Reading Murisopsis’ “Looking At Souper Bowl”, I couldn’t help but wonder how I became such a food snob. She posted a recipe for wild rice soup that included the ingredients bacon and Velveeta “cheese”, two items I don’t consider food. Oh, I’ll grant you that bacon is probably in the top three, no make that THE very best of dead animal flesh, but if we are talking nutritional value it sinks like the Titanic to the very bottom of the list. I mean, if you like salt and fat, fried to a crisp perfection, bacon is absolutely the creme de la creme of taste sensations. But nutritionally speaking, your heart actually skips a beat at the thought of turning it into something useful for life. Or perhaps it’s skipping a beat because your brain is anticipating the pure joy of the mastication of it.
The road to good eating habits hasn’t been difficult but it has been a long journey (66 years), and it still includes side roads into temptation. As Oscar Wilde put it, “I can resist everything but temptation.” As a kid, I think my mom despaired of ever getting me to eat anything but potato chips and raisins. She wasn’t an adventurous cook because my dad was, like many men and children, scared to death to try something unrecognizable. When we moved to California from Michigan, he stoutly refused to try any “Mexican garbage”. So, while mom, my sister, and I dove into tacos, tostadas, burritos, and quesadillas, Dad ate hamburgers. To this day, at 95, he still eats, with great gusto and kechup, the comfort food served in the dining room of his senior facility.
And that may be the crux of the whole “healthy diet” argument. For ninety-five years, my dad has eaten salt, fat, and sugar in copious quantities. My mom, at 94, is beset by peripheral neuropathy and memory loss, despite her relatively healthy diet. Granted, Dad has been hospitalized numerous times for various ailments (mostly blood pressure related but including gout) and takes dozens of medications daily, while Mom vegetates in her recliner, taking nothing more potent than a baby aspirin.
So, my question is, how important is good nutrition? I mean, if you are willing to spend a big portion of your discretionary income on pharmaceuticals, and you don’t mind being handicapped by layers of energy-sapping fat, is nutrition even an issue? If the ethical treatment of animals never crosses your mind, and you have the time to linger over a bowel movement, why even include vegetables in your diet?
I’m not going to weigh in on this argument because it’s too late for me to change. My brain is irrevocably wired to prefer a plant-based diet. My self-brainwashing has ruined the pleasures of a perfectly cooked prime rib or a bratwurst on a crisp roll. But you, my friends, still have a choice.
4 thoughts on “Food Snobbery or Tightwaddery?”
Odd that despite their wildly different diets, both your parents are alive in their 90’s. The one with bodily problems ate junk. The one with dementia ate healthy food. If I live to be 95, I’d rather be on pills than lose my mental faculties. So bacon it is. I hope you will inherit the best of both sets of DNA. That said, I would pass up the wild rice soup because 1) there were lots of better choices, 2) I prefer spicy stuff, and 3) Velveeta (if it contains any cheese), milk, and canned milk-based soups would have me dashing for Lact-Aid or the toilet. 🙂
Yup, Dad is marginally better mentally, or maybe it just seems that way because I only see him once a year. Caring for an aging parent has taught me that living long is not something I want to do. Living healthy to the end is the better choice even if that means dying younger. Ain’t none of us gettin’ out of this alive.
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We each make choices – hopefully informed and ones that “do no harm”. I am a carnivore/omnivore but there are many who opt for plant based diets. Others choose to forego only red meats, or processed foods, and still others veer into the realms of gluten-free, fat-free, sugar free, low carb, or some other restrictive dietary regimen… I believe in moderation and tolerance.
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I’ll drink to that…in moderation, of course.