Monday, June 28, 2010

Figuring it All Out.

Man, its hard to sort out what is healthy and what is not. I feel like I just keep getting deeper and deeper into this whole 'what to eat' issue. I just asked a simple question and set out to answer it by reading a book or two (...or, ya know, like twenty. Whatever.) I mean, I've grown up hearing all about how we should switch to low-fat things, eat margarine, count your calories (but I have yet to ever actually do this) and buy all the pasteurized, homogenized, low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-sugar new versions that tout "healthy" on the label. It is so freaking confusing to me.

Now its coming out that all the science and technology isn't actually making better alternatives. At least that is what I've been reading lately. I think we're supposed to stay away from the soy-bean products that are so prevalent on the shelves. I was really confused especially since a few months ago I realized that our "vegetable oil" is nothing but soybean oil. hmm. I feel like such a novice trying to make good choices... but not get swept away by extremism. But... what is extreme? We used to listen in horror to my mom telling us that Grandpa used to eat lard sandwiches. There is a whole movement out there that swears that lard is a healthier choice to use as safer fat for frying/etc because it is a natural fat. I have to admit that I picture myself screaming and running when I think about actually using it in my house. (Yes, I know that I don't have to... but I have a container of Crisco that I use occasionally for pie crusts and every time I do I stare at the tub for about ten minutes thinking, seriously? Isn't there a better option? It just seems wrong and I honestly couldn't begin to tell you WHY except that Crisco (and frosting in general) was ruined for me as I helped make the frosting for my wedding cake...) I struggle with all this. I feel like all the things that I have in my house aren't really that safe to feed my family. Everyday its something else that I start to become suspicious about. I think its a good struggle that will eventually come out into something that makes me content. It's like the struggle that I had with my faith when I began to make it my faith instead of my parent's. Sometimes I just feel a little lost by finding the balance.

I totally accept that "raw" milk or rather milk as it should be (and has always been except for the last 100 years or so) is better than the grocery store kind. I totally accept that homemade food most often is superior to the convenient instant versions in the supermarket (and I accept that I will have to carve more time to make this possible). I accept that pastured chicken eggs are superior to grocery store eggs, grass-fed beef is better than feed lot beef, and on and on. It makes sense that food in its most natural (or historically prepared) form is best. It just makes sense. We didn't start to industrialize food until recently and I'm pretty sure it was (commendably) to make more food available to more people.

I know that a good philosophy for making life changes is putting off and putting on in general. Putting off the bad food but... you still have to eat so put on the good food. Sometimes I think that changing these well established eating habits and expectations would be easier if it was just me. I could just clear out my cupboard completey, starve for a week or so as I figure it out. Starving would probably light a fire for me to figure it out real fast. Okay, just kidding about that part... kind of. You really can't starve a two-year-old... or a big man that may or may not see a need for a change especially when the change requires spending less somewhere else.

I don't know. Its just a lot to process. Its a lot to digest (both of which are unintentional puns). Feeding a family is a big deal. Relearning better habits is a big deal. Nothing that can be accomplished overnight. I just really want to give my kids a healthy attitude about food so that they can make good choices and never have to worry about body image (which I'm aware will eventually happen at some point... just because we live in American and they will be human) or deal with health issues that could have been prevented by good nutrition.

Interesting, interesting.

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