Sigh.

I don’t know if this is just plain sad or if it’s a refreshing bit of common sense, but the government has advised that people should cook more to improve their general nutrition.

Part of me says, really?  We need our federal government to impart this little gem?  Is this news to anyone?

Another part of me, the more realistic one, knows that  (a) yes, people do need to be told; and (b) regardless of who is urging them on to better habits, people probably aren’t going to listen, much.

The thing is, we’re bombarded by so many mixed messages that I can almost understand if someone decides to throw up their hands.   We’re flooded by advertising for fast food restaurants and convenience foods.  If a family is out and about, in need of a quick meal, there will certainly be a MacD’s or Burger King or whatever about as far as they can spit in any direction, but they’d be hard pressed to find a place with a decent salad bar. 

Then they turn around only to encounter some Food Nazi or another spouting dire warnings about buying regular produce, meat, or dairy from a run-of-the-mill supermarket – it’s poison, full of pesticides and hormones and Lord only knows what else.   And they figure, why bother?  If my food’s gonna kill me, I might as well die happy with a bellyful of fat and salt. 

I’d ask the Food Nazis to riddle me this:   would you rather have these beleaguered folk eat some grilled supermarket veggies and maybe a piece of “brand name” chicken or steak made at home, or should they run out for a Supervalue Meal?  Should they give their kid a glass of supermarket milk, or let them have a Big Gulp?

Do I wish that I could eat all local, fresh, organic, pure-as-the-driven-snow produce, meat, dairy, etc.?    Sure – that would be great, but it’s not realistic for me, for a variety of reasons.   I think my family is living proof that getting  lettuce at Costco and drinking factory milk and eating grapes from …  well, not from around here, is a whole lot better than living on takeout.   We’re a pretty healthy bunch.   We do grow some food in the summer and enjoy farmer’s markets and such, and my hat is off to anyone who subsists on mostly local, fresh foods – this is not a criticism of that lifestyle.  I simply object to the highly publicized evangelists who scare the crap out of the general public, whose access to produce and whole foods is likely to be through more commercial outlets.

This little conundrum isn’t likely to get solved any time soon, and anyway, we’ve got an oil leak to deal with. 

In the meantime, be well, eat your veggies, go for a walk.   And happy Friday!

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9 Comments

Filed under Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion

9 responses to “Sigh.

  1. I think any small steps we take can make a big difference. Fast food is a special occasion around here.

  2. Here! Here! I buy produce as local as I can but I live in an urban area. Should I then get into my carbon producing vehicle to drive miles into the country to find a farm and try to buy some local produce? And at what point does it stop being local? I feed my family food as fresh as I can and that has to be good enough.

    And I live in the Garden State!

  3. It has also been shown to be less expensive to buy your food at the grocery store and fix it a home. I so agree with you. And, besides, Nora, it just tastes better than the fat/salt-laden crap. Of course, if you miss that you can always use Hamburger Helper;-P

  4. Joy

    Amen, well said! Have a great weekend 🙂

  5. Yippy! You said what needed to be said. I love me some Costco produce, but buy local when I can and when it’s affordable. If people eat fresh as often as they can, regardless of where the food is grown, they will be healthier, but you know that already.

  6. I grow what I can, but mostly because I enjoy the process, and like having some super-fresh produce at my fingertips in the summer. And I do get local produce when it’s in season just because it’s so much tastier – corn, melons, peaches, raspberries, etc. But otherwise, I don’t worry too much about whether my produce is organic and/or local.

    Living in a cold-weather climate, there wouldn’t be much local produce throughout the winter, and I’d rather have “sorta-fresh” produce shipped from elsewhere than go without or rely on canned/frozen products. Plus I believe in the importance of getting a variety of nutrients, and there are many things that simply can’t be grown here (citrus fruits, for example).

    I just finished reading Dr. Weil’s “Eating Well for Optimum Health”, and thought it was pretty good, although I found it amusing that there were nearly twice as many recipes for desserts as for entrees. Healthier versions, of course, but still (!)

  7. I’d side with your realistic self. But the message needs to be repeated over and over until it starts to sink in if we’re going to have healthy kids, active adults and a retirement free of disease and disability.

    And eating strictly local? That sounded great until I realized that means I’d never eat bananas, oranges, grapes and a lot of other fruits and veggies again. Since they are all that stands between me and scurvy in the winter, I do the best I can and save the guilt for when I indulge in chocolate cake!

  8. We do both. We get a CSA box of veggies once a week in the summer, and try to shop the farmers market as much as possible. We also get boxed lettuce and other produce and meat from Costco. There are a lot of people on limited incomes, or with chaotic schedules, who just can’t afford (or have the time) to cook organic local products for every meal. I think small steps for many people is all you can realistically expect.

  9. I’m with you on this, Nora.

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