You don’t have to peel Doritos
For about four months Michelle and I have been reading and discussing food. Not so much which tasty morsels to put into our mouths as which ones we shouldn’t. One book that really fueled our conversation, like a bag of Doritos and a Coke (or a banana and some water?), was called In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. It’s an easy read and talks about how so much we eat has been processed to the point that it might be a stretch to call it food.
This conversation has stayed important to me for a couple reasons. The first is health. I have not been a healthy eater for much of my life. But now, having kids, I think more about wanting to be here as long as possible with them, Lord willing (and I actually mean that, not just a cliche), and about setting a good example of health for them. And while setting a good example is about how much and when I eat and drink, I am increasingly convinced that it’s also about what I eat and drink. The food industry in our country has created a very political movement to create low-cost, low-nutrient, high-calorie and high-fat foods that it markets mercilessly to all people, including children. Yahoo recently had an article that explained much of this well. The point is they can’t make much money off foods that are actually healthy, so they produce crap and then infuse it with a vitamin of some kind, plaster it’s vita-rific qualities all over the packaging and the advertisments, and bam, water with corn syrup and a little B12 now becomes Gatorade and it’s good for you!
The second reason this conversation has stayed on my mind is that steering away from all the processed foods and preservatives just makes sense. I believe God is good and that the food he has given us would naturally be the best for us. As we alter it, add things that can only be made in a labratory, and remove the things that were good for us in the first place, we shouldn’t be surprised that it has horribly negative effects on our health.
Obviously moving away from the over-processed, chemically-laden food that is out there is tough. You walk through a grocery store and it’s hard to find many items that have less that 15 ingredients (always a bad sign). But those foods are so much more convenient, you can just pop them in the microwave. And fast food, it may be the grim reaper, but it’s easy and kids like it. So this isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. We’re still really working through what we think on this topic and how we’ll try to structure our family’s life in regard to food, but I think it’s at least worth contemplating.