I rarely fall into the category of people who are "proud" to be reading a certain book (I'm talking to all you out there who read to impress other people, not for your own pleasure), but I found myself giving myself a lot of pats on the back while I read In Defense of Food (usually over a very healthy breakfast). It's an amazing book that I highly recommend to anyone who likes to eat. Yeah, I guess I could narrow that down to people who also would like to live a healthy life.
It opened my eyes about the food industry and made me think about nutrition, diet, and just plain eating in a new way. It made me more conscious of foods I purchase and what motivates my selections. It made me consider what "food" really is (and it's not a lot of the things sold in the grocery store as food!). It made me more aware of what the commercials and advertisements of the major food companies are really selling—mostly it's time and convenience, and not real food and ingredients and nutrients. It made me think about the concept of nutritionism, how we've made eating into a science, and a science that doesn't really know what it's doing, how we've isolated individual vitamins from their sources, encapsulated them, and now are practically required to ingest these pills just to get the nutrients we need due to poor eating habits, bad farming, and depleted soils.
It made me want to grow all my own food. It made me want to make all my own meals from scratch. It made me want to throw a dinner party.
I did none of those, though I did buy a tomato plant and my parents were generous enough to let me plant some seeds in their garden, though since they've been doing all the watering and weeding, I can't claim those plants as mine.
The one thing I did do was go to our local farmer's market last weekend. It was fun to buy from so many different vendors. It was great to know I was getting fresh-picked foods, supporting my local community, and voting with my dollar for organic and locally grown foods.
Yes, some of the vegetables went bad (almost immediately—I won't be buying corn that way again), and we ran out of fresh foods halfway through the week, so we've got to get some new shopping strategies, but it's a start.