Just wanted to tell you all about a couple of blogs that I'm obsessed with right now. Reading through their archives is keeping me from finishing the books I desperately need to finish before they are due back to the library.
The first one is Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project. It is written by a public school teacher (I think middle school) who is annoymously documenting the lunch kids are being served everyday for the entire school year. It's really interesting and disturbing. There are also lots of guest blogs from all kinds of people -- other teachers, teachers in other countries (the guest bloggers from France and Japan are fascinating! Such a contrast with the US), other people who have anything to do with food service or moms trying to change food served in their own kids' schools. Apparently, she's pretty internet-famous! And she even got a call from Jamie Oliver himself, who just wanted to chat!
The other is Dissertation to Dirt "The story of a former PhD-track graduate student and her new fiancee, Travis, who decided to leave behind an emergent life in Boston to pursue a career in organic farming."
Go check them out! I have a few more to share, but I want to get back to reading. :)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Have I mentioned how much I love Michael Pollan? He is so fantastic. I just read his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. The book is about this: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
I've been trying to write a summary of the book now for an hour and I'm failing miserably to communicate anything. So I'll just quote from the book cover. :)
"...most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we're consuming it --in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone--is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible foodlike substances"--no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be our first clue they are anything but healthy. In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion. The result is what Michael Pollan called the American paradox: the more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become.
But if real food--the sort of food our great grandmothers would recognize as food--stands in need of defense, from whom does it need defending? From the food industry on one side and nutritional science on the other. Both stand to gain much from widespread confusion about what to eat, a question that for most of human history people have been able to answer without expert help. Yet the professionalization of eating has failed to make Americans healthier. Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals."
I especially like his rules for eating. They include...
Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food
Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c) more than 5 in number, or that include d) high-fructose corn syrup
Get out of the supermarket whenever possible
You are what you eat eats too
Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism
Pay more, eat less
Do all your eating at a table
Try not to eat alone
Go read this book! And also, if you haven't already, you can read a ton of articles Michael Pollan has written for The New York Times on his website HERE. He is my my favorite!!
Monday, May 3, 2010
Holy crap April went by fast! Did it for you, too? May just totally snuck up on me and I'm actually kind of disappointed -- there are so many other things I wanted to do for this blog during April! I'll just have to keep it going so I can get to everything. :)
So, I feel like my challenge to cut out processed/industrialized foods and only eat from-scratch food for the month of April was a complete success. True, there were a few instances where I was in a position in which I didn't have many choices and a couple times where I chose to sort of cheat. But overall, I'm very happy and feel like I'm in such a great space mentally and physically.
In order to be 100% honest, here's a list of my cheats:
2-3 Chipotle meals (traveling)
2 In-n-Out meals (also travel)
2 meals at weddings
2 meals at LA Farmer's Market
2 meals in Sequoia Nat'l Park
prepared chicken salad and rolls from Whole Foods
What I'm most proud of is making meals ahead of time to take on the road with us. I believe there were about 6 times where I made sandwiches and fruit to bring along to eat while traveling in the car or to eat as a picnic after getting some place. It was fantastic! Cheaper in some instances, and WAY better quality in all instances! We will continue doing this for sure when at all possible.
I learned to make my own tortillas (and can't ever go back to store-bought), have nearly perfected my yogurt making method, discovered an excellent pizza dough recipe, my butter making skillz are killer, we wasted much less food, and I learned to be even more organized in my meal planning and preparation, along with eating with pure enjoyment.
These photos are of yet another Jamie Oliver recipe, that I mentioned once before. This is the Shrimp and Avocado with an Old-School Marie Rose Sauce (his dishes always have these long names. :) I had no idea if we would like it or not, but we all ended up loving it. Very tasty. Can't wait to make it again, in fact!
So anyway, I hope everyone had a successful April and is inspired to continue eating well. I will keep on with my research and I'll share what I learn in case you want to continue on this journey with me! Coming up also are a couple more tutorials and lots more recipes. Thanks for visiting!
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Oh bliss. This Classic Tomato Spaghetti was another perfect Jamie Oliver recipe. If you haven't bought this cookbook yet, go get it asap. Truly, everything I have made from this book has been incredible. I'm in love. It's all my favorite food to make and to eat.
And now it's May! My challenge is officially over. I'm working on a post recapping the month -- my trials and triumphs -- so watch for that coming soon!