Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do Rock the Boat

I've been educating myself on food and the politics of food lately, reading Wendell Barry, Michael Pollen, many articles and web sites, and watching the documentaries Fast Food Nation, Food, Inc., and King Corn. All this edification comes at a cost. The loss of innocence, though, is a good thing. I thought I was making wise choices but see now where the gaps/faulty thinking is, and can rectify them with wiser decisions. While not strictly a vegetarian by any means, I choose to eat the meat of animals raised humanely and treated with respect and not pumped full of poisons, and am making it a goal of having at least two meatless dinners a week. The other meals I serve meat 'on the side,' not as a main course. It's a start.

I've also been trying to emulate more of a Mediterranean diet than before, with more emphasis on fresh wild fish, vegetables and grains. We love fruits and veggies. I never fry anything. We use olive oil or sesame oil. Living in the country, we are lucky in that lots of friends have gardens and share their produce and what we don't get free we can buy at roadside stands. It sure is wonderful to get the 'goods' by bartering horse manure!

The food movement is a dialogue we must have with government representatives and by 'voting with our pocketbook' -- not buying crap and insisting on quality foods will force costs to decline and people to take notice. Government must be on-track with supporting small-scale farmers. Agribusiness as an industry that doesn't favor anyone but big business. It's been fascinating to educate myself on the politics of food and I highly recommend it.

I guess Coca-Cola can breathe a sigh of relief, though. As many products as I'm scaling back on, and as 'bad' as the corporation is proported to be, one habit I'm not breaking (for the moment, anyway), is my one 12 oz. plastic bottle of Coke almost every day (not diet, not zero, just the plain old-fashioned version -- hey I'm a Southern girl), which I take two sips of and then freeze for an hour and 20 minutes, making it nice and slushy. I adore slushy Coke.
The two 'rules' in this house are:
1) don't let the cats outside
2) don't drink the last Coke

I prefer the 'Mexican' cokes made with pure sugar and not corn syrup, but they are cost-prohibitive in the US, so only for
'special occasions,' i.e., I gotta have one, now!


Anonymous said...

Yes, the politics that goes on behind the scenes in the food industry disgusts me. If there are alternatives to the poison pumped drek on offer, I say definitely go for them. Thanks for the enlightening read! :)

e said...

I have read or seen the things you comment on, and have been a vegetarian since my twenties. I have found being vegan to be hard where I live, but have found a cache of vegan bloggers online who willingly share recipes and experiences.

The politics and what goes into the processed crap lining the shelves of the neighbourhood grocery boggle the mind, as does America's lack of regulation over the food chain...

You are fortunate to live amongst those with gardens.

Cheeseboy said...

Mm, yes Mt. Dew came out with the throwback and it is danged delicious.

I watched Food Inc. about 6 months ago and now I don't eat chicken. Starting... NOW.

Anonymous said...

Food Inc was one of the most disturbing films I’ve seen. I can’t help but believe that aside from the obvious dangers of bacterial poisoning, eating animals whose short lives were lived in such atrocious conditions has to affect your body in a negative way. It just seems like you’d be ingesting horribly negative energy… if that makes sense?

Chris said...

If you like Dr. Pepper, they still make it with cane sugar at one plant in Dublin, Texas. They aren't quite as much as Mexican cokes, but still pretty pricey. As for the rest ... well, we've probably talked enough about that. The 101 degree temps and a week away have pretty much done it for my garden.