I feel like this is an appropriate post to come on the heels of my gluten free update, because obviously I’m so much more aware of the food that I’m putting into my body.
Browsing through my latest addiction, Pinterest, can be fascinating. However, there are times when I’m left shaking my head as well.
We’re starting to foster this strange, awkward relationship with our food, especially through sites like Pinterest. You’re able to browse thousands of recipes at a time, and the visuals are stunning, but there have been times where I click through to the ingredients/steps and raise an eyebrow at what I’m being told to do. Then there are the “weight loss tips and tricks!” interspersed throughout the listings. Huh.
From what I’ve seen, we’re becoming obsessed with “low-cal” or “low-carb” or “low-something” alternatives for recipes that are meant to be rich and tasty.
And I don’t mean to say that this is entirely a bad thing. For some, dietary restrictions are a necessary evil (and having recently joined those ranks, I can empathize with people who need to search for things without wheat/carbs/breading). But there comes a point when rational thought and moderation needs to take over, too.
We don’t need to cleanse the world of the things that we believe are causing us harm, especially if those things are whole, real foods. Eggs are not the cholesterol killers, cream is not going to go straight to your hips, and butter is freaking delicious — don’t kid yourself. Somehow we’ve ended up on this crusade to cleanse the world of things that are fattening or “bad” for us…but they’ve become “bad” for us through excessive consumption. Anything consumed in excess has the capacity to be “bad,” including water. Seriously!
My point is that we don’t need to alter every recipe for things like potato soup, pizza, cookies, etc. with low-fat/low-carb options to ensure that we can eat more of those things guilt-free. Why not make the food the way it is supposed to be made, and then eat less of it?
I really don’t mean to sound like a snarky asshole here, but I’m trying to make the point that we’re starting to miss the whole point of food and eating. And as someone who really enjoys food again, this is sad to see! And I’ve totally been guilty of it as well, for the record.
Instead of worrying about the fat/carb content, why don’t we go for a walk after eating a healthy portion of a meal prepared with full ingredients? Adding processed “light” anything (like dressings, mayo, etc) may make you feel better about the food you’re eating or ingredients you’re using, but you’re also adding unnecessary chemicals and refining processes into the food chain to get that “light” status ingredient (which probably isn’t all that much better for you).
Bits of trivia for you: French sauces are often high in calories and fats because they are so thick; this is because they were originally created as a way to keep food warm. The palaces for royals were so big, and so drafty, that food would often go cold after leaving the kitchen and before it could hit the dining room table. Thus, delicious, thick and creamy sauces were born as a way to insulate the food and add flavour.
There are other examples, but I cannot find sources that allude to what I’ve heard/read (and can’t remember where I heard or read them of course, hah) so I won’t include them here. But suffice to say, looking at the history of food it’s easy to see that it used to serve a purpose, instead of being strictly for gustatory pleasure. Mayonnaise, apparently, was used by the Romans to disguise the taste of foods that were icky or past their prime.
And you know what? Food should be food! And, more accurately, food should be the fuel that allows you to do the things you want to do in your day. So let’s stop stressing about the things we think are bad for us, and get some common sense back into the equation, yes?