Filed under: Food + Health
I couldn’t have felt any more a hypocrite.
I’m here at the library, having just read an enlightening article about the unknown and artificial origins of Twinkies, excited about writing a post about my frustration with processed foods…and I’m eating Hamburger Helper.
No joke. Hamburger Helper. Cheeseburger Macaroni to be exact.
I grew up in a household that prohibited Kool-Aid, Twinkies, and Bologna because of its obvious artificiality. And yet Pop-Tarts, hot dogs, and frozen dinners received asylum in our kitchen. Oblivious to the contents of the latter processed foods, we were victims of a society that popularized and even glorified its convenience as well as our own desires for a more efficient lifestyle.
Why bake pastries or make dinners when they came in prepared portions ready to microwave? Why care about the fact that reading the ingredients in my lunch made me feel like I was reading a chemistry textbook?
I’ll admit, there are times where I don’t care. Where the threat of eating mono-this and hydrogenated-that becomes overshadowed by the sweetness of a Twix. And yet, there are more moments where simply knowing that my dinner was homemade with fresh, untainted ingredients trumps any thought of eating Easy Mac. It all comes down to knowledge.
It is important that we think and learn about the artificial contents of what we eat, as well as the origins of those ingredients that seem so natural. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (by Barbara Kingsolver) touches upon the unfortunate fact that most Americans have no idea where their food comes from. Do peanuts grow in a tree? What does an aspargus plant look like?
In order to combat smoking, ads are produced, PSAs are made, articles are written to reveal the harmful contents of cigarettes. We say obseity is an epidemic, that the threat of toxic foods are on the rise, and yet most of the public remains ignorant of their food.
We couldn’t be more intimate with anything else. We physically take our food into our body, absorbing it and allowing it to be part of who we are. Isn’t it about time we give it our attention, for our own sakes?
image from cartoonpress.com
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