If we truly are what we eat, I’d rather be a curvy little Beet or a complicated, layered Artichoke than an over-processed, highly packaged, substance less, edible product. How ‘bout you?
Aside from the weird fake grapes that hang from the roof in some failed attempt to create a pleasurable ambiance, my local, family owned produce store offers most of what I’m looking for. And just the other day, I noticed that they’re offering a little something more. Leadership.
I took these images on my phone. What are they? Health claims for vegetables. Someone took the time to type these up, print them out and tape them all over the produce section.
Michael Pollan, our fearless leader in revolutionizing how we relate to our food, from the small choices we make to the massive industries we depend upon, is famous for much of his work, not the least of which being his Food Rules, at first a list, now a book.
The first time I read In Defence of Food, I was rather struck by his caution around eating foods that make health claims. You don’t have to look very hard in your grocery store to find a product that barely stops short of promising super powers should you ingest their highly-refined-sugar-packed-‘enriched’-garbage. ‘But what about a carrot?’ he says. ‘How’s a carrot supposed to compete with that?’
Very true. When we are barraged with slick and compelling marketing, how is the real food supposed to sing loudly enough to call us over? Without being able to count on the food industry to give us an accurate and even somewhat helpful education, we need to educate ourselves, and each other. We need leadership. I was touched by these folks who made these crumpled little signs, defending plants by helping their customers out a little; making health claims for food that actually deserves them.
Hey, see this spinach here? It's good for you. Put down the ‘high fibre’ cheetos and get yourself some food.