Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Food Part One: I Eat Food

Welcome to part one of what will be a several-part series of posts where I talk about food. Not in the 'aw hell I love lamb' way (though that's coming, I'm sure) but in my favorite way to talk about food : What it does for us, and more importantly and interestingly, what it does for our economy, society, etc. I love food politics, it's absolutely one of my favorite topics to discuss, and one I feel very strongly about. So buckle up, we may get political, and feel free to shoot back with comments. I like discussing things!

So, my former relationship with food, for perspective. Not a good one, but not devastating, it wasn't killing me, at least not physically. I struggled with what was sort of bandied about as an eating disorder for a time, a hyper-controlled way of eating as a means of coping. To deal with all the terrible feelings, I was put on a medication that heavily affected my liver and put the kibosh on the best thing about being 16 - the ability to eat Doritos dipped in sour cream and never gain a pound. 

Wait, this is like, a thing? I just used to dip my Doritos in straight up sour cream. Look, you don't need this fancy Dorito dip, you can do bad all by yourself.

I spent the next just-shy-of-a-decade trying to find a way to eat that didn't make me feel like crap. I tried vegetarianism and filled the meat shaped hole with cake, I tried getting rid of sugar which always ended with a late night binge, I tried caring and not caring and the problem was that I had this creeping case of anxiety. My mind, like the metabolism, I just sort of chalked up to being ruined by bad prescriptions at the age of 16 and didn't do too much for it either. This year I decided to get my shit in order. Fixed the brain, which made fixing the body easy, and figure this food thing out. 

Now let me explain this isn't the part of the story where I try fifty magical miracle diets and none of them work. I kind of gathered that from the beginning. I didn't need magical diet rules, I'm a damn adult and I just needed to be responsible for what I put in my own body. And sadly, most of us have completely forgotten about the gift it is to give ourselves and our loved ones awesome food every day.

So the answer, at least for me, was a very simple piece of advice that to this day is my favorite quote about food, ever. Are you ready for the complex and most cutting edge information from Michael Pollan, possibly the greatest food-thinker alive?

"Eat. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Oh god damn. It's so perfect that every time I hear Dr. Oz or some other hack hocking acai berries or blueberries or dark chocolate or gluten free pasta as the new diet miracle, I want to mail them an ass-kicking, but instead I just repeat gentle Michael Pollan's brilliant advice like a soft mantra and it makes me feel awesome.

The kicker is this : what you may consider food, Mr. Pollan does not. And I leave you to consider this now, these simple words, and next time we'll get into what's food, what's not, and whether we should go Paleo or just get Medieval on this mother.

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