Friday, July 16, 2010

Pharmacies and health....or not.

Today is the day the weekly fliers come in for the local stores, so I took a look. Rite-Aid usually sends one, and this week was no exception. The first item I notice for sale? Soda. Chips were another choice item.

Now don't get me wrong, I love soda, though I make sure my sodas are free of high fructose corn syrup, but I have no illusions that even those are healthy for me. They are a treat, and that's that. And I won't deny that I've bought chips from a pharmacy before, as a quick snack when starving. But again, I know damn well they are not health food.

Why do pharmacies sell "food" in the first place? All of it is junky, heavily processed crap that will certainly send those who eat that often to the doctor for RXs for cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.

Maybe that's the point. Sigh.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Farmer's Market haul

So I guess I wasn't clear enough in my last post, so let me say it this way. If I am given the choice between two local farmers, one conventional and one organic/traditional, I'll go with the latter. If I have to choose between local conventional and big organic corprorate agri, I'll still choose local and just make sure I wash the produce well.

But anyway, I went to the Natick Farmer's Market for a quick spin, and I picked up 2 smoked marinated chicken breasts (all I had to do was heat them, or not...they taste good cold), 1 lb ground grass fed beef, 4 ears of corn, 1 dozen duck eggs, 1 lb potatoes, 1/2 lb chive fromage blanc, 2 heads of broccoli, and a head of red leaf lettuce. Since my CSA pickup is tomorrow, I didn't want to go overboard. Next Saturday I can fill in the blanks easier.

I was amused by the cheese lady (from whom I got the fromage blanc). Apparently she loved my suggestion to her earlier this year that she try the chive fromage with scrambled eggs, and now tells everyone about it. And since we are experimenting with duck eggs this week, she wants to know how I feel about them next time I see her.

And duck eggs! Bigger, fattier, and with more omega-3s than chicken eggs, duck eggs are pretty darn tasty and give more bang for the buck, which is good because they are not cheap! Honestly, I can't tell the difference taste-wise between them and pastured chicken eggs, so I'm very pleased.

I'm updating while my little girl is sleeping off a tummy bug, poor girl, so I should go. Be back soon!

Friday, July 9, 2010

CSAs and Farmer's Markets, oh my!

Tomorrow I'm hoping to hit the Natick Farmers Market; I haven't been in 3 weeks, so it'll be a nice change! Thankfully, I also have a Every Other Week Share from Tangierini's Spring Street Farm, and besides veggies, I can get my eggs, fish, and meat there also! It's one stop shopping! The fish deal is pretty cool. I'm considering signing up for their CSF--Community Supported Fish-next year, but I was wary because I didn't know if we could eat all of the fish fast enough for Evan's taste. But they also have a fishmonger who comes twice a week with his wares, so I can get whatever I need for dinner. I did however sign up for their Winter Share, mostly root vegetables and whatever they grow in their greenhouse.

It's nice having a steady supply of vegetables already taken care of, and I appreciate that they are both local and organic. There's this supposed debate about local vs. organic, and every time see something about it, I keep thinking, why not both? I appreciate that food nutrition deteriorates over time, so the closer the better, but I'd still rather not have weird chemical sprays on my food, thank you very much.

But between my two sources, my food comes from closer by, the quality is far better, and I think my food expenses overall are lower. That may have to be a project, though, to track my food expenses and see how it compares to my usual shopping trip to Whole Foods/Trader Joe's. Hmmm, a subject for another post...

and if you're wondering how to find a CSA near you, check out

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More on being an ethical omnivore

Two posts in one day! This probably won't happen very often, but I figure since I'm just starting out that I might as well be productive. Besides, it's too hot to do much else right now.

So why am I an omnivore? If I hate factory-farming, then why do I not just become a vegetarian and be done with it already? For awhile, my husband and I were headed in that direction, although we never did complete the switch, and now we're headed back.

Here are two of those reasons.

1. Animals can be herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores; their diet is based on their physiology and they eat what their instincts tell them to eat. Unless of course, stupid humans force them to eat things they shouldn't, and then their health suffers. whit, human physiology is built to be omnivorous, and I personally believe it's better to eat accordingly on a physiological level.

2. Killing animals for food does not bother me, so much as how it's done. The path of least suffering is best. Not that animals even have those scruples. Ever watch a cat play with its prey before it kills and eats it? Besides, we have to essentially kill plants before we eat those, too. Why should plants be sacrificed before animals? In my personal cosmology, I think we're all the same, and when humans are killed by animals or poisonous plants, it's simply Nature doing Her thing.

So where do my ethics come in here? As I said, I don't want to eat factory-farmed grain-fed livestock slaughtered Goddess-knows-where. I make informed choices about where my meat, eggs, and dairy come from. I'm not perfect about it, but I'm working to get better. I want my chickens to be able to have a happy life, poking and scratching about for worms and grubs. I want cows to live out in the pasture, eating as much grass as they need. I don't want animals injected with growth hormones or antibiotics (unless they're sick and they need it therepeutically), nor do I want them force-fed corn and other grains they can't digest well, and DEFINITELY NOT weird animal by-products and waste. I truly believe that the meat, eggs, and dairy taste better when the animals were treated better in life, and they're better for us health-wise also.

Here are a few few websites I like in this vein:


I had an old blog on LiveJournal, but honestly, it seemed to have no purpose other than vent my rantings and ravings about my life. I haven't posted to that blog in over a year. So after much thought, I decided to create a new food blog because food has become my passion lately.

This won't just be a recipe blog, though I'll have recipes on here. Nor will it be a restaurant blog, though I do enjoy eating out and I'll probably write about some of those experiences. I really want this blog to mostly be about mindful eating, and what issues are involved. I want this blog to invite debate because even if I hold a certain viewpoint, I want to be challenged if I don't have all the information! So please, disagree with me! But back up that dsagreement with information.

To start, I'd like to subdivide mindful eating into three categories: self-responsibility, social responsibility, and environmental responsiblity. They should be fairly self-explanatory, but just in case:

Self-Responsibility: I truly believe that the old adage "You are what you eat" is true. Our health depends on how we nourish our bodies, so clearly, if we don't eat well, our bodies suffer more for it. Now, of course, there are many conflicting ideas on how best to nourish the body, and I do believe that different people have different needs on a physiological level. But basically eating garbage doesn't do anyone any favors, so if we want want to take real control of our health, we need to cut out the garbage. I'll explore garbage vs. real food in later posts.

Social Responsbility: Farmers work hard, and should be compensated fairly in return. Large corporations that employ farmers, however, tend to bully farmers into lousy practices and pay them pittances. This kind of business model serves no one well except for the corporations, and buying from them only makes the situation worse. I hope to explore this topic further with alternatives.

Environmental Responsibility: What kinds of food sources are best for the environment? Local? organic? What is sustainable and what isn't? And why should we care?

Now, who am I to write about food, anyway? What is my background? I'm not a farmer; in fact, I'm lucky that I can keep my bamboo and aloe plants alive. I've been overweight for years and have been trying to figure out the best way to control it. I have hypothyroidism, diagnosed about 6 months after my beautiful daughter was born. But I want CHANGE. I love food, but I want my food to be good not only for me, but to have come through good sources. I want my body to become the healthiest it has ever been, but not through food gotten through ill sources. And I want to pass this legacy on to my daughter.

I will warn my readers that I consider myself an ethical omnivore. I eat meat. I love eating meat, and don't plan to stop any time soon. But I seek out meat that comes from well-treated animals that eat properly as often as I possibly can. Factory-farmed meat doesn't do anyone favors. But I honestly believe that we need animal protein and fats in our diets for optimal health; I know many will disagree with me, and I look forward to that debate! Don't worry, folks, I love my veggies too!

Okay, that's all for now. More posts to come soon. I hope you enjoy this blog, and I look forward to insightful commentary. Let the fun begin!