This will be the first of what I’m sure will be many posts on this subject. As I mentioned in my post, “You’re allergic to what?!?!?!“, after being diagnosed with my food allergies I had to fundamentally change how I viewed food. Gone were the days of “I don’t want to eat that because I don’t like it/don’t want to”. I no longer could just eat whatever was offered to me without asking multiple questions: “Are there nuts in there?” “What did you use to make this?” “Can I get ______ as a substitue for _______?”.
Early on, before I was 100% accustomed to thinking about food in an active instead of a passive way, I would get into things I was allergic to – almonds on a cheese ball, carrots in salads, tomato based pasta sauce – and pay the price. Thankfully, I’ve gotten a lot better and haven’t had to take benedryl in a long time (*knocks on wood*).
As a part of the learning process about my new relationship with food as well as an increased interest in food and cooking, I started to read a number of books. These books made me do a lot of thinking as well as gave me inspiration to try to eat more local, in-season food, as well as seeking out grass-fed beef and other sustainable organic meat options. These choices were not only about my personal health but also about how these choices impact the greater society.
It’s amazing how eating things that are in-season and local will impact recipes and what you eat. Eating a salad with lettuce from the farmer’s market for the first time shows you how lettuce actually has a taste and should. Roasted veggies need little more than salt, pepper, and a little olive oil to make an amazing side dish. Organic eggs from a local farm are full of what some refer to as “liquid gold”. A grilled sirloin of grass-fed beef fresh of the grill with basic seasoning reminds you what a steak actually should taste like. Why wouldn’t you want to eat like this?
I encourage folks to check out these books, even if you don’t have the food issues I do.
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
- In Defense of Food – Michael Pollan
- Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain
More to come on this issue for sure. I’d love to hear what others have to say and think about this as well. Feel free to leave a comment here with suggestions or ideas of other books I should read.