Sunday, February 6, 2011

Left Brain, Right Brain

Image from Wikimedia Commons
I didn't think that my diet would undergo any major changes upon beginning culinary school, as I assumed that my background in nutrition had well-equipped me with the knowledge to determine a healthful diet for myself and others. Boy, was I wrong. While I pored over calories and grams of proteins, fats, and carbs, DRIs and RDAs of vitamins and minerals, dietary guidelines for each of the food groups, I put all of my faith in the science of nutrition while completely neglecting the bigger picture: the food and the experience of food. Over the past century, remarkable discoveries have been made that allow us to fully comprehend the breakdown and building up of the body in regard to the physical and chemical makeup of the food we eat. The further we delve into the scientific processes, the more obsessed we become with the individual parts (i.e. saturated fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, omega 3s, vitamin D, fiber...), and the more removed we become from our food. This left-brained approach to food is detrimental and has lead to the overwhelming amounts of refined, processed, fortified, irradiated, pasteurized, packaged commercial food products that fill the shelves of America's grocery stores and is now viewed as food, although it is far from it. While we are caught up rationalizing and measuring (reduced fat this, added fiber that), the actions of the right side of the brain such as synthesis, emotion, and intuition are undervalued. So, instead of spending our time calorie counting and vitamin popping, let's choose our food wisely, slowly and purposefully, share it with loving friends and family, look at it, smell it, and chew it before swallowing it. I am making a pledge now to do just that. I will eat whole, fresh, organic, local, seasonal, real, unprocessed, non-irradiated food that is free from genetic modification and in harmony with tradition. First step, out goes the skim milk fortified with vitamins A and D and in comes the unhomogenized, cream-on-top, whole milk from Ronnybrook that's what I'm talking about!

1 comment:

Gloria said...

you are so right! i totally agree with you. ah but it's extra hard to do that here in mi, as you know. i feel like i have to hunt it down here, and it always seem like a trek. i miss nyc, where good, healthy food is so accessible. i sincerely miss subways.