In Michael Pollan's book, "In Defense of Food", the following seven words sum up his entire philosophy: Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants." http://michaelpollan.com/books/in-defense-of-food/
This notion is striking in its real, down to earth authenticity and simplicity. By "food", Pollan is referring to unprocessed, natural food with actual, wholesome ingredients. This would not include processed white bread, but would include brown rice and broccoli. It would not, in any sense of the word, include cake or cocktails, but would, without question, include mushrooms and fish.
While there are a myriad of factors involved in the obesity epidemic in our nation, including our jobs at computers and our gaming, our attachment to our suburban sprawls necessitating car travel for hours and so forth, the idea that food is whole is still somehow radical among a fast food nation of people on the go who have been raised with french fries as a food group and brownies as a matter of course at parties, office gatherings and baby showers.
After all, serving your guests a platter of blueberries and cantaloupe may be easier to prepare, but without the Italian loaf, who will not raise their eyebrows?
The delight of food for all things social and comforting should not be overlooked, demonized or done away with. We love our food and each other, and we love to love each other through food. The problem is perhaps there is too much food and not enough love, or too much that appears to be food which actually isn't. Perhaps too much that appears to be love but actually isn't? That may be the case, but we'll save that for another day.
Radicalizing one's idea of eating to mean not eating until one is going to burst, not clearing one's plate, and not eating things with unpronounceable (and I don't mean French) ingredients may be just the ticket for weight loss, cholesterol reduction, heart health, skin and joint health, planetary health, flexibility and extra money.
Think about it! A box of cookies and a twelve pack of soda is expensive, not to mention packaged in way too much cardboard to be good for our Mother Earth. Hands full of almonds and granola, soy milk and goat cheese, crunchy carrots and crispy lettuce can be bought at the same price, filling you up for longer and packaged in a thin wisp of recycled plastic baggie.
Perhaps this is not easy and certainly requires effort, imagination, commitment and bucking trends to accomplish. But it certainly may be, not too much, food for thought.
Edited by Shannon Koehle
Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to EmpowHER. She lives in CT.