Once, on a bus, I overheard a dumpy-looking white woman say, "I nearly starved when my can opener broke - there was just nothing to eat!" She then went on to talk about Chef Boyardee, canned ravioli, weak wrists, and all of her weight-related health problems.
Reading Fat Land is causing all sorts of click-click-clicking in my brain. The pieces are connecting. Presidential Fitness Awards, fast food availability in high school cafeterias, Coke and Pepsi sponsorships at high school athletic events, canned, boxed, over-processed, why my mom didn't let us eat white bread, etc. etc. etc.
Eating well in the US is a learned habit. I don't think it comes naturally to us; or at least, in the last few generations. Big is normal. Most people seem to just expect it. We guzzle soda, slurp canned soups, and chow on frozen pizza and expect to live normal, healthy lives. It has been giving me the down-right creeps. The other day, I watched a girl around my age with angry red gums downing a bottle of Mountain Dew: all I could think about was her poor, sore gums. Sugar is not what that girl's mouth needed. But it is normal to live like that!
Just within the last few months, I have been looking around and thinking, "What the heck is wrong with all these people??" Why are we living like this? a. borealis has had an awakening: now that I am responsible for a little growing body, I want to ensure that he (and we) are getting balanced and proper nutritional intake. I'm not going to be satisfied with Happy Meals and American Cheese. Or [the Enemy]: high-fructose corn syrup.
I have always eaten what is considered "healthy", but I don't think I was anywhere near the nutso path I'm headed on right now. I'm glad, though. I want to get a little nutty. Eating well requires training - knowing how to cook; understanding the role that proteins, fats, and carbohydrates play; eating more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis; knowing what the body needs to function. I'd like to train my offspring to eat wholesomely; so much so, that they won't even know what a Handi Snack or Ore Ida french fries are.
I'd like them to be cultural outsiders in the realm of American eating habits. Weirdos. Unless, of course, everyone else is eating like that too. Then I wouldn't mind fitting in with the masses. But I doubt that is going to happen anytime soon, if ever.
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