Saturday, June 09, 2007

Stay out of my kitchen

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my son Ben's diet. He's nine but is tall, solid and looks a year older than he is.

He also has a little tummy but I figure that has to do with the onset of adolescence and some parts of his body growing faster than others.

What bugs me in the last year or so is the shift in his food tastes. I've been too careless about his relationship to sugar - and now I think it's a problem. We don't drink soda or have sweets in the house - - but sugar has a way of sneaking its way into the ingredients of just about everything you buy outside of organic fruits, vegetables and meats.

We eat breakfast and dinner together as a family and I make everyone's lunch. I think it's important to eat together and to put love and care into the food your family eats. It keeps us feeling close and on the same wave length with each other.

Avoiding the sugar infused products of the food industry isn't easy - but I have to take it on. I truly believe American food culture and the industry/advertising behind it is killing us.


Linda said...

i completely agree. it's one of the most upsetting monsters attacking our society and most ignored. though here in NY many mothers (like yourself) and individuals alike care about their daily food intake -- which nutrients are going in, calories, fat, sugars, protein, etc. -- so many are ignorant to the affects of a big-mac or how much sugar there is in a pineapple, for example, vs. strawberries, blueberries/other lower sugar fruits. so much to analyze, but i become so upset when i see those that are clearly obese and eating a bucket full of fries or the like. it's hard to watch.

i read about a school (i think it was in CA) that was partially self-sustaining, in which the children had a farm/garden of sorts where they grew some vegetables - learning about the science of it and then using it in their school kitchen. i was in trader joe's the other day and the woman behind the counter asked me what an eggplant tasted like. this is terrible.

east village idiot said...

Hey Linda -

It is a difficult situation. I must say that I am less interested in pointing the finger at people eating fast food or processed foods like they are guilty of something. Everyone is riding the tide of the food industry and advertising. To go against that tide is asking a lot of people. We are surrounded by this crap - in commercials, in supermarkets, in fast food stores everywhere you go. We are in a culture that no longer values family (of any kind) sitting down for a meal together. That takes away from working!!

A friend of mine from Europe said the biggest thing she noticed is that Americans eat while they are walking, standing, driving and that they snack a lot. That is the cultural message and that is what is advertised as being the great stuff to buy. People need information. I certainly do.

ellesu said...

Amen. When my children were small I bought Adelle Davis' books and was determined to buy foods that were whole, organic, healthy. In the end I found it too expensive. Such a shame that junk food is so much cheaper.

I have an American friend who has lived in Switzerland for some years. She said when the first McDonald's (complete with drive thru) opened in her village, she saw people order at the drive thru, get their food at the window, park their car and then take their food inside the restaurant to eat.

Did you read the article a few years ago -- maybe in the NY Times. It gave one explaination as to why we have such large portions in the U.S. I know I don't have the details correct but it was something about govt. subsidies leading to over production of certain crops (say potatoes). The result was that restaurants (I use the term loosely), could then "super-size" items.

Michael said...

I know I eat way too much sugar. I went for a reiki treatment a couple years ago and the first thing the woman said was, Lay off the sugar. Then again, my diet pretty much stinks, period.

By the way, EVI, *PLEASE* visit my new friend Bob Arihood's East Village photo blog, at, if you haven't already done so. The New York Times just did a feature on him. I've seen him walking around Tompkins Square Park lots of times, but yesterday I introduced myself and we had a lovely hourlong chat.

He has lived in the East Village for 35 years and has documented the neighborhood in photos during that time. I thought I was pretty decent, but this guy is awesome.

jo(e) said...

The typical American diet is so unhealthy -- and so easy to get sucked into. I applaud you for taking it on.

JT said...

so what does he like to eat now?

I always did love your homemade dinners....

Dr. Deb said...

It is so hard to do that. But I applaud your effort.