Fool Me Once A turn of the calendar page indicates April Fools Day is near. But many of us have been fools all along, duped into believing that all grocery store items provide sustenance.
Fooled for a long time, I trusted government agencies and legislators. If they allowed processed ingredients, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, herbicides and pesticides into our food, they must be safe, right? Well actually, I hadn’t given it much thought. But, when a devastating illness forced me to become more aware of what I was eating, I learned that food produced from “ingredients” and “packaged” in a bag or box was really not so good for me.
noun: a person who is duped; a person who acts unwisely or imprudently.
verb: to trick or deceive someone; dupe them.
I understand how easy it is to be fooled when I don’t have the information to know better. I also understand how I become foolish when I do have the information to know better but don’t — a classic case of acting unwisely.
Thankfully, the truth is more readily available today about what’s marketed loosely as “food.” Still, many don’t have an interest or take time to investigate as evidenced by numerous fast food chains, and shopping carts overflowing with junk food, and potential “meals” like frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Really?) or microwavable pancakes and sausage “on a stick.” (No wonder we have a health care crisis when we don’t care about ourselves or what and how we eat.)
noun: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.
Don’t Fool Me Twice
That bag of potato chips or cheese curls is not life giving. Becoming addicted, our cravings ignore the label of artificial ingredients — at least, perhaps, until we feel really sick.
Author and health activist Bri Maya Tiwari introduced me to the unseen benefits of preparing my own food — like the energy I place into it by hand chopping or slicing rather than tossing it in a food “processor.” Her book, The Path of Practice – A Woman’s Book of Healing with Food, Breath, and Sound made food prep a meditative activity for me, and my kitchen a more sacred space.
You can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time…
A few years later, a vegan friend educated me on the horrors of factory farming and Monsanto’s blatant denial of poisoning our earth, food, and people. I knew schools had soda and candy vending machines, and that lobbyists ensured potatoes would be included in school diets. What I didn’t know, that Michael Pollan exposed in his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemna: A Natural History of Four Meals, is that, among other shocking details, caustic sprays poison workers in potato fields. (How can we let this happen?)
The Pesticide Data Program of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that any of these residues may be found on potatoes:
Suspected hormone disruptors
Known or probable carcinogens
Developmental or reproductive toxins
How long will we be convinced that ingesting contaminated potatoes won’t harm our bodies? Still craving those french fries?
“It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.” – Cicero
Listing the overwhelming number of toxicants allowed in our food chain might make you too afraid to eat much of anything. That is not my intent, nor is it to fool you into thinking I eat perfectly healthy all the time.
Becoming more mindful of what I consume is a beginning. Making one conscious choice is one healthier step than foolishly pretending unnatural, chemically-treated foodstuffs won’t harm me. Hearing the increasing cases of cancer and allergies – even in the youngest of children, I can’t ignore the information I’ve uncovered. I simply have to value my self enough to follow it and not be fooled on April 1st — or any other day for that matter.
Thoughts for Food
Being present with my food, activities and the people in my life makes a huge difference in the energy I extend to the world and in my health.
What are your experiences with food? Has your grocery shopping or food prep changed over time? I’d love to hear what books influenced your eating selections or habits. Please do share!
Feature photo original image by Momentmal from Pixabay
If you don’t start your own vegetable plants — like I usually forget to do in March, you’re probably like me and purchasing starter plants from a local greenhouse. The problem I always run in to — especially for cherry tomatoes and peppers, is they’re usually packaged four to six plants to a flat which is way more than I need. Luckily, another customer felt the same so I happily gave half of them away right at the checkout this year. Still, I ended up with too many, particularly when a few plants returned on their own. (I never have the heart to rip out and discard these orphans.)
But, I do toss tomatoes that split on the vine which turned out to be about a third of the crop this year. After giving plenty away, making some tasty bruschetta, salads, and popping into the juicer for some added Lycopene, I’ve frozen several bags for when I’m puttering in the kitchen on a cool autumn Sunday.
This week I added some of those fresh tomatoes and red bell peppers to a meatless version of a southwestern pie that I make this time of year:
cherry tomatoes, black beans, char-grilled sweetcorn off the cob, cilantro, onion, green chiles, red bell pepper, green onions…
grated Mexican cheese blend on top for last 15 minutes in oven
cooked southwestern pie
avocado/cilantro yogurt condiment
bite of southwestern pie tastes great with salsa too
Have fun with the ingredients. Try it for dinner tonight and let me know how you like it.
If you’re wondering about aspergrass see my recent post “Did you say Aspergrass?” Since my asparagus is still producing and I’ve wanted to try some new recipes, the Asparagus and Cheese Tart starred brunch today. After making some slight adjustments to suit my taste (noted below) this recipe is a fave:
I grilled some of the asparagus (as depicted in the photo) then blanched the rest according to the recipe. I also:
Increased the lemon zest from 1/2 tsp. to 3/4-1 tsp.
Increased the shallot from 1 tbl to 1 whole shallot
Used 3/4 cup each of shredded fontina and gruyere cheeses
Reduced the extra-virgin olive oil to 1 tsp.
For an interesting dimension, put 1 drop of carmelized balsamic on a bite at eating time.
If you love asparagus, try this recipe and let me know if it’s made it’s way to your favorites too!
Brunch consisted of herbal ice tea, the asparagus tart, fresh greens from the garden with lemon olive oil and kosher salt, (homegrown tomatoes are not ready yet), and uncured bacon. Yes, I am still a carnivore.