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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Omnivore's Dilemma

You haven't read the omnivore's dilemma until you have read The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.  See, I have done a nice bit of research into foods and I try hard to eat (and often fail at eating) sustainable food and properly raised meat, vegetables, and other goodies.  I have seen the documentaries on food sustainability and I am aware of genetically modified food, engineered meats, and the lack of truly "organic-ness" in our "organic" markets.  But I was still deeply affected by Pollan's book.

I needed another reminder that everything I eat is corn.  I am a sucker for corn, mostly because I am the product of my environment.  Bless my mother, she was into the organic movement in the 1980's long before anyone thought it was remotely cool, and I am so thankful to her for instilling these values in my life and my diet.  She raised me to be aware of my food and the chemicals that I put in my body.  But I can't get away from corn.  It's everywhere--my yogurt (what do you think the cow ate?), my bagel in the morning (what do you think serve as the grains...and not to mention the butter from the previously mentioned cow?), and even my "healthy" salad dressing (high fructose corn syrup, anyone?).

I do what I can--I have my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that I pick up weekly.  I try to do as much shopping at the farmer's market on Sundays as possible, and I pay attention to my labels at the grocery.  But it's not enough, because I have no choice but to deal with corn being the center of my world.  And do you know what that means?  It's the center of yours too.  Sorry to be Debbie Downer.

The biggest effect I on me was the economic and environmental impact these farming practices are having on us.  I am not going to the extreme of veganism, but I am far more conscious now of what I am bringing into my home and what I am putting in my mouth.  I am also more conscious of what is going in to my cat's mouth as well; what he eats will have a huge effect on his health--and my wallet.  It makes a difference--in my health, mentally and physically, and just my overall well-being.

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