October 8, 2009

Good Eats

I admit that I haven't read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food yet, but it's moving to the top of my list this week as I contemplate about the food I consume. Timothy Egan's recent column sparked my thought on the level of artificial elements I put into my body. His diatribe is rich with references to local farms near his home in Washington state that make me yearn to live in the country once more. While it's great that he lives so close to such plentiful and pure food sources, what do the rest of us do who a) live in the city where fresh produce unadulterated by a profusion of pesticides is hard to come by and b) are on a meager budget brought forth by these uncertain times in which we live?

One solution is to have a produce box full of locally-grown foods delivered to your home. I have been thinking of splitting one of those produce boxes from Boston Organics with my roommate, Emily. I try to hit up the local farmer's markets whenever I can, but surprise, colder weather has arrived in Boston and many of those markets are now closed for the season. I do want to make a greater effort to be more thoughtful about the food I purchase versus grabbing the nearest bunch of spinach. Sometimes it easier to laugh off things like pesticides and artificial ingredients because they are invisible and the food tastes so good (Poptarts, anyone?). However, I worry that all these chemicals will one day manifest themselves in health concerns for me and my as-yet unborn children.

Egan is right: there is nothing so nutritious and delicious as a naturally grown apple freshly picked from the tree and it is my hope. Many of famous chefs like Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, and Jamie Oliver support fine cooking with organically-grown produce. Organic food should be mainstream and not connote the cuisine of the affluent, upper class. I want to be more responsible about my eating habits and continue the dialogue on healthy eating. My dear friend Stefanie just started a wonderful food blog, A Journey Through Food, that chronicles her experiences with healthy cooking. Also, I enjoy reading Cait's Plate, which always provides such interesting, healthy meal choices. Check them out for some yummy, good-for-you dining ideas!

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