As I was saying...

This is almost the perfect follow-up to the other day's "In the name of health" post. When I logged onto Facebook about 15 minutes ago, I was "invited" to get a free pastry from Starbucks in honor of their new recipes. What changed in the recipes? Although I don't have the details on exactly what changed (nor do I think finding out would be pertinent to my recovery), the ad really says it all:

How do you think this ad reflects our current attitudes about food? Would you be more likely to buy a Starbucks baked good because of the change?

Full disclosure: I'm probably going to go. I like the lattes at Starbucks, and it's probably good for me to try and work something different into my meal plan. Starbucks, like all of the other businesses out there, is trying to sell their product. I don't eat their baked goods enough to tell if the taste has changed any, so I won't try. It's a sales pitch, pure and simple. And if I get a free muffin out of the deal while being caffeinated, I'm okay with that.

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Kim said...

This IS a great follow-up to your post. I've been thinking a lot lately about this new "real food" fad. I realize I've bought into it somewhat and I've been challenging myself to eat foods just as foods. Looking at ingredients, even in the name of "health," is not good for me.
Enjoy your Starbucks visit :)

Sarah said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with the "real" food craze as long as you can still eat more processed foods without feeling guilty. I don't think that the science behind the health effects of food additives justifies the total freak-outs that some people are having about it, but by the same token, as I've studied food safety I definitely see why some people want to avoid more processed foods (i.e. not all GRAS additives have had conclusive tests yet and a few that were previously thought to be safe have shown to be carcinogenic in mice, and food items modified to have a longer shelf life can carry foodborne illness at higher rates than the original food item did-at least according to my textbook and professor.)

I am severely immunocompromised because of a medication I take, so I eat mostly lower-processed whole foods to make sure I'm getting all the vitamins/minerals/micronutrients that I need to support my immune functioning. I definitely haven't always eaten this way, but since I've changed my diet to eat like this, I really have experienced a dramatic change in my health--less colds/stomach bugs/etc than ever before despite my immunocompromised state, and less tummy aches, which makes it an easy choice for me. My family has actually changed some of their diet to mimic mine because they have been so impressed by the obvious changes to my health.

So, I don't think there is anything wrong with eating processed food. I do it a few times a day. BUT I don't think a diet of mostly-processed food is the best for my body. Still, I don't see processed foods as "the enemy," and if I were in charge of picking food fads, I would advocate eating at a lower trophic level instead of avoiding unpronounceable ingredients.

Enjoy your latte! I think I will have to go to Starbucks on this day, too!

Anonymous said...

How is "real food" a fad or a "craze"? Long before we were born, our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents ate "real food" because it came from farms and "manufactured" food was in the future or in early, novelty stages. Real food just plain TASTES BETTER, and unless someone has a condition such as sugar sensitivity, is much less likely to give you headaches, sugar crashes, irritability and digestive problems, and is so much more hunger-satisfying.

I'm completely against guilt in any form having to do with food, and calling foods "good" or "bad" but good Lord, that doesn't mean we can't THINK about how a food is going to feel in our bodies and how its production affects the rest of the planet.

Carrie Arnold said...

I'm not saying that being aware of what we eat and how it's produced is at all disordered or a phase or fad. Our obsession with it is. That's where it gets unhealthy.

If you really want to get nitpicky, almost all food is processed or tampered with before we eat it. Bread--even the homemade kind--is "processed" by humans. Wheat didn't evolve in its current form, it was domesticated by humans. Bread and butter would probably be considered "real food," even by the likes of Michael Pollan, but it's still processed.

Yes, things like Ritz crackers and Velveeta might not have been around when my grandmother was growing up, and I don't know enough to say whether over all we're better or worse off. But this sudden, almost epileptic focus on "real food" and the demonization of All Things Processed and how much damn time we devote to perservating about it is new on a widespread scale, and it's definitely obsessive in some people.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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