Friday, March 26, 2010
Recently, I've become more invested in eating healthy, 'all-natural' food. The reason for my new-found inspiration comes, at least in part, from reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.* In his book, Pollan discusses the numerous health problems attributed to a Western-based diet. He talks about the need to eat 'real food.' We should eat unprocessed food, food that actually comes from, well, nature. This point really hit home for me. He's right; products that contain chemical ingredients are not 'food.' Chemicals belong in a lab, not in what we eat.
I've been making an effort to eat organic, healthy foods. I've started eating more vegetables, and have been avoiding items that contain harmful chemicals and preservatives.
I'll be the first to admit, though, that I often fall short of the ideal when it comes to Pollan's philosophy. There are a number of super 'bad for you' products that I crave, and that, if given the chance, I will probably devour. Here are a few of my guilty pleasures:
Smucker's Magic Shell
Definitely not what Pollan had in mind. In Elementary school, I tried Magic Shell at a friend's birthday party; it's been a guilty pleasure ever since. I love vanilla ice cream surrounded by a hard chocolate coating. Also, I've always thought that the product's gimmick was fun.
Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins:
I secretly love Munchkins. I know they have every imaginable bad chemical in them, but I can't help it. In spite of this guilty pleasure, I haven't been to Dunkin' Donuts in years. The last time I went was in high school. Back then, my friends and I would sneak out of school during lunch for DDT (Dunkin' Donuts Thursday).
Even though I haven't been to DD recently, I have had the opportunity to indulge this guilty pleasure. At work the other day, munchkins were offered at our staff meeting. Saying no would have been rude.
Though not the worst item one could consume, nachos certainly aren't a healthy choice. They have virtually no nutritional value. I had some at Jalapeno Heaven last week, but I prefer the ones I make at home. I make mine with Tostitos chips (processed, but preservative free) and lots of cheddar cheese. I serve them with a handsome portion of sour cream and Tabasco.
Here are just a few unhealthy candies I enjoy. Processed sugar is bad for you in general, but these products also contain artificial flavors and dyes. Pictured above are peanut M&M's, Raisinets, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (perhaps my favorite).
How about you? Do you have any foods you love to eat, but know you probably shouldn't?
* If you're interested in learning more about the food you eat, I'd also recommend the documentary Food Inc. While the content may be disturbing, it, like Pollan's books, will change the way you look at food.