Tuesday, September 08, 2009

On the food front

I'm continuing my obsession with trying to eat better, and it's been challenging, but not impossible. I'm not worrying too much about produce for the moment. I'm buying most from the farmer's market, but have picked up bananas and avocados, which are obviously not local. The kids and the husband are giving me some grief about this whole project, but since I'm the one who buys and prepares the food around here, they're stuck with it. As I mentioned before, I've been pleasantly surprised by what I've been able to pick up at my local store. But there are still some things that are hard to find. Cereal, for example.

Last week, I bought the store's organic brand, which met all my real food criteria. Today the first morning anyone ate it, and no one likes it. I'm not really a cereal person, so if I have to forgo cereal, I'm good with that. But the kids and the hubby, they live on cereal. Almost all of it has crap in it, mostly sugar. Luckily, my kids have never been into sugary cereal. We have binged on occasion on Frosted Flakes, but literally, that's like once a year. I grew up on Sugar Corn Pops myself, but can't stand it now. It's like having dessert for breakfast. Bleh. So I broke down and bought Multigrain Cheerios, which happens to be their favorite and aside from some monoglycerides, have natural ingredients. (In case you're wondering, monoglycerides are emulsifiers commonly used in baked goods to add volume and smoothness.)

So I've added another rule to my list. We have to like it. The whole point is to enjoy eating, and by all accounts, it's healthier to enjoy what you're eating and to enjoy it in the company of others.

A rule Pollan mentions that I didn't bring up before is not to buy food with announcements about how healthy it is for you and most cereal has those: things like "made with whole grain" and "heart healthy." And now there are about to more such labels, according to this article (hat tip: Mike Smith at Change.org) The reason to ignore such claims on the front of packaging is that front of packaging labeling is not well regulated and the guidelines are set primarily by the food industry itself rather than a completely disinterested group of people. The food industry doesn't always have consumers' best health interests in mind. That Fruit Loops can get a "Smart Choice" label should tell you something.