Two food celebrations from opposite ends
Within one week there are two food related commemorations occurring. One is an overindulgence of everything healthy and the other is quite the opposite. And the happy medium is somewhere in between.
On Oct. 24, National Food Day was celebrated across the fruited plains. It is touted as a day to “eat real.” The menu includes anything grown and purchased from a farmers market and prepared with as few ingredients as possible.
Michelle Obama has declared Food Day for citizens to think about food, what is the most healthiest, where it is grown, how it is produced, how to cook it and the amount that is consumed.
This grass roots movement is picking up momentum as folks are concerned with the food supply and how it affects the human body. Mrs. Obama is centering this celebration on a call for action to combat obesity.
The quantity of raw food as well as the accessibility in our daily diets is the main focus of this movement. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to a simple meal made from scratch is a great way to celebrate Food Day. Getting to know a local farmer and shopping at a farmers market also connects the food supply to the most basic source.
Devoting a day to “eat real” is a movement that brings together a varied group of people that believe that a more healthy and affordable and sustainable food system is possible in this country. Quality food that is accessible is on the menu.
Now the other grand celebration of things chewed and swallowed is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. To put it short and sweet, the other commemoration involves Halloween candy. Unless there is a swarm of bees in the backyard these two celebrations are as separate as night and day. Perhaps that is why First Lady Michelle decided to mark a date late in October for Food Day. It is at the end of the growing season and it may serve as a beacon of health amidst mountains of sugar laden snacks with very limited nutritional value.
Bags of empty calories are being purchased from every grocery and discount store in the land. Mountains of sugary treats and ghoulish delights will fill the daily diets of people, young and old, thick and lean, near and far.
Note the difference between an orange wrapped chocolate peanut butter cup and a handful of fresh roasted peanuts and a bag of marshmallow circus peanuts that have no relation to peanuts or butter but are 100 percent sugar.
Tootsie Rolls are chewy but so are carrots. The biggest disparity is the obvious difference between “eat real” food and “real eat” foods.
There is a happy medium. A diner could daily count the number of fruits and vegetable servings that are consumed. If the number exceeds five, a candy treat is added.
Consider chocolate dipped broccoli or candy corn made from real corn and tossed in an orange butterscotch syrup. Fried pickles are an unhealthy/healthy version of fresh cucumbers. Dust lettuce with powdered sugar and serve with raisin sauce. Need I go on?
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.