Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog 12: How To Eat Healthier

The reading is a fragment of the book "In Defense of Food", the author Michael Pollan gives us some recommendations to eat healthier food. He suggests that we stay away from processed foods, eat more fresh produce, and if possible plant a garden and cook.

All the items in Pollan's advice make sense to me, I particularly agree with his advice about processed food. "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food" he says, I think this is a perfect advice on how to distinguish real food from processed. I don't even need to go as far as my great- grandmother, there was a period in my life when I used to live with my grandparents, my grandmother used to cook everyday, and I could see the ingredients she used, she would never use any processed things like cans, instant soups, not even packed vegetables, she always used fresh ingredients and criticized those processed foods, saying that it is old food, and that they put a lot of chemicals in it so it lasts longer.

As a teen I grew up eating really healthy homemade food. It wasn't until I arrived in New York and started working that I realized it wouldn't be easy to keep the same eating habits, given how much time work, school and other activites take up. Cooking my own food and eating at home is one of the items in Pollan's advice that I would like to do, in fact I do it once in a while, unfortunately my current lifestyle doesn't leave me enough time to do it more often.

The item in Pollan's list that I believe is the hardest to accomplish, taking into consideration the space limitations that most people in this city have, is planting a garden. This item could be made possible in other places where people have enough land, but in big cities like New York, I don't think is possible.

On the other hand there are a couple of items that are relatively easy to implement, like eating more fruits and vegetables, staying away from the middle aisles of the supermarkets which is where heavily processed foods are  normally found, and stop eating things that are high in preservatives. A lot of teenagers should pay attention to this last item. I see kids eating pre-packaged snacks all the time, maybe they are not aware that aside from lots of sodium, most of this snacks contain a heavy dose of conservants, colorants, aditives and artifficial flavors that are bad to their health.


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