Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheese or Twinkies?

I may have a problem with food.

I say this in particular because this morning I was madly searching my office for a cheese stick that I, in fact, had already eaten minutes before and have no recollection of.

Certainly, this is not as serious a problem as anorexia or bulimia, and I don't expect there to be a telethon for cheese amnesia anytime soon. Also, I'm calling dibs on "Cheese Amnesia" as an album title or a song name. It makes me think of how I fondly recall some things from the 80's until I actually see how bad they were.

But, back to the food thing. So I realize that while large portions of the world are undernourished because they don't have the sort of land that's conducive to farming, or don't have the resources to farm on the sort of scale that would actually feed the citizens, in America we tend to have the opposite problem with a similar result. We have so many food choices, and they are wildly stratified by price. What tends to happen is that inexpensive foods are consumed because we feel hungry, but the actual nourishment is a little secondary to price concerns. Who wants to go through the bother of cutting open an avocado - if it's even ripe enough to eat in the first place - if there are some perfectly formed Cheetos in that bag over there? Who wants to make a hummus wrap and take it to lunch if you can get tacos easily in the drive-through? Why would I want to have Lipton Brisk that tastes like instant tea instead of real tea?

Now if it's been shown that we're willing to forgo a lot of things to gain convenience, why hasn't someone made really healthy eating more convenient? Oh yeah - there's no money in it. The most important things that most people could do to improve their heath are quitting smoking, moderate exercise, and eating less. Not less butter, not less red meat, not less soda - just less anything. Figure out how many calories you normally have in a day, and pick a number a little less than that, and see if you're losing weight. Think I'm crazy? Check out Mark Haub's Twinkie Diet.

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