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Thursday, March 25, 2010

A letter to Micheal Pollan,

 Dear Mr Micheal Pollan,
   I thought of you today as I sat in my car munching a snack with more ingredients than it should have. A snack that millions of American parents pack in their children's lunch boxes on a daily bases.A snack that is marketed as a healthy naturally flavored bar made with wholesome oats and nuts. I bought the snack as a treat, a mid- afternoon-slump-pick-me -up, I knew it was no good for me but it did give me some food for thought.
  Why did I think of you today? As I crunched and munched my way through the bar, I was thinking of your writings about food, ingredients, food sources and what to leave behind. I read the ingredients list and thought to myself , "What Would Micheal Pollan Think?" Yuck most likely.
    The very first thing on the list was Almonds, not bad, a healthy kind of fat.Did I find many? No. Next came high maltose corn syrup.Would my great grandparents know this as a food?No.The list went on and on with a total of 23 things of which every other was either some sort of sugar or some man made item that I really don't want to know what it truly is or how to pronounce it correctly.There were oats half way down but the yogurt made from powder probably nullified the oats by far.
  Where did I find this snack? At the check out counter right next to the magazines I no longer buy,that should have been a warning right there. Here I had been a mindful shopper sticking to the outer walls of the store where all of the fresh and good for you things are kept. Then, BAM- I am lead to my temptation at the check out.
    Maybe if I had been able to go to a Farmer's Market to buy what I needed I could have found a pick-me-up snack with a short list of ingredients all of which I could pronounce,know (for the most part) where the items came from and met the maker of my treat.But no, I went to the local super market that leaves me thinking I need some sort of reward for having gone there.  
    I do feel I have some redemption in this deed.I only bought and ate one of these chewy things.(Chewy,another tag that maybe there are too many things in something.) It was a treat after all not a food.
    I suppose I should have left the outer walls of the store and turned down just one aisle,The Candy Aisle. The aisle with the frazzled mothers bribing their whining kids with sugar. Down that hectic aisle I might have found a simple chocolate bar with only 11 ingredients and only 3 of which I am clueless about.
     Thank you for your unknowing reminder today and the thoughts it gave me.And by the way,my son's quote you when we shop together.I ask them "What do you want? This or That? "  "Mom! Would our great to the 4th power parents know those things as food?" Which is charming until I the tired Mother returns from work late and want to just make something so instant it is already done before I can blink looks into the cupboard and sighs.Oh yeah, I shop the outer walls at the store,looks like I am cooking after all.
  With best regards and warm wishes.
    Your Fan


  1. I just finished that book, so I know exactly where you are coming from. Trapped somewhere between reality and impossible standards most likely. Reading "Cooking for the Rushed: The Healthy family" around the same helped to bring some balance to Pollan's words. I would recommend it.

  2. Lisa, I try and find the balance and find I can mostly do it. Our eldest son and I have health issues so watching what we eat is important.I also know I have teenagers who EAT and eat else where.I figure if we eat well 90% of the time we are doing just fine.
    Our budget also dictates most of all.
    Thanks for stopping by.I'll have to look into the book you wrote of.