Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Food

I'm feeling kind of punchy because I'm so tired. I woke up really early this morning and was thinking of getting up and doing some work for a client that I feel like I'm behind with, but as it was I ended up lying in bed debating that for a half hour, then had to get up with my daughter. In my "typical life" when I am not off riding my horse or planning our exodus to the wilderness, I do bookkeeping and accounting. I have my own business and a bunch of clients. The nice part of having my own business and being fairly successful at it is that I get to choose who I take on as a client so I like all my clients. It's also nice because they just hand me all their financial stuff and tell me to have at it and set it up and keep it in order, so even when working for my clients I am my own boss. Still, that means that it's up to me to make sure their finances are in order and sometimes I wake up at 4am thinking about so-and-so's budget (or lack thereof) or some screw-up with billing or one of their clients that won't pay on time or whatever. Sometimes I toy with charging for the hours I lie awake early in the morning worrying about my client's finances.

Anyway, I have digressed in a big way here. A big topic in my life lately has been food. I think it started when I read Fat Land. Then I watched some movies like Super Size Me and King Corn (the latter of which is the much better of the two) and that got me thinking also. I decided that the least I could do was not eat a lot of food with a lot of chemical preservatives and stay away from high fructose corn syrup. The staying away from HFCS is a lot easier said than done.

Basically, cutting back on HFCS means having to make most of my food from scratch. And I end up spending far too much time reading food labels and occasionally embarrassing myself by exclaiming out loud, "Oh my god! Who puts high fructose corn syrup in apple sauce! What the hell???" If you get unsweetened apple sauce though it apparently doesn't have HFCS in it. But because bread without HFCS and all those other chemical additives is actually pretty expensive, I make my own bread. And I make the majority of my own sauces. And I don't buy lunch meat any more because god knows where the meat that has been processed all the hell actually came from. Instead I buy whole chickens and use that meat for sandwiches. So, eating more "real" food is important to me.

What amazes me is how it is not important to very many other people, or at least the majority of people I see. Now if I eat a Dorito it tastes weird and chemically and not like real food. McDonalds is like eating fake food too (but will do in a pinch if I'm starving and on the road with no other food in sight - but then anything semi-edible would do). It's taken so for granted that it's normal to eat this weird crap. Maybe it is because I have an autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis) so if I don't eat natural foods and really take care of myself I feel crappy. Or maybe it's because I was lucky enough to have a mom who gardened so we had lots of fresh fruit and vegetables from our garden when I was a kid, but it just seems so bizarre to me that most of our country eats and drinks stuff that is mostly chemicals and doesn't think twice about it. Soda for example - what the hell??? It's like drinking carbonated chemical water - it even tastes like chemicals. Yet most people drink it. Candy is pretty gross too.

I wonder what has caused this to become the norm in our culture. Is it the media and advertising? Is it because the fake, chemical food that is barely actually food is so much cheaper that people need to eat it so they don't starve and that is just passed on from generation to generation as a normal way to eat? My friend, Nathan said yesterday that it seems to him that our culture just gets farther and farther away from nature as the generations go on. What we eat seems to be a big reflection of that. Don't even get me started on tweens who would rather sit in a cafe and Tweet than play outside.

I wonder if my refusal to join Twitter is my great act of subversiveness or if I've just finally become the quintessential cranky old lady?

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