Bonnie Modugno, MS, RDHealth Blog - Nutrition

Eating Out Just Isn’t the Same

Published on 2010-01-11 by Bonnie Modugno, MS, RD

January 10

Tonight we are going out to dinner for my birthday, a nice restaurant with close friends. I am familiar with the menu, and already know I will probably order the lamb. It is from New Zealand and grass fed. I am continually reminded how sharply my thinking and behavior has changed since I began the grass fed experiment almost five months ago.

I made a dessert for tonight—our guest’s favorite apple pie. I never liked cake, and warm apple pie a la mode is fine for me. I made my own dessert, knowing that too many desserts at restaurants these days are out sourced. With cost cutting being what it is, I cannot be sure of the ingredients.

Not having found ice cream using cream from grass fed cows (and not having an ice cream maker to fit my new stand up Kitchen Aid mixer yet)—I will concede to a small scoop of ice cream from “fresh natural ingredients”. I will prepare a latte at home with organic raw grass fed milk.

Later after dinner….

The meal is good, but I must say that I feel squeezed. I wish that this was different. I wish I could enjoy meals wherever I want to go, certain that the produce is fresh and grown as responsibly as possible, that ingredients are what they are supposed to be—not just the cheapest facsimile to get the job done. I detest the apparent degradation of our food supply.

It is sad that the push towards a more whole and wholesome food supply is not coming from the medical or the dietetic hierarchy. It is certainly not coming from the food manufacturers or food technologists. I don’t know if they have questioned the mantra “better living through chemistry.” And government regulatory agencies seem to have their hands full trying to keep business interests from drowning out science.

The push for a more healthful and honest food supply is coming from the fringe—people who have experienced for themselves the benefits of eating as close to the earth as possible for their own health, their patron’s health, for their animal’s health, and/or for the health of their soil.

I can tell that this food evolution will be both fascinating and frustrating. There are many levels to it. The most benefit will come when everyone has access to adequate fresh and whole foods grown and prepared without troublesome pesticides, fertilizers, additives, and ingredients. That is a tall order.

In the meantime there are other levels of change that benefit people. These goals deserve attention and shouldn’t be dismissed just because they don’t achieve the more complex objective to feed animals their natural diet and grow food without the assistance of petroleum based fertilizers that pollute our oceans and create dead zones. Especially during these early days of the New Year and New Year’s resolutions, everyone can consider the practical goals, including:

1.More focus on eating for health, less preoccupation with weight

2.Enough fruit, vegetables, beans and legumes

3.Less consumption of refined sugar and starch

4.More careful seasoning; less salting and flavoring excessively just because that is what the public is used to, and focus groups tell marketers that is what they like

5.More enjoyable whole foods, less highly processed and adulterated “fun” food; it is risky when food mostly postures as entertainment

6.Less sweetened beverages

7.More connection between food, hunger, and a sense of enough (satiety)

8.A willingness to assess the true costs of our current food supply. Treating diabetes, heart disease, auto immune diseases, and cancer is not cheap. Destroying our ocean’s and soil’s ecosystem is not cheap. A cheap and adulterated food supply is not cheap at all.

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