I am fascinated by the evolution of our diet in this country. There is so much to talk about and so many things that could be discussed. What intreagues me most is how far food has come from the family farm and what has casued the migration away. As our system has been industrialized the consequences have grown ever more clear. Like many of you reading this... I am a product of the industrial system. The milk and meat that I grew up eating and drinking are the kinds of products that we now know to be causing damage to our bodies. The scary part is that those foods still account for most of what you find in the grocery store... little has changed.
My mother had a heart attack last month. She is fine, a couple of stints were put in and she is doing very well. Born and raised in the forties and fifties my guess is that her early years were full of food grown and processed very close to her rural Ontario home. As the world shifted in the years after WWII I am sure my mom's diet shifted as well. Industrial food was blowing up all accross the country, convenience was winning the day, emerging adults like my mother could not wait to "get off the farm", away from the manure and stink and into the ease and convenience of the suburban supermarket. Who could blame her?
My mother has stories of growing up with her 12 siblings.. sharing beds, older kids caring for the younger, the whole bit. But it wasn't a "bit" at all, it was life. And like so many others my mom changed with the times, looked at the benefits and bonuses of affluent post war America (she had moved to Detroit by the late 60's) and thought it was great. And it was great, huge progress and improvements in a country that had defeated evil and saved the world. We would be silly and short sighted to look back and judge anyone for jumping on that train, I would have been the first one to grab a seat.
So its hard now, and complicated, to see through food the consequenses of those transitions. How do we account for the world we are creating and the health we are endangering 50 years from now? Can we? The arteries and veins on the front of my mothers heart were completely clogged, and if you asked me at any point in the past 25 years I would have told you that my mother was a pretty healthy woman. And I think she is.. but I guess the question is how healthy can you be if even the good food you eat is not actually good?
But don't we know better now? I guess. In some things... but look at the debate raging about labelling GMO's and the like. The jury probably will not be in on that sucker for 30 to 40 years; not until, like my Mom's heart, the consequences present themselves. I guess I don't realy have a point here... just some random thoughts on health, food, and the human condition.