Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A can of worms

I've been thinking about my venty little post last week. First, I don't mean to imply a week of eating out does not equate to eating well. Certainly it's not great for my bank account and I know less about what is in my food when I don't prepare it myself. And, as I've said before, I find it frustrating when I spend more than I need to on a meal when I could have something just as, or more, tasty at home.

The point is more like this - I want to eat a reasonably balanced and healthy diet. I like putting thought into my meals and am really making an effort to make better choices and learn about what I am buying. It is a process, and there is, at times, an overwhelming amount of information out there. It can be confusing, disheartening and expensive. But I think it is worth it.

Even with all that, recognizing that I largely have the will to be thoughtful about food choices and thankfully am in a position to speak with my wallet at least to some extent, I still struggle. I like to cook and experiment. I am eagerly awaiting fresh, homegrown veggies. I don't have kids pulling me in twenty directions and commanding all of my time and then some. And I still have a difficult time sticking to this goal. Thankfully, my default on a late dinner night is typically take out from a neighborhood haunt, be it pizza from Pasquale's (or pasta, like tonight) or some tasty Capital Q bar-b-que instead of the McDonald's drive through.

So if someone who really thinks hard about food (and has the means to avoid the temptation of value menus) has a difficult time staying on the right track, how do we expect those with less time, less will and less means to avoid the pitfalls? I don't at all mean that to sound condescending, and I fear it might. I just mean that the food choices I try to make aren't always a priority, or frankly an option, for everyone. As someone who works in health policy, I become more convinced every day that this question, and the tentacles of ancillary questions that come when you really start to think about it, is really at the core of fundamental reform. I know that is nothing new, I'm not making some profound statement here at Green Peccadilloes, but when you look at the societal cost of obesity and associated chronic diseases, it takes your breath away.

It shouldn't be hard. I will get off my soapbox now, because at the moment I have more questions than answers, but is a question worth exploring.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think you are coming off condescending. Just as an educated and conscious consumer with superb writing skills, of which I am eternally jealous! Having a baby that I am responsible for feeding has made me much more conscious about food and the ingredients. He had one chicken mcnugget and flipped out for about two hours. Now that I know butane is an ingredient in said mcnuggets, you can bet it will be a LONG time before any of us ingest one again!