October 23, 2012

I Don't Like Food Politics Either

Yes, today's title is a not-so-subtle mention that we're in an election season. I have opinions about political matters but, unfortunately, like many others I am disillusioned about either party making things better any time soon. Let's face it, if they really had a plan they'd be less excited and more calm/confident that they knew what to do.

When it comes to food, I find I'm pretty apolitical there too. I don't care whether we call it paleo, primal, ancestral or insert-your-preference here. I'll browse long detailed articles as fun reading but my philosophy is short and sweet:

  1. I prefer whole or minimally processed foods. A banana is a whole food, as is an egg or a carrot. Heavy cream or a slice of beef shank or ground coffee beans with hot water poured through them are minimally processed but I don't care. Milled wheat powder mixed with a list of other such ingredients is a processed food whether you call it bread, spaghetti or a pancake.
  2. What's right for me doesn't have to match exactly what's right for you. My teeth, GI tract and other personal traits reflect my personal genetics and so my best mix of foods is just that--mine.
  3. I try to be honest about what I'm eating. If I'm dying for some ice cream I'll have it, but I will admit it's junk and I won't complain about my mild gastric symptoms.
I'm still making some use of #3 above, but I seem to be eating/drinking less junk and becoming more happy to eat healthy.

The other day I made an interesting base for upcoming dishes; I slow-cooked some slices of beef shank until the bone cross-sections were completely clean and the meat broke easily into small chunks. With the fat and marrow the broth is very thick. I added some long grain rice and deliberately over-cooked it, making it a soft consistency very similar to barley added to a soup. The final base ingredient was a can of French-sliced green beans. I then portioned the batch into 7 portions and froze 5. Each portion is used as the base for a stew that is finished with a unique mix of vegetables for palatability. I tend to add small amounts of processed meats such as kielbasa or sausage plus large amounts of vegetables such as carrots, yams, squash, brussels sprouts, broccoli, rutabagas or even beets.

I know my food choices are moving in the right direction when--as happened this week--I have little interest in a bagel but go nuts over baked chicken thighs or my above-described stew base.

So, while it's great fun to read the various paleo blogs I just don't see the need to fight over the details of the menu. I'm ready to put food back where it belongs as an enjoyable and important (but not all-important) part of my life.

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