Friday, February 13, 2009
Feeling the Guilt - Watching What We Eat
Someone at work put out a tray of bagels left over from a breakfast meeting. I joked with a co-worker, since they aren't giving us raises, we'll have to take advantage of things like leftover food and eat up. So I took a half of a plain white, processed bagel with some "margarine". It was awful! What was worse was the guilt trip I went on the entire time I was eating it. I couldn't help but think about what the ingredients were, what was in it, how much nutrition it lacked, and what kind of processing did it go through to make it to this tray. When I slathered on the "margarine" my brain cells were calculating -- calories, ingredients, fat, hydrogenation, GMO beans that went into it, what brand was it. That half a bagel and processed goop confirmed I'm officially a food snob. Last week I felt the snobbishness coming on when I looked at a recipe someone shared with me. It was for vegan lasagna which contained the ultimate processed vegan foods - sausage, cream cheese, and mozzarella cheese. I made it, and it WAS good, but oh the processed foods the recipe contained. And spending a bunch of time in the kitchen the past six months using whole, natural foods in most of my meals, I now look at a "package" of food with disgust. Even a bag of organic tortilla chips -- what's the ingredient list? 6 ingredients and something unprounceable? Back on the shelf it goes. But I'll admit I'm a hippocrat too -- I'm guilty of drinking soy milk, but don't get that feel sick guilty feeling for doing so. Its organic, made with non-GMO beans, and a key food staple in a vegetarian diet. So its ok to watch what we eat 90% of the time? I believe as long as folks are aware of food sources and make some sort of effort in changing eating and buying habits, you're a step ahead of the average person and doing a good thing. Michael Pollan, thank you for making me a food "substance" snob.