Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Omnivore's Dilemma

That's the title of the book I picked up today. Well, book on tape. I've started to listen to books on tape a lot. I get bored reading nonfiction for too long, but it turns out I like to listen to it as long as I can do something else at the same time.

So anyway, the omnivore's dilemma is this: What should I eat? That is all the book is about--just answering that question. It follows several food chains from their beginnings so you can make informed decisions about your meal. I have only listened a chapter so far (intriguingly called "Corn"), but I am already nervous about this book.

Here's why: I feel a lot of guilt about eating. I don't feel guilty about eating too much, or eating healthily. I feel guilty about eating irresponsibly. I worry about eating foods that come from companies that are cruel to animals. I worry about eating vegetables from places that pollute the environment. In the back of my mind I feel that some of my purchases encourage inhumane labor practices for people in third world countries. And to be honest -and I think I feel worst about this when I allow myself to think about it- I feel pretty lousy about eating animals at all. I mean, there's not really a need to any more. I could just eat legumes.

But here's the thing. I eat meat (and plenty of it). I never buy organic fruits or veggies and I always get whatever brand of whatever thing is cheapest unless Chris complains (hence our fancy-pants brown sugar). I do these things for three eventually unjustifiable reasons:

a)It just costs less money, and that seems really important right now.

b)Anything else would demand that I spend a lot more time thinking about and preparing meals. I only sometimes like cooking.

c)I really don't like legumes. Or at least the ones I know about.

(I don't know exactly what that means but I figures it translates to something like "I am smiling so much because I have broccoli for a nose instead of a legume!")

So there is my confession. Will I change? Probably not soon--unless this book has some easy, inexpensive answers. Also, I may not finish the book if it makes me feel too bad.

Also, I dedicate this posting to Lisa because she is the only one I know who has tried to be a vegetarian. Also, she flosses.


ThomasCL said...

Nice blog. I bought organic banana's twice after I read that Banana book that I wrote a fantastic blog about at, but then I just stopped. I guess the guilt went away. Actually I think maybe I just haven't eaten any bananas since then.

Lisa Lou said...

I stopped eating bananas after reading that book Animal, Vegtable, Miracle. But I totally understand your dilemma. Pay more for the organic, local foods or spend that money on rent/car payments/heat. I want to learn to can foods and but all the cheap produce in the summer and can it. Also, I can't wait to have a yard and make a garden. But I know what you mean about the guilt.

Lisa Lou said...

also, I appreciate the dedication. Very meaningful. I got as excited about that as the pin I won from Chris! Man, I think that coat IS magical!!

Bridget said...

Ha ha, I was just going to mention Animal Vegetable Miracle. I read it over the summer and...well, you can read the review on my blog. It's on there somewhere. This book sounds like maybe it's AVM's kinder, gentler, less judgmental cousin.

I was a vegetarian for a couple of years in high school. I still don't eat ground beef (going on eleven years now).

I want to hear what you think of this book when you're done reading it, so be sure to let us know.

bryan lewis said...

I translated that sentence and it says "they are not vegetables." I thought legumes were beans. I guess the word "legume" is the French word for vegetable.