After years of learning about food in a mildly obsessive manner, I decided to finally do the cliché thing and start a blog about food. I hope it’s entertaining.
Why do I care so much about food?
First, I love eating…. I love the variety and creativity and surprise that comes with the amazing diversity of foods that people can eat. I love cooking, too. I view it as a creative opportunity and a way to please other people with my work.
I came to care about the health effects of food in high school when I first wanted to lose weight and become a better runner. I succeeded, but was still perplexed by the quickly-changing and often contradictory nutrition advice spewed out by the government, doctors, fitness experts, and others. I read a lot of articles in the newspaper and in Shape Magazine about what food is “good for you,” but I still felt like I only had a foggy idea that included lots of vegetables, whole grains and little fat. Outside those mainstream sources of information, more diet and lifestyle plans abound. Those I find the most convincing all emphasize food “without a trademark” — we’re talking fresh meat, fresh vegetables, whole milk with no added sugar, etc. — but there is so much more diversity within those lines of thought. We’ll get into that!
Another reason I pay attention to food is that over my teen years I developed persistent IBS symptoms, a health limitation I hope to live without one day. From doctors I have not gotten much more help than an anti-constipation drug (as if the only problem I have is “I poop bad”) and advice to be less stressed (important, but not the cause either). I want to believe I can figure out a way to be healthier. We’ll see how that goes!
Finally, I’ve developed an interest in food production itself out of a concern for animal welfare and ecological health. I don’t take nature for granted. I’m obsessed with goats. Discovering baby ducklings, a strange new flower, or a radiant sky is often the highlight of my day. Food production depends entirely natural resources, so we must protect them for our survival; however, it’s even better to treat nature with honor. As with every other public issue, there is lots of disagreement about what is the best way to care for the environment while producing plenty of nutritious food. Veganism and vegetarianism, pastured animal husbandry, and organic agriculture are examples of diets that promise both health and environmental protection. I would like to explore those claims.
Questions I have for those interested: How should we make decisions about food? And who should we trust for the correct information? How can we become a healthier society?
In the next post I will summarize the sources of information that have influenced my thinking on food the most. Feel free to share your favorite books as well! I’m always looking for good ones.