Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend: In Defense of Food

This weekend I finished reading Michael Pollen's newest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. The book is packed full of good information on eating well, eating balanced, and the history of FDA regulations on "food" labels. One of the points that Pollan brings up in the book is that Americans don't enjoy or value food as much as people in other countries. He cites that American spend 10% of their monthly income on food (MI) while Italians (Spanish and French too) spend closer to 17% of their MI on food and are far healthier than we are. I spend about 15% of my MI on food. Now that made me feel better about my costly CSA box from J.R. Organics Farm.

Another tip from Pollan: when buying beef you want to look for pasture-finished, not just "grass-fed", as it means the cows were fed grass in the feed lot too. Since we saw the above picturesque cows-grazing-in-the-pasture last weekend coming back from the desert, it seemed like the perfect illustration for this post.

Check out Pollan's website for a good list of links. I particularly like the Eat Well Guide where you can put in your zip code to find nearby farmers' markets, co-ops, green caterers and restaurants. There are 14 farmers' markets within 10 miles of my house!

Now if I can only figure out what kind of eggs to buy: organic, free-range, vegetarian fed, or grain fed? At the moment I always go for organic. Here is an interesting article on storing, washing, and keeping eggs.

photo credit: TEB 03.22.09 near Julian, CA

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