According to Michael Pollan in Food Rules, Mostly Plants.
Wow. Plants. Yummo. Can't wait until my next meal!
Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food.
Born and raised in the Midwest, I have been eating meat since my first set of molars barely broke through. Our meals are built on the foundation of having meat, a starch, a vegetable and bread/butter on our plate. We would really be a pleased bunch if we could work that formula into every meal.
So, when I first spied rule # 23 listed above, I snorted and giggled. Meat as a FLAVORING? Ha! Special occasion? As in 'time to eat'? Oh, my. This one will be a challenge. Maybe I will remove meat from 1 meal a day ...... baby steps, right?!
"Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals]."
Michael references this Chinese proverb as a good rule, but it leaves out the uber healthy no-legged fish. Don't forget the fish people! And, under no uncertain circumstances should you ever eat a millipede.
Seriously, though, this is a good one. I think I'll stick it in my back pocket as a reminder.
Eat animals that have themselves eaten well.
You are what you eat!
Now I can work in my emotions and apply them to all of these new food rules. If the beef you eat only ate corn, then you are missing out on all of the nutrients of the beef from a cow who grazed on grass AND corn AND was happy while chewing their cud. If I eat a happy cow, I will be happy.
Okay, not so literal, but I DO believe in spending more for quality meats which have been raised in kind. Do I ONLY purchase meat from small, local farms? No, because I have yet to make it a priority. This book is helping me to get there, though.
Small shifts in behavior will produce dramatic results. I really do believe that statement. As I change the way I think about how I want my family to eat I will purchase our foods differently and prepare our foods differently.
When Michael was on Oprah talking about his book, he said something that really struck a chord with me. And, forgive me as I try to recall and paraphrase:
Families of the 1950's spent, on average, 18% of their income on food and 9% on health care costs. Today families spend 9% of their income on food and 19% on health care costs.
Hhhhhhhmmmmmm. Sure, statisticians can throw numbers together and draw lines and correlations where previously there were none, but I have a feeling this one is relational.
We will end this lesson tonight with this pondering: What is the worst that can happen if I increase our food budget? We ........ eat better foods? ........ try new things? ........support our local farms? ........ get healthier?