Food has not been my friend lately, and this makes me sad. I realize that most of the food that is readily available to me is not good for me, and a lot of what I eat doesn’t seem to be doing my body any favors. Eating used to be my favorite sport! Now it’s more of a game of Russian roulette, although with indigestion and lethargy instead of bullets when I make the wrong choices.
For instance, I’ve been making smoothies for breakfast the past couple of days using Greek yogurt, banana, frozen mango, canned pineapple, and a dash of whatever fruit juice I have on hand. Sometimes a scoop of wheat germ. I thought this was a healthy concoction and it certainly tasted fabulous, but my body is hating it, big-time. Let’s just say it gives me … a stomach ache … all day long, and leave it at that. Apparently too much fructose at one time is difficult to digest. Who knew?
Funnily enough, my standard breakfast of two eggs with toast and butter (along with my single cup of coffee of the day) has never once disagreed with me. Nor does a heavy-duty dinner such as chicken and waffles. My body processes protein and fat very well, or at least is very comfortable doing it, whereas with fruits and vegetables it is … not so comfortable.
One would like to make good choices at every mealtime, but this is getting harder and harder to do without a considerable investment of time (to research the many, many options) and money (to buy the best food). What’s good for me to eat is also difficult for me to eat for various reasons: preparation time (home cooking), expense (choosing organic foods), taste (I have never liked leafy green vegetables) or convenience (fresh foods don’t stay fresh very long).
In addition, most of the food for sale in the supermarkets is processed junk full of fat, sugar, salt, preservatives, trans fats, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other suspicious ingredients that I would do well to avoid. I am distressed that food companies are not required to label foods that contain GMOs, nor are meat packers required to label cuts of meat that have been mechanically tenderized and therefore may be more likely to be contaminated with deadly microorganisms. I think consumers have a right to know such things so that we can make the best choices we can, and I am profoundly unsettled by the idea that a huge segment of our economy absolutely depends on all of us either knowingly or unknowingly making unhealthy choices nearly every single meal, every single day.
When I was walking through the supermarket last week, I was almost overcome with a wave of sadness and disappointment that everything I looked at was essentially junk food, even the supposedly healthy stuff in the produce section that was probably grown in a fog of pesticides in a foreign country and shipped here by airplane, leaving an enormous carbon footprint behind it. Nearly every conventional food choice we have is bad somehow. If it isn’t organic and locally grown, there is something nutritionally, biologically, chemically or ethically wrong with it.
Why do the food companies give us all this crap to eat? Why do we buy it? The answer is the same on both sides: it’s cheap. Profitable for them, convenient for us. But I think we all deserve better nourishment than that.
Related: Thinking about food