Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't Go There!

There are things that I really enjoy, but that I don't eat anymore. I hate admitting that I, too, am subject to the same neurotic fears that convulse through our privileged system like so much stomach flu. Appetizing analogy, eh? But of course, in order to maintain my self-composed sophisticated and worldly identity, identity composed of a teeny-tiny high- maintenance veneer, I must believe that my food fusses are morally superior to those of the mere humans around me.
But of course, starving reader, but of course. And I can stare at my own hypocrisy and not wince at all.

Thanks to this book I stopped eating tuna. Fresh, canned, or sushi. Too much wanton destruction left in its wake, and too tricky finding tuna that the author finds acceptable. Nor, thanks again to that book, can I allow myself to buy farm-raised shrimp. It details horrible conditions for the workers, as well as terrible pollution for the water and land. On the other hand, it encouraged me to buy lots more shellfish, clams, oyster, and mussels. Sustainable and delicious, too.

Thanks to my son we no longer buy those wonderfully flavorful and inexpensive cuts of beef at the grocery store. Only humanely raised will do. Did you know cattle are fed corn because it's cheap (they're built to eat and metabolize grass) and then are medicated with antibiotics in order to overcome the side effects of a corn fed diet? Yuck!

Thanks to this parasite I no longer eat farm-raised salmon. It thrives and then threatens the salmon in the wild.

Tut, tut. I suppose I always had this capacity. Back in college surrounded by the vegetarians and the kosher I felt unclean. But I wasn't going to give up my pork! (On the other hand, I recall the shock I felt when a girl shook her head against the oranges. "Shot full of sugar," she said as she passed on them.).

Fortunately, if I ever do go whole hog and embrace my inner vegan, at least I'll be able to devour my rice and beans. Minus the chicken fat. Sigh.

And you, gentle reader, what food stuffs have you foresworn, out of fear, or fussiness, or compassion?


  1. No tuna and no farm-raised salmon. You've cut out the main forms of protein my most unworthy dining companion will stomach. As for me, I have recently been advised to reduce my salt intake. Sigh. The drama of middle age. Do you know how much salt there is in a lousy flour tortilla? A bagel? A nice piece of bread? It's all very depressing.

  2. So I suppose a delectable beef roast is out of the question. Hrumph! Maga

  3. Oh, Margaret--I would be in pain. Life without salt, well, it loses its flavor.
    Beef roast is fine, if you serve it!

  4. I am loving your blog!!!

    After I read Omnivore's Dilemma, I decided to only eat grass-fed beef. Problem is... how to find grass-fed beef.

    Tuna? No more for us, either, because of the mercury and PCBs.

    Wheat? I found out this year that I'm allergic and it, not pollen, was responsible for most of my sinus problems.

    My hubby got one of those terrible intestinal infections from a salad during the spinach scare a few years ago and after that I swore off bagged salads.

    There are starving people in other parts of the world who would want to take a pitchfork to me right about now!

  5. Not long ago I had grilled onions on a burger and a side of fried onion rings (something I haven't eaten in years!).

    Man, did I feel that! Unpleasant stomach reverberations for more than 24 hours.

    I decided that I must have gotten too old for onion-overdose or something. Grrr ....

  6. Laurie and Karen:
    Yikes! Food as hazard zone! Back to comfort foods--