Eating Well and Eating Healthy


I read an interesting article recently that suggested the “eco-food” movement has become more about weight loss than environmentalism or ethical eating. The author reached this conclusion through her own experience and that of a former food-writer turned dietician.

The publications mentioned in the article are, with the exception of the now-defunct Gourmet, not ones I recognized. “Organic style,” for example sounds like a fashion guide for how to pair socks with Birkenstock sandals, and “women’s magazines” are not aimed at me.

The truth is that while I do read a lot about food, cooking, farming and restaurants, I don’t actively look for anything having to do with how or why some foods are “bad” for me and others are “good.” I have moderately high cholesterol, and I do keep that in mind when I decide what to eat but I also have three kids who range between “will eat anything” to “will eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Campbell’s chicken and rice soup and plain pasta and not much else.”

This limits my repertoire to some extent, but I do still cook things that are fairly healthy. Out of personal preference that means limiting portion sizes of meat-based proteins and loading the menu up with vegetables. If I can find organic produce that’s not too expensive, I’ll get it, but I’m not terribly worried if I can’t. And I usually don’t.

I sometimes cook quinoa or millet or other grains/seeds, but I do it because I like them rather than for some health benefit. I am glad that grocers like Rouse’s regularly feature locally-grown produce, but I would hardly call myself a locavore and I sure as hell don’t eat on a strictly seasonal basis.

Finally, I’ve really never had an issue with my weight apart from being unable to gain it as a teenager. I’ve weighed more than I do now, and I’m probably “overweight” by a few pounds as defined by some but I’ve never dieted to lose weight and don’t intend on starting. I recognize that is at least in part because I am a man; see also: “doesn’t read women’s magazines.”  Nobody in my home is on a diet, nor should they be.

I wonder the extent to which I’ve just never been exposed to this side of food culture? As suggested, I have my doubts about some of what’s usually described as “sustainable” food, but I’ve never associated “locavore” with “eating disorder.” Nevertheless, that’s a connection made in the article.

I do take disordered eating seriously, and I also know it can be difficult to detect. I’m curious whether any of you have noticed a trend towards going gluten-free, for example, as a weight loss or calorie counting method? Has anyone given up meat to lose inches on their waist? Anything similar?

Please take the time to leave a comment if you have answers.



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