Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Michael Pollan's Food Rules

My good friend Tracy Kellner over at Provenance Food and Wine has been blogging about Michael Pollan's most recent book Food Rules. In today's post, Purple Asparagus got quite a nice mention.

"Food Rules #9: Avoid foods w/the terms "lite", "low-fat" or "nonfat" in their names

Pollan makes an interesting point: We've gotten fat on low-fat products over the last 40 years. I've long thought it was odd that if you compared people in pictures, movies, etc. from 40, 50 or more years ago to those in today's culture, movies, etc. we are so much bigger & taller than we used to be! Does anyone else find it strange that some middle schoolers are nearing 6'? Or the rate of obesity has risen as much as it has in the last 20-30 years? Call me crazy, but it's GOT to have something to do with our food supply and the way food is produced, doesn't it? All these "lite" and "diet" foods seem to have more carbs, are more processed and contain more chemicals (& we are eating MORE of them).

A friend of mine runs a non-profit called Purple Asparagus, which works to bring families together through food, but also does a lot of work with childhood nutrition and getting into schools to teach kids how to cook, the value of eating fresh, local foods and avoiding 'junk' foods." To read more, click here

I agree. About a year ago, I prepared a Healthy, Sustainable Snack Handout for Purple Asparagus, which had this to say on the subject of dairy:

"While many nutritional organizations suggest serving either low-fat or non-fat dairy products, with the exception of skim milk, Purple Asparagus does not recommend non-fat dairy foods. There’s some debate among nutritionists as to whether the “de-fatting” processes leaches nutrients out of the final product. There are also some nutritionists and doctors who suggest that eating full-fat or low-fat products as opposed to non-fat products encourage people to eat less because they feel more satisfied. We suggest that parents try portion control before introducing non-fat products into a child’s diet."

Click here to read the entire handout.

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