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April 18, 2007



did you see the article by Michael Pollan in the times this weekend? Great minds think alike ;)

Not that I really want to defend poor nutrition, but it is hard when cheap, calorie dense food is so plentiful, and when people are accustomed to eating food with a processed texture and lots of salt and fat. It's like going from refined grains to whole grains. We just started our kids out with the latter, and for them "squishy bread" is a rare treat, but a week with the grandparents means we have to go into a processed food detox of sorts.

A generation ago, refined foods were treats, luxuries (jello indicated you had a refrigerator, for example, and white flour was more expensive). Lots of people didn't breastfeed because they could "afford" formula (this mindset is still pretty common in some communities, and it is used in marketing formula in developing countries). Even most of the food given out to people on public assistance is highly processed, and all of this I think just makes the learning curve pretty high for a lot of people. Plus, if your kids won't eat whole foods and you don't have skills that help you negotiate that, buying chips is the path of least resistance and means their tummies are full and they aren't complaining. All the trash marketed to kids is a whole other issue, but a lot of parents are pretty suseptable to all that, too. Why else would they sell diet coke with vitamins (seriously, I saw it today)? This isn't news to you, but I think it is pretty fascinating, if sad.

We found our farmers market this weekend--we moved at the end of last summer--and I was very happy to see that they take food stamps.

Jennifer BB

Hi Anisa, I saw Pollan's article and STILL haven't read it yet--it's crazy busy right now. But I think you're right on--this is a tension with our own food pantry--the food bank is filled with quick to prepare processed foods and we live for the summer when we can supplement those offerings with fresh, organic produce. It's really tough because the learning curve is so high.

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