I predominantly make sustainable food choices. Eating three to four times a week vegetarian, buying my food from local, small farms, and shopping organic when local options are unavailable make up how our family eats. A big part of being sustainable is avoiding processed and fast foods.
That said it is great making better food decisions, but having a rigid relationship with food takes the enjoyment out of eating and enjoying food should be part of one’s total food experience. What an excessive fad diet culture and nutrient of the moment fanaticism has created is a food culture in America that forgets eating is supposed to be an enjoyable part of life.
So while our family has reduced eating out, make considered choices when buying food, and have moved to a diet that’s mostly vegetarian with some grass-fed, pasture raised, small farm meats we still do enjoy a break so that we are not so unpleasant that we abstain from moments for “special occasion food.”
What does “special occasion food” mean?
It is a phrase I’m borrowing from author Michael Pollan. “There is nothing wrong with special occasion foods, as long as every day is not a special occasion,” Mr. Pollan writes. “Special occasion foods offer some of the great pleasures of life, so we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of them, but the sense of occasion needs to be restored.” (source NYTimes.)
He is not talking about food at a wedding or party, though they are occasions with food. Pollan is talking about how our relationship with food has become unhealthy by eating fast food and snacks as a normal behavior and that transversely we who make more healthy decisions can become just as unhealthy in our thinking if we deny ourselves foods we enjoy. Just do it from time to time and have a healthy perspective even when making an occasional (there’s that word again) exception from eating sustainable food.
So I have no issue having an In-N-Out burger or a gas station taco from time-to-time knowing that 95% of the time our family is eating food that is responsible to the environment and the ethics of our society.
Now back to finishing up my Double-Double.