Thursday, 15 March 2012
On Jay Leno a few nights ago, Michelle Obama mentioned baking red velvet cupcakes. (No, I'm not middle-aged. I can't explain why I was watching Leno.) Although the first lady is well known for her healthy prerogatives, she eats cupcakes.
One cupcake won't kill you.
Since providing content for this site, I have been astounded by how polarizing the topic of food can be. I believed the food philosophy of most was similar to mine and Michelle Obama's, moderation. One cupcake won't kill you, twenty might, but skipping them all together is no fun for anyone.
I tend to write a lot of humorous posts because they get the most views, however not all the reactions are positive. For example, I wrote about Kraft Singles and frozen food month. I was overwhelmed by the number of negative comments I received for supposedly promoting unhealthy eating. It was a joke. One Kraft Single is not why America's fat. I also wrote another post on "real" cheese which barely had any views.
I care about what I eat. I buy local, seasonal produce. I drive an hour away to buy poultry and eggs directly from a free-range farm. I spend $25 a pound on beef. But I also believe there can be a place in this culinary world for the occasional Kraft Single or Wonder Bread. These foods are part of the American food culture and it's futile to deny it.
Many American's seem to take the all or nothing approach. We witness celebrities like Natalie Portman, whose recent veganism is clearly making her ill, and Leno who has not eaten a vegetable in over a decade. Neither of these diets are healthy or make any sense and I believe both are a product of ignorance.
American's are unbelievably ignorant about their food. This is my life, so it's overwhelmingly discouraging. The advent of food television and blogs initially had positive influences, but now has taken the industry two steps backwards. Food and nutrition is too complicated for Rachael Ray to babble about in thirty minutes. I know nutritionists who are no better, resolving to answer all questions with hummus and carrot sticks.
In a world where our senses are flooded with food porn and anorexia, it's a challenge to have a balanced perspective on eating. I've had issues on both ends of the spectrum. What we need to be striving for, what Michelle Obama it teaching the country, is moderation. Jay Leno needs more apples in his life and I want to bake Natalie Portman a cupcake.