What shall I eat?

9780465020416[1]I seem to be on a bit of a binge lately–not eating, but reading about real food, fake food and the quality of food and the effects on health.

This whole thing seems to have started with Richard Wrangham‘s Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human which lead to questions about how we arrived at what we are currently eating–our trip from “traditional” foods to the current state where we seem to have given up the true pleasure of food–treating it almost as “medicine”. It must be low carb, or low fat, or…

I’ll be the last to disagree that our diet determines our health, but why have we given up the true hedonistic pleasures of eating good food to spending more time thinking of all the things our current “diet” doesn’t let us eat?

All these books were well worth reading if you like to eat. The bottom line of all this leaves me feeling that our food needs to include raw, cooked, vegetables, meats, dairy, eggs, and fish–all real foods–but not processed foods. Shop around the edges of the grocery store, except for the side excursions to find the grains, and legumes which are underused by most of us.

Real Food/Fake Food is enlightening in terms of how to shop for foods that are not adulterated–which is so common today. It’s unfortunate that we have to shop for our food using the caveat emptor mindset, but that’s what we have allowed to happen by not exercising selectivity in what we will purchase–in looking for “cheap” as opposed to high quality.  We need to not buy adulterated foods–it’s worth the bit of extra effort to find out what we are buying and find shops where we know that quality is foremost even if the price is just a bit higher.

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Cleaning out the fridge….

cropped-img_2208.jpgOne of the things that I particularly “hate” having to do is to “clean out” the refrigerator.  That’s not just because it means that I am going to find some very revolting, icky, slimy celery in the crisper or that I’m composting food, which is, admittedly wasteful.  It’s the fact that refrigerator seems to be a good reflection of life in general around this household.

When the refrigerator needs a major clean-out, it also likely means that there are dust bunnies that are likely bigger than the cat, stacks of laundry, and other chores that desperately need attention as well, because I’ve not found the time to do them–even a few minutes a day. (I could do with a house elf!)

Since I consider myself a foodie, it’s a pretty sad commentary when I’ve let the refrigerator get to the major clean-out state–it means that I’ve been too dependent on those one-a-day multivitamins and sandwiches rather that cooking quick but healthy meals for myself or even popping something into the slow-cooker! It means that I’ve let other things take over–more than I should.  After all, 30 minutes to cook a meal would really be well spent–and I would probably be more efficient at other tasks after the break.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t realized how much a major indexing project (the book was over 1000 pages–and the deadline was moved to a sooner-rather-than-later date after I started the project) was going to affect my daily routine.  I hope that I’ve learned something, and the next one won’t require cleaning out the refrigerator because I’ll have done a little advance planning or used my software-mandated breaks from the computer more wisely.

Regrettably, meal-planning is not the answer here–I don’t do well with the if-it’s-chicken-it-must-be-Tuesday sort of thing. Perusing what was in the freezer didn’t do me much good either–mostly food that will be great in cooler weather, but totally unappealing in hot weather, or else things like stock, or soup base which wouldn’t be fast to make right then.

Each time I have to clean out the fridge, it’s a bit like making New Year’s resolutions–I solemnly vow to not let this happen again–but then most of us know what happens to New Year’s resolutions.

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The fridge is now tidy–the slimy celery and other small pieces of residual vegetables have gone to the compost bin (that stuff had a real head start on breaking down!) so I’m ready to start again, though  I haven’t gotten to the laundry or to chasing out the dust bunnies (at least those are not going to get slimy) this afternoon.