think before you eat

This will be my final blog relating to the book The End of Overeating. It has been quite an amazing and informational book. I expected it to be similar to Food Inc but it’s on a whole other level. I couldn’t resist sharing this summary of thoughts from the book that pulled on my heart strings. I’d like to preface by also saying the very first few sentences are why I began Eat it Up Buttercup. Alice Waters knows what it means to eat local, sustainable, and organic. But even when we don’t live near or can’t afford to eat at Chez Panisse, the idea of eating simple whole foods should still be nearby.

Thirty years ago a chocolate muffin was made with real eggs, real chocolate, and real butter. It was rich and flavorful, but it was small.
Then greed took over. These small muffins became large muffins, made for only pennies more with a larger profit. But most of the real ingredients are gone. Powdered eggs often replace whole eggs. Processed sweeteners are used. Instead of butter, they usually contain a blend of shortening and oil. I’ve always hated reading labels that say ‘sunflower or soybean oil’. Well, which is it? Now I know why. The manufacturer is buying whichever is cheaper at the moment. Duh. It all comes back to $$$.

In lieu of real food, the industry is baking with a chemical mix of preservatives and oil. ~Mike McCloud (former Coca-Cola executive)

Many restaurants are no longer showcases for real cooking & creativity but rather are little more than construction sights.
When I waited tables around the turn of the millennium, I was too young to think much of the Sysco truck dropping off (predominantly frozen) food. How much of the food on our menu did we actually make? Sure we fried those wonton wrappers but what other ingredients did it contain? Our muffins came in large tubs, bulk batter form. The cooks just used an ice cream scoop to dose out a hearty serving into a butter soaked muffin pan. Damn. Those muffins were good but I’m surprised I survived. I worked there 7  years. No wonder my body hates me now.

Where traditional cuisine is meant to satisfy, American industrial food is meant to stimulate.
We can’t even see a picture of a hamburger or a frosty cold cup of soda with sweat beads forming on the outside of the glass without our mouths watering a little bit. Did your tummy get rumbly just reading that? What has the food industry done to us?

USDA reports we’re eating 24% more vegetables, which seems like good news until you learn that a large component of those ‘veggies’ are potatoes, deep fried potatoes, otherwise known as french fries.

Not only does that salt on fat on sugar combo tempt our taste buds, higher fat foods are easier to chew. They break down in the mouth soo smoothly and are effortless to swallow. So that fatty food we are eating is also technically making use lazier.

For lunch today I had sauteed chard with white beans. As an experiment I decided to see how many chews it took me before swallowing. Mastication. The process of chewing. Get your mind out of the gutter! Depending on how much chard vs beans were in my mouth, it took between 30-54 chews. How many chews does it take to get to the center of a french fry? Wow.

Wonder if your tummy got rumbly again thinking about my lunch? Mmm… rainbow chard sauteed with onions over warm white beans and a dash of pepper.

Now go cook something! Drive right past that fast food!


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