Ne me Supersizez pas!
Last night, Dr. B and I watched a movie on the B family small screen (his laptop), after a lovely french dinner of Mogettes de Vendée (a dish of white beans, carrots, lardons, and garlic) with 2 small pieces of multigrain toast, a little cheese, and one Danish butter cookie each. We had some beer from an Abbey in the north of France to go with it--a very delicious and comforting meal for a cold, dreary winter night.
Then we put on the video.
15 minutes in I was feeling nauseous. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a rental. Basically, a very healthy guy spends one month eating only McDonald's food to see what happens to him, and he nearly kills himself in doing so. It is a documentary--not a work of fiction by a horror novelist, though it could have been.
I could go on and on about how healthy I eat, but that would just bore you. Let's just say I'm not a fry fan, and frankly would rather eat 9 cups of raw broccoli (and suffer the consequences) than one Big Mac. (In fact, I've never eaten a Big Mac. And I don't plan to. Ever.)
But this movie really got me thinking. What's going to happen when we move back to the States?
Here in France, fresh food is the least expensive thing. Though everything else is much more expensive than in the US, our grocery bills have not been out of this world, and the quality of the food is so much higher than back home. I don't have to be an obsessive label-reader, because French law prohibits the use of many of the food additives that I worked so hard to avoid. The stores are smaller, and stock smaller amounts, and therefore it is gone through more often--thus no need for lots of preservatives, added sugar, salt, and chemicals. We still find bugs on our lettuce, even when bought at the supermarket. And no one complains--it's lettuce. It grows in dirt. There are bugs in dirt. Duh?!?!
Although I am eating things I would never allow myself to eat regularly back home, like chocolate, croissants, lots of full-fat cheeses, I have not gained a pound, and all my clothes fit fine. Yes, I am walking a lot more, which does help, but here I don't have to deny myself pleasure in food. What a wonderful thing!
Wait a minute...isn't that the way it used to be?
You hear about it a lot in the media now, how American diets have changed over the years. The pressure by the food lobbyists, the pressure to succeed by the restaurants and food companies. Portion sizes are way out of control, everyone is on a diet, and we are still getting bigger and bigger. It has become a macho thing to eat mass quantites--if you can eat the 36 oz. ribeye, you win a T-shirt! (Note: these shirts come in size XL and XXL only.)
In the US, Dr. B and I often split a meal at a restaurant, because there is enough food for 2 or 3 people. Food has so much added sugar, salt, fat, and chemicals, that it keeps on your shelves, in your fridge or freezer for months. That's just scary!
I don't want food that has a shelf-life of months.
I don't want 36 oz. of meat. In one meal. (Maybe in a week?)
I don't want added colors, sugar, salt, chemicals.
I don't want powdered cheez food.
I want control of my life back!
Moving back to the US is starting to scare me--where will we find food that we can afford that is of high quality, and isn't pumped with hormones, pesticides and chemicals designed to make us want to eat more and thus spend more on cheap food that is not good for us? We aren't millionaires--we can't afford to buy organic at the store every time, and the hunt for meat that hasn't been pumped full of hormones and bred to have genetic oddities is time-consuming and very pricey.
Where will I find the time? The money? The energy?
What are we going to do?