Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

From the NYT:
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles tracked the eating habits of 602 area women taking part in the federal W.I.C. program. Some of the women were given $10 in weekly vouchers for vegetable and fruit purchases at a nearby farmers’ market or supermarket, while a control group received coupons for non-food products in exchange for sharing information about eating habits.

After six months, women who shopped at the farmers’ markets were eating about three additional servings of fruits and vegetables a day, compared to the control group. Supermarket shoppers consumed 1.5 extra servings.

Amazing what direct interaction with farmers and actual fresh produce (not the stuff that's shipped across the country, waxed for sheen, and sprayed with water to mimic dew) will do to people's buying habits.

And speaking of diet and buying habits, Michael Pollan has a new one out: In Defense of Food. He argues for moving away from the center of the grocery store and toward the periphery and buying more locally grown food.

Locally grown food: it's just better.

And Adam Stein is a foolish contrarian working for right-wing hacks, writing articles that curiously resemble his diet (waxed to a shine but lacking in substance) and still fighting the War on Hippies 30 years after the last one rejoined society. Why is he agin' locally grown food?

Answer: because the Deadheads in his head are for it. What a sad existence.

He's also, apparently, suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. After deriding Chris Dodd for being a "northeastern liberal" who he expected to solve poverty by handing out rebates on iPhones, Stein tells us about his grocery trip:
Marcona almonds from Spain that were so much softer, sweeter and nuttier than any I can get here; Greek olives; Brie from France; smoked salmon from Scotland. I thought about getting a rack of lamb from New Zealand, but I couldn't resist asking the guy behind the seafood counter for the fish with the most frequent-flyer miles. I was going to get the opah from Fiji, but then I spotted the Chilean sea bass from South Georgia island, southeast of Argentina -- more than 7,000 miles of travel just to get eaten for a magazine article ... I added some asparagus from Peru to my shopping cart and, for dessert, threw in a pineapple from Hawaii (which was cheating, it turned out, at just 2,500 miles, but it looked so good and my sense of geography is so bad) and a young coconut from Thailand.

Yeah, 'cuz you're clearly a real salt-o'-the-earth kinda guy. Remember to wash the axle grease from your hands before preparing your brie and Chilean sea bass.

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