Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Search for Nourishment in These Times

Earlier this week, my favorite source for midday news had a guest described as a "renowned" nutritionist. Under the skeptical gaze of the health reporter, the guest proceeded to show how products from her company (a major multinational target of several boycotts) could feed a family on a budget. Well, the food may have been inexpensive, but is giving a child what amounts to a milkshake for breakfast (an instant mix with milk product loaded with sugar) and a banana (one of the higher glycemic fruits) really going to be that much cheaper than a slice or two of toast with a tablespoon of nut butter (almond or cashew, natural)? How sound is it to let a kid drink a lot of juice (high in sugar) while munching on trail mix made from marshmallows and chocolate covered raisins?
It bugged me to no end. I sent an email to the station, and received a standard auto-response.
It bugs me to no end, too, that so much of what passes for food has heavily subsidized ingredients with no redeeming nutritive value or potential for creating allergetic responses. Corn syrup, sugar and its cousins, various forms of gluten, oy. Many times they find their way into processed foods just because they're there.
It is hard to cook, even though for some freaks like me, it is a great source of pleasure. I have days when it's challenging to get dinner on the table for my little family (me, spouse and dog on homemade food due to age-related digestive issues). I don't even want to think about the lives of other women with children and out-of-the-home jobs.
What helps? I plan leftovers. We have an electric indoor rotisserie/grill, and once the chicken gets trussed and spinning, I'm free for a couple of hours. I do a legume dish at least once a week. All three of us munch veggies. We do the bulk of our shopping on a ten day to two week cycle at an employee owned regional chain.
What we don't do: coupons. I've started to look on line for those lovely little nuggets from healthy food manufacturers. I'm open to suggestions on where you get them.
Some people feel eating healthy is too expensive. With some careful planning, it can be pulled off economically. Consider this: how much does bypass surgery run in your area? And what is the look on the vet's face worth when you tell her that your dog's favorite treat is cauliflower?

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