Mark Bittman has created a journey for himself when it comes to food. And he's been lucky enough to have been blessed with a friendly (although sometimes stern, when necessary) writing voice and several platforms with which to talk to us all, sharing his discoveries.
Vegan Before 6 was his adventure into losing weight and becoming a more healthy American. Yes, there are the politics of food and food production that play a role in this, but initially it was about regaining his health. I am one of those lucky so-and-so's who had never had an issue with my weight: I don't have a chart on my weight going up or down and I've never owned a scale. Now, I also don't eat too much junk food or pre-packaged food (potato chips are my downfall, any potato products really... maybe good quality ice cream too) and I don't have any food allergy issues that make my weight a concern. But most of my life I have not eaten as much fruit and veg as I 'should' have. Not that I ascribe to the food pyramid of 6-8 servings per day, or whatever it is these days (is it even a pyramid anymore?!), but I know better that I should be enjoying more of our fruit and vegetable sisters.
I also have had this habit of storing and hording items in case I absolutely need them later and I'm more desperate for them later. I used to be that way with Midol, even when my cramps were making me blackout, I wouldn't take them because tomorrow I might need them even MORE. In my adult life,
I horde the CSA veges. But you know what? They go bad after awhile, although the skunks that frequent our compost pile don't have a problem with it, I feel I could be doing myself a LOT more good by just eating these delicious, in-season pickings. Whether I eat those peppers with hummus today or Wednesday, I'm still getting the nutrition from them. And, quite frankly, I'm rather enjoying them too. Bonus: I can get more next week as well!
But back to Vegan Before 6. I'm reading this book as an educational tool. I'm learning about nutrition and body chemistry, I'm learning more about the politics of food (and I already consider myself a cynic of food corporations and marketing) and there are some delicious recipes in the back that give me and my family some marvelous options for a better myriad menu choices.
This book is helping me examine my own and my family's trends and habits, to figure out why we choose what we choose to eat. Because, it really is a choice. Our choice. So I'm taking the lessons from this book and applying them to our future food choices and make them beneficial for our health, community and happiness. Yeah, good food.