Raise your hands if you have been reading Michael Pollan?
His latest, In Defense of Food, just came out in trade paperback last week and it’s definately worth the read (as is The Omnivore’s Dilemna, which is less about what to eat as it is about the production of food in general, but still an excellent eye opener).
Michael Pollan is getting people thinking about what they are putting in their mouths for fuel everyday and how it is affecting our overall health, and the message is getting through in a very big way.
The first time I read something that touched on locavoreism was in a book of essays by Barbara Kingsolver called Small Wonder. This came in in 2001 or 2002, several years before Animal, Vegetable, Miracle hit the shelves. She talked about how if everyone spent just 20.00 a month from their grocery bill on locally grown and processed foods it would change the world. At the time I was living in the Houston area and there were no Farmer’s Markets (I emailed the texas agriculture department and asked even). I had to really hustle to find places to spend local money. I went to you-pick farms and bought veggies and honey from roadside stands. 20 dollars a month is a challenge and only a few years later 35-50% of my weekly food budget is on local ingredients between the farmer’s market, Greenling, and whatever is marked as local at the grocery store (I make a big deal about buying a bunch of ANYTHING local at the grocery store. I have to keep encouraging them!)
So not only is the message getting out there and the world is changing, this is one of the best ways to say on the Glycemic Index diet. Eat food? Not too much? Mostly plants? Isn’t that almost the GI diet in a nutshell?
In the past two years I have dropped two dress sizes and kept it off. The keeping it off part is the huge thing. And the fact that I have never been hungry is the second-hugest thing.
Is that a dramatic difference? No. Though you can certainly tell in before and after pictures (I like to show people my old driver’s license photo. It’s practically a party trick). Is my diabetes under control? Yes. If I’m not eating well it is IMMEDIATELY evident in my bloodwork. Even if I am taking my medications perfectly.
I am certainly not perfect. The iced coffees from McDonalds have a siren call, I swear. I still use processed stuff like the Splenda cakemixes. But I’m using less of them, and using more natural ingredients like agave. When I do eat something sweet, I try to avoid the corn syrup in favor of cane sugar and have noticed that I am satiated faster. But then, I try to avoid corn syrup period. It helps my blood sugar in general.
Rates of diabetes are very high among native peoples (my father is Choctaw) and is an aspect of multimodal diagnosis that I am researching for my dissertation, so I’m a little geeked out on the subject. But Michael Pollan makes it easy. Eat things your forebears would recognize as food. Don’t eat so much and have most of it be stuff grown in the ground. Stuff grown in the ground in your own foodshed is even better.
And check out the book, you’ll be glad you did.