I have a love hate relationship with the internet, I am sure in this I am not alone. It is both mesmerizing and nauseating in it’s power over us. Here we stand with the world at our fingertips and what do we choose to click and share… how to contour our face to look like a completely different person, badly photoshopped thigh gaps, Donald Trump!? I too am guilty of falling prey to clickbait, but only between my extensive research on the bermuda triangle and how aliens built the pyramids… of course.
I am deeply concerned with all of the aforementioned topics, but mostly I am concerned by dangerously misleading information passed around as cold hard facts by many in the food/diet/health media. This time of year in particular is prime season for a brand new magic bullet, ancient secret, miracle food or toxic chemical to pop up in my newsfeed. Most of this is propaganda and fluff, and no Sir.. I do not like it.
Now comes the bit where I fully disclose to you kind folks that I am in no way a professional anything and these are just my humble opinions. Acquiring knowledge from an article, or thousands of articles, plus several award winning documentaries and best selling books on any topic does not make me or you or #foodgirl an expert. Be wary folks, be very wary. Ask questions, require facts and always consider the source of this newfound information of the utmost importance. By all means please remain wonderfully curious and open minded, but proceed with the same amount of caution as you would grant say, an iced over pond.
The lines have been blurred, purposely so, by those who might financially benefit from your concern. I am not immune to it. I have been through the cycle of read>panic>purchase. I have ionized and alkalized myself, fasted, feasted and essentially oiled my aura. Eventually the fog clears and I regain control over my impulses and reevaluate my new found voodoo. It’s not all bad, some voodoo I rather like. I will treat myself to magic balms and green drinks as I please. It’s fine to do so and you should, by all means, do what works for you. But please don’t look for magic in a pill or a diet. Magic can be found in sleeping puppies, calm lakes, and Middle Earth, but not kale. I would only ask that on every third waxing moon we all gather in our best yoga gear and sit round circle criss cross applesauce and collectively call upon that tried and true ancient wisdom known as… common sense… and science, also science.
I am often asked, being in the food industry and all, for my opinion on diet. Am I vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic, paleo, gluten free, mono mealing, macrobiotic? Yes, sure all of the above and then some. In fact I would challenge you to find something edible that I would not like to eat, let’s call it research. I know, many of the diets I have mentioned are exclusive rather than inclusive, and that’s fine… very responsible and necessary in some medical instances. All fancy monikers and rules aside, diets are just slang for “what I am choosing to put in my mouth”… so let’s start there.
What should I put in my mouth? All jokes aside… this doesn’t seem like it should be such a hard question right? And there are some very common sense type thoughts that you should have when evaluating all potential “food” whether it be plant, animal or gluten. As a parent of young children I find myself answering this question often. My child will walk up to me chewing a mysterious object and I will be obliged to investigate. Firstly, I will determine if the object is indeed food. Oh it’s a raisin, I think, good good. But where did the raisin come from? Did you find it under the couch? How did it get there? Was it stuck to the bottom of a shoe that was taken off while sitting on the couch dislodging said raisin in the process? Where did the shoe take the raisin before it was dislodged? What contaminants has the raisin potentially become exposed to?! You can see how easily things can escalate.
Take this example and apply it to your food sources. My philosophy has always been the fewer hands handling my food the better. It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense. Simply put, always buy from the source when possible. If you can buy your produce from the farmer whose hands planted the seed, the bread from the baker whose hands kneaded the dough and the chicken from the same hands that raised the chick… why wouldn’t you? Know your source and you will know what you are truly eating. When food travels or is processed by many hands it leaves lots of room for human error. Sure we can all screw up, but at least if Ralph the radish farmer screws up I know where to find him.
This is an ideal, but one I think we should start demanding along with better quality products and resources. We have gone down the slippery slope of cheaper and faster to questionable results. I for one will strive for a better future while occasionally enjoying a fast and cheap burger, I am not pulling any punches here. And that’s ok, all journeys start with a single step and we need to encourage and promote… not vilify and ostracize. Can we all agree to stop telling each other that this food is “junk” and that food is “clean”? Do I sound like a hypocrite? Good, we are all guilty of hypocrisy. No diet is the superior, no one is “dirty” or “clean” and people are limited by very real things such as resources and money. Having a choice is a privilege so if you do please don’t judge. Use that choice instead to enact change by demanding better resources and higher standards so those without a vote might also benefit. We vote with our dollars and our actions, slowly but surely those votes are being tallied by the powers that be. They don’t listen to much but they do count their “votes”.
Now that I have said my piece, you should also note that I myself am trying to sell you things. You should probably research me and all my vendors. Before you do I just want you to know that I was once considered to be “young and reckless”. I’d rather you hear it from me first.
the Soup Chic