August 7, 2012

Deciding Food: Discuss.

Most days, I bring my lunch to work for three reasons:

  • It's cost-effective.
  • It's healthy. 
  • It allows me to make the kind of food decisions I have grown accustomed to: sustainable, organic, local, and ethical. 
Food is such a complex thing. For me, at least, it's not just about, "What am I hungry for?" Oh, were it that easy. Instead, I scrutinize it: will this meal be vegetarian? Locally sourced? Free of pesticides? If there is fish or meat involved, is it sustainably harvested and carefully processed by trusted companies? Is the dairy free of hormones, is the fat vegetarian and free of trans fats, does it lack all the other additives I want to keep out of my body—high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, etc.

My list goes on and on. 

I know it's unreasonable to eat like this 100 percent of the time. I make provisions when traveling, for instance, or for meals out with friends and family. But every meal, I think about the food decisions I'm making. 

I surely drive my family crazy with my obsessive food antics. Coworkers shook their fingers at me when I used the preservative-laden fake butter on my tortillas at a recent outing. Friends know better than to invite me for a meal without going over the menu. 

I feel that food is such an important part of my daily life that I'm happy to take the time to scrutinize my fuel. It's important for me, and I know that my decisions have an impact on my community. 

Which makes me wonder—do you do this too? How important are these factors to your everyday habits?


Lest you think this came out of nowhere...

This post began as a thought when I stepped out to pick up a salad at Chipotle today. It comes after an insightful discussion I had regarding diminishing resources for our food supply, and thoughts of going back to full vegetarianism for that reason. And, I bring it up as I watch the world's most elite athletes compete in the Olympics, realizing that while I may not ever be an Olympian... I can choose to make the best possible decisions for my diet and my health!

So, that's all.


Beth said...

It's a constant struggle for me as well! It's hard too because we are at other folks homes for meals so frequently, and honestly sometimes I just get so totally wiped out that I don't have the clarity of thought to make the best decisions. It's such a tension, doing what's best, isn't it?

Claire Jain said...

It's not just you. All of these thoughts are always floating around my head. It makes for tricky meals at home since I have to use the raw ingredients to make something Aman will recognize as a meal and not just snacks ;-) I like reading about what you cook more than actually cooking myself. Surprisingly, it does make for easier trips to the grocery store. There's so much stuff we'd never eat from HEB, we just zero in on the few areas where they keep what makes our list.