Monday, April 21, 2008

Food for thought

Given my recent lack of grocery shopping - which was, admittedly, supposed to happen today but was put off after a surprise request for five vials of blood rendered my left elbow useless for carrying much of anything - I've been living these last few days on some simple yet yummy meals. Thin almost-omlettes studded with mushrooms and onion and very coarsly ground black pepper. Fluffy oatmeal pancakes with syrup and applesauce. Brown rice cooked in veggie broth with kale and carrot. Roasted veggies tossed with olive oil on a bit of pasta.

Food can be a complicated series of relationships. I think rather a lot about food, but in a lot of different ways. I love food - love thinking about new meals, trying new things, turning to old standbys, perusing new cookbooks, heading to the grocery store. I also fear food (or, more accurately, "food") full of unpronouncable ingredients and enough chemicals that it never really seems to go bad. I wonder about it's production, and especially the issues around the labour and transportation and environmental conditions that all get wrapped up in it. I worry about food security issues, especially with the ever-increasing concerns about peak oil and rising food prices. I daydream about producing my own, both because of these worries and because of the fact that there are just so few things better than a plump, sun-warmed, fresh-picked tomato from your own plants coupled with a bit of fresh, home-grown basil.

I tend to eat in trends. I go through periods of loving particular foods, or particular types of foods, and eat them until I no longer want them. Then, it's onto something new, and I'll come back to it eventually. For awhile it was eggs - quiches and omlettes and scrambled egg wraps daily for lunch. For a week or so last month it was edamame with so much salt my tongue started to buzz. Sometimes it's pasta. Often it's sushi (but that I don't generally make myself.) Right now, it's veggies and whole grains which, all things considered, is probably not such a bad way to be eating. I'd like to give some more thought to the ethics of what I eat, though, and how my eating patterns fit into the larger scheme of things. I hardly think I need something else to dwell on, but it seems to be an important and (frightningly) timely issue.

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