On Wednesday I went to a lecture on meal planning at the Wharton Clinic, given by Dan Tisi, a registered dietician in the Burlington/Hamilton area. I’ve been to one of Dan’s other lectures and every time I hear him speak my mind is blow wide open by what he has to say. It’s scary to me how much I think about food and yet how little I think about it at the same time. Organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, omega-3’s…where does someone even start? It is a lot of information to take in and it made me wonder…when did eating get this difficult?
I can’t remember ever worrying about this stuff (which may very well be why I look and feel the way I do now). Certainly my great-grandmother never worried about it—she and my great-grandfather lived on a farm and I’ve heard the many stories of picking produce out of the backyard, canning and preserving, and they also raised their own chickens for eggs and poultry. But it’s a different time, my friends. We live in a super-processed, uber-fast society where convenience counts. I barely have time to go to the grocery store to buy some chicken, let alone slaughter one myself! (which would be messy and there would be blood everywhere so probably not the best idea anyway).
The fact is, I don’t put enough thought into what I’m eating, where it’s coming from, and how it is benefitting me nutritionally. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to run out and only eat locally sourced or organic food all the time, because I don’t think for me it’s very realistic. One, it’s extremely expensive and two, IT’S EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. But I can experiment and pick and choose what I think it’s worthwhile for me to try, and think harder about what I’m putting on my plate and in my body.
My first experiment has been using organic milk on my cereal in the morning for breakfast, and I’ve been quite happy with the results. I used to shy away from diary because of the way it made me feel…upset stomach and often times it gave me heart burn (yeah milk, can you believe that). Since I’ve been drinking the organic milk, I haven’t had any of the digestive troubles that I was having before. In this case organic means that the cows are grass-fed and no fertilizers or chemicals are used on the farm. Score one for organic.
Now on Tuesday I went to my local natural food market so see if I could score some organic cottage cheese. I’m not a fan of yogurt, so for me cottage cheese is a good way to get in some extra protein. So off I went into the store and made a direct march to the diary department, only to discover that the one brand of organic cottage cheese that they carry is $7.99 a container. Score one for non-organic. That is a lot of money to fork out for a small container of cottage cheese (see what I did there? Fork out? We’re talking about food… 🙂 ) Now I’m a single girl with no kids, so if I have a hard time paying that much for an organic product, I can imagine how hard it is for a family of four or more to do that. Of course I could always cut dairy out of my diet altogether…but I love cheese!! Just the thought of living without it makes me more than a little sad (see how hooked I am…crying over cheese!)
The truth is I’m just starting to scratch the surface on what I know about food and what it does for my body. For now I’ll just continue to educate myself and experiment with what I can afford or am willing to pay for. There must be a happy medium to all this. I just have to find MY happy medium.