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What to eat?

Posted 5/25/2011 10:00am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

This question can be paralyzing, (except on CSA days and the day or two after.) I'm talking about both the daily, "what am I going to make for dinner?" and the larger, "what is the healthiest, most appropriate diet for me and my family?"  The day to day question has become an increasingly fun, daily, "dilemma" for me to solve.  It gives me an excuse to sit down at breakfast or lunch and flip through a favorite cookbook, back issues of Saveur, or check out my favorite food blogs and get lost for a while But getting lost often adds to my dilemma as usually the recipe that grabs my attention takes more time than I've allowed or has ingredients I don't have on hand.  So most days we eat simply -- salads, burritos with left-over meat from a roast, or if I have planned ahead, curry or chicken pie.  We live with an abundance of food but a shortage of time.  In that context, I fall back habit, and my habit is a combination of what I was raised eating and what I've discovered in adulthood and feel competent cooking.  I generally like the combination, but I believe it may be time to change some of habits and so the question that is more daunting for me is the second, larger, "healthy and appropriate" question.


To answer this question I read a lot about food and health, not just human health, but global health.  It is all so connected that I think it is safe to talk about health without clarifying human vs. animal vs. environmental.  Simon Fairlie's book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance has been very informative and I've been sent several very interesting blog/websites from customers that also have prompted me to make changes.  Fairlie argues for meat in moderation while some of the other sites like Archevore and Tribe of Five advocate for diets that strongly rely on animal products.   I've always believed the old "everything in moderation" to be a pretty safe approach to food and life, but... then I recently read an article on refined sugar that convinced me I need to reduce our family's sugar intake.  (Notice I said reduce... it should be eliminate, but... how can I turn down my mother-in-laws shoofly pie or my mother's chocolate cake with peanut butter icing?   Family relationships are very important to me ...)  I am not convinced that there is a single, universal "best" diet out there, but the topic is endlessly fascinating to me and along the way, I have been convinced to make changes to my diet that, I believe, improved my health.  

I would like to hear what others have experienced in regard to their diet and health.  Are there books, websites, blogs, that you have found helpful in answering these questions?  If so, I would love to hear about them.  Please send the titles or links to me.   Food is a topic I am endlessly interested in.