September 11, 2009

So, I looked around my kitchen a few weeks ago: Chef Boyardee in the pantry, next to boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, a box of Oreos, those little 100-calorie bags of Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies, you get the idea. I also had Lunchables in the refrigerator and Kid Cuisine frozen dinners in the freezer and I decided that something had to change. This was not how I wanted to eat, nor was it what I wanted to feed my kids.

I decided to take seriously Michael Pollan’s advice in In Defense of Food, to “eat food,” rather than “processed food products.” I started with Pollan’s rules for eating “food,” made a few revisions, and came up with the following:

1. Pollan’s advice is not to eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as food.  I have expanded that to include all great grandmothers since my Eastern European great grandmothers would not have recognized tofu as food, and it’s unlikely they ever saw a mango or a kiwi either.

2. Don’t eat anything incapable of rotting — Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies come to mind.

3. Nothing with high fructose corn syrup

4. Nothing with ingredients that I would not use in my own kitchen, or that sound more like a chemical than a food. I make an exception for added vitamins and minerals because otherwise even flour would be off limits.

5. Nothing with more than five ingredients. Again, I make an exception for added vitamins and minerals.

This blog will document my family’s attempt to survive without packaged bread, granola bars, instant oatmeal and just about every other food found in the center aisles of your local supermarket. I’ll talk about successes and failures, what works and what doesn’t. I’ll probably throw in a recipe every now and then as well. My kids will probably weigh into from time to time, about what they like, what they miss, and maybe to explain why my plain oatmeal made from scratch with brown sugar sprinkled on top is inferior to Quaker’s instant Maple Brown Sugar oatmeal.

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