Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What to be afraid of this week

There's a report on CBC's health page this week about salt in our food. It's hidden everywhere apparently and it can kill you. What can't these days? There's also a report on there about BPA found in plastics, like in some water bottles, can make girls aggressive. I find it difficult to keep all the reports and scary stories straight. We're all supposed to be eating organic foods, from less than 100 miles from where we live, no dyes, no preservatives and then there's the low fat, no fat, low carb, high fibre, low sodium diets. It's way too much stress. Over food no less. We need food to live. Thankfully the mundane task of eating for sustenance has been created for us with pleasure - otherwise we'd be pretty bored. I fully believe one can enjoy a healthy balanced food lifestyle and still indulge in the joys of food and culture. The secret is to not give in to fads or new products and learn to cook for oneself.

For example, some friends have heard me ramble on about all the choices in certain foods out there now. For example, there's orange juice. Plain and simple right? Well, there's juice you squeeze yourself but it's time consuming, and you need to consider is it organic or grown close to home? Then there's packaged juice but we're all thinking twice now in the grocery store isle. Should we get pulp or no pulp, low acid, added calcium, added omega 3, how many preservatives are in there, how much sugar? You can now get diet orange juice! Plus you have to make the decision on whether you should go with a carton of juice or a can of concentrate - one is "fresher" but the other contains less environmentally-damaging packaging and transportation costs. It's juice for cryin' out loud!

Don't get me started on yoghurt.

It's food. Plain and simple. Or at least it should be. Sure there's pre-packaged convenience food out there and everyone indulges every now and then. Heck, my hangover cure is a greasy McChicken sandwich and a diet coke tried and true. But balance is key. I take comfort in cooking for myself often and learning new techniques and recipes. What I'm having for supper tonight may have salt or some other bad-for-you ingredient but at least I know it's in there and how much. There's always something out there to be afraid of in your food. I feel much better about those things if I know about them and have control over how much goes in to my cooking and baking - and ultimately my body. Variety is the spice of life they say and cooking allows me to sample lots of different things in a (hopefully) healthy manner. Well, most of the time.

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