina Plank’s Real Food: What to Eat and Why? Get it – it’s perfect for you! We do what we can, we eat the best we can afford, and we live! You’ll love it, and it will help you ignore the annoying vegan freaks! No worries honey – be gentle with yourself. You are doing a great job!

  3. May 12, 2010 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation, Elise. Just put it on reserve at the library.

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