michael and alicia

It got quite the hype on my Twitter feed, but yesterday Michael Pollan and Alicia Silverstone were on Oprah to talk about the food industry and how to eat consciously.

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The segment started off with a Food 101 questionnaire to see how people scored on some questions on food in general around the world. Did you know that goat was the most eaten meat around the world?

Then segments from Food Inc. were shown along with Michael Pollan.

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He’s written 4 books, including his newest, Food Rules. (You know what’s on my book list now.) I saw the documentary this summer and was definitely shocked. i have already made steps to only eat organic meats and be mindful on where I get my food. I’ve even been basically vegan the past 10 days and have felt better. I didn’t do it consciously, just happened. Will I continue? Maybe, but I’ll never call myself vegan because after my past experience, I don’t want to restrict anything from my diet other than to just feel my best. If I want chicken, I’ll have it. If I don’t, I won’t. Easy as that, but I digress…

Something that was worth noting was our western diet. This diet includes “lots of processed food and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of everything and no vegetables, fruit and whole grains.”  The problem is that this diet (which came to be at the turn of the century) also gives use heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses that our great grandmothers never had. These diseases aren’t from fat or carbs or even anything from a traditional diet. Did you know that there are some traditional diets that are up to 75% fat? Do they have these health issues like cholesterol and heart disease? No.

For a affluent country, we only spend 9.4% of our income on food because of the government subsidies. If we changed that percentage and were willing to pay more for our food, we’d eat better, be more satisfied and help our healthcare problem. “The more you pay for food, the less you have to pay for healthcare.” Remember that.

While Pollan will eat anything, he did share some of his rules from his new book:

#1: Eat real food (go figure!)

#2: Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

#7: Avoid food products containing ingredients a third grader can’t pronounce.

#13: Only eat foods that will eventually rot. He talked about the packaged and processed dessert-like foods we have and how even after 3 years, one that he has for a demo is still as soft and squishy as when he bought it. Gross!

#27: Eat animals that have themselves eaten well. These animals should mainly (if not only) be eating grass- not corn!

#39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. I thought this one was interesting because he made the point that he loves french fries, but they’re a pain to fry up so he will make and eat them every once in a while, but not all the time since it’s too much work.

So another crush I have is Alicia Silverstone. I loved her in Clueless obviously, but I love how she’s made this transformation that’s great for her, and while she’s written a book (The Kind Diet– another on my list), she hasn’t tried to sell her way of life as the best way.

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Her main message was to treat yourself kindly by thinking of the kind of food you’re putting into your body. While she’s vegan (no meat, dairy or processed food), she spoke a lot of “flirting” with healthy ingredients (like my new foods to incorporate series) and slowly making changes. “You don’t have to give anything up! Just start adding good things in like whole grains and greens.” Easy enough. I like it, plus if you’re interested, she told the audience what’s in her grocery cart 🙂

I really liked this segment and thought there were great things in it; however, I do wish they want more into HOW to make a positive change and HOW it affects our body. I feel like that was the reason I thought about things more was because of the way it was affecting my body and health.

I also didn’t like that Oprah kept saying “this is their opinion (or my opinion), but do what’s good for your family.” Duh! But it made Oprah sound wishy-washy and not involved in the segment as she usually is.

Do you pay attention to where you get your food? I feel like other than rent, food is what I spend the most on monthly because I love to cook and need to fuel my body.

PS: If you want a copy of Food Inc., go here. It’ll only be $9.99 until midnight Friday 🙂

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4 responses to “michael and alicia

  1. I am so bummed I missed Oprah!! That darn 9-5 job!

    I try to really watch where my food comes from. I buy local as much as possible! Our neighborhood farmers market just went year round which is great!

  2. Great post and summary of the show! Once we know better, we do better!

    • Definitely! Some thing ignorance is bliss and it is, but on issues that really matter, I feel ignorance is silly (for a nicer term).

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