Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Food Beliefs

Michael Pollan outlined his Rules to Eat By in the NYT, then he asked for reader input on their food rules to which I responded as well. He posted his top 20 favorite food rules. Well, in my comment I stated that I don't really believe in rules, I am one of those rules need to be applied not obeyed and rules can always be broken kind of person, don't get me going on Cheney and Bush and their application of that belief...

SO instead of my top 20 food rules, I thought I would make a list since I love lists, of my top 20 food beliefs...

1. Butter is not bad for you. There is a reason French Techniques were the basis of American cooking for a long time and the reason French food tastes good. (Thank you Peter Kump wherever you are up there!) I really love Farmer's summer butter from the GCM.

2. I don't believe in "Supermarkets" but I believe in "Super Farmers".

3. A triple shot of Tinygreens wheat grass every week is one of the best things I can do to keep myself healthy, I truly think WG is a miracle substance(but yes, the taste takes getting used to!!!!!) For first timers, a cider chaser helps!!!

4. I always try to buy as high quality ingredients as my pocketbook allows and mostly from the GCM or MCA markets. Then I don't have to be a good cook, the ingredients will speak for themselves.

5. I stay on an even keel mentally if I have a daily helping of spinach or arugula, I just feel so much better, I notice a difference the next day.

6. I avoid rice at all costs, except Carrie Nahabedian's risotto. I am just not a rice person.

7. I avoid thick slabs of red meat, and most steak houses although who doesn't love Gibson's and the people who run it?

8. However, I accept that I need to eat meat every now and then, when I do I try to know where it came from.

9. I would rather spend $40 at a restaurant that I know sources from local farmers and is focused on sustainable ingredients than pay $30 because it is cheaper. Usually, it is the reverse, "the restaurant that is convenient or easy or the place of the moment" ends up being more than the restaurant that is sourcing sustainably.

10.I try to avoid all large grocery stores, how can things be fresh if they are so large? And I wish the Green Grocer was closer to where I live.

11. I truly believe that if people ate more fresh, local produce including meats, they would think differently and feel better and Obama would definitely get re-elected!!!

12. I truly believe that if more of the population supported local community gardens and ate from those gardens, and people stayed away from packaged goods, the nation's healthcare bill would be reduced.

13. I truly believe that the American healthcare system is based on fixing things rather than prevention. If people did little things, like drink more water, buy one vegetable from a local farmers market, and cooked and ate it, did a little Pilates or Yoga even once a week, the healthcare bill would go down.

14. It truly pays to look at where the chef is sourcing their produce from and support chefs that care about quality, that support farmers and that support sustainable seafood and artisanal meat products.

15. There is a reason that food at quality restaurants costs what it does. If people realized all the prep work, little techniques that you wouldn't think much of sometimes but as a whole adds up to a really tasty product and if they realized what the staff gets paid, maybe people would go out to restaurants more because they would realize it really is a bargain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Farmers and chefs cannot charge enough to make up for all the time and effort that goes into their end product.

16. If everyone picked up one piece of trash from the ground that wasn't theirs the world would be a cleaner place.

17.A commenter to Pollan's rules said it perfectly, stop OBSESSING and EAT the damn cupcake, obsessing over food is a waste of energy.

18. There is nothing wrong with desserts or bread, just don't eat the entire cake at one sitting.

19. I am truly lucky to live in Chicago with access to one very amazing farmer's market, the Green City Market, which is a wonder of Chicago and to all the farmers that surround us from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana!

20.I am lucky to live in a city with so many amazing and talented chefs who can source pretty cool produce, I just wish I had the funding to eat more often and support all those chefs by dining at their restaurants!!!!!!!!

21. Sorry I had to add this one, when you are 5' 2" it helps to focus on running ultramarathons when you love great food and are a serious eater like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22.Sorry one more just came to me, people who buy food because it is cheap and make decisions on price, look at the big picture, look at healthcare and the healthcare crisis and the nation's health as a whole, the population saved money in the short term by buying cheap packaged goods items from large supermarkets and look where we are now!!!!! Kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul, we saved money in the short term and look at the nations' health in the long term....And then all people do is want to be fixed!!!!!!!! Which is one reason contributing to most (not all)of American medical care's focus on fixing and alleviating symptoms rather than a focus on preventing the problem to begin with and healing and sending the patient on a different health path.