Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's the bottom line on food?

This post was inspired by the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read other members' posts inspired by on book club day, Feb 21 at From Left to Write . Buy this book here.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote one of my all-time favorite books, The Poisonwood Bible. I’m inclined to be favorable toward her because she is a Kentuckian. I respect what I know of her as a human being. So why did I resist her approach to food in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

It’s really quite simple. I don’t want anyone even for noble reasons coming between me and what goes in my mouth. I have the great good fortune of genetics that allow me to eat whatever I want without being over-weight. I love to eat. I love food. Why do I need to alter my relationship with food?

Ok, I’ll dance with Barbara to the extent that eating local gives me tomatoes that taste like tomatoes and strawberries that are actually red instead of white 2/3 of the way through the fruit. And I’m quite willing to support local farmers instead of far-away farmers that send me fruits and vegetables by truck or train before they’re ripe. I get the local movement.

But the issue that finally makes me side with Barbara against my own appetite is fat bridesmaids! Yes, I mean that. I am a baby boomer and as a college girl and sorority sister, I lived through a lot of weddings in addition to my own. A generation ago, we did not have fat bridesmaids. Now before you jump all over me for being politically incorrect and insensitive to the calorie-challenged among us—here’s what I think is going on. We didn’t have fat bridesmaids in the Sixties and Seventies not because we were prejudiced against the chubbies and didn’t ask them to be in our weddings but rather because the over weight twenty-something was a rare being. Now, every wedding I have attended in the last five years has fat bridesmaids! They are normal young women. For some reason being over weight is far more prevalent and acceptable in this generation.

Blame the processed foods! I’m serious. Stop feeding our children processed foods in school cafeterias and on college campus and all the affordable restaurants where young people gather and we will stop this epidemic of fat bridesmaids. It’s even hard to shop in regular grocery stores and avoid processed foods. But we have to do it. Start now.

Please don’t shoot the messenger!