Monday, August 11, 2008

How The Other Half Lives


Lest anyone wonder, I’m fully aware of how annoying I can be. I, with all my rules by which to eat, and my inability to hold my tongue even in polite company, can grate on the last nerve of one who would like to be left alone with their soda pop and bag of chips. And see, if you only have to deal with my sermons here, in this quiet forum where you can leave with a single click, you may find me tolerable.
But you would be wrong.
The Carnivore tunes me out (he’s had years of practice), and Big Mama shares most of my dietary concerns, but as for everyone else, well, I just can’t help myself. I have strong opinions on sodas, imported produce, meat, conventional dairy products, high-fructose corn syrup, boxed mixes of any kind (including, but not limited to, cakes, brownies, pastas, pancakes, and biscuits), mass-market coffee, fast food chains, seafood of unknown provenance, juice drinks, cornbread with sugar, and processed food in general. And that is nowhere near a comprehensive list.
Look, we’re all a little neurotic about something, right? For me, it’s food. Clearly.
At my house, I serve an almost entirely vegetarian menu (the occasional exceptions are seafood maybe once a month, and the ham that I put into The Carnivore’s lunch bagels, at his request). Everything is made from scratch, except pie crusts (which scare me), some of our bread, all of our pasta (until I break down and buy a pasta machine), cheese & yogurt, and Edy’s strawberry popsicles (a non-negotiable food item). The vast majority of our produce, at least from May through October, comes from our CSA, the farmer’s market, or my mother’s garden. And the only groceries that come from out of the country are coffee (though I buy an organic, fair trade, locally-roasted blend), olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some cheeses, and a rare lime or banana. I think popcorn should be popped in a pan on top of the stove, and would rather eat a raw potato than bake it in a microwave.
Some rules are occasionally broken, at which time I flog myself with a limp (yet organic and whole wheat, to be sure) noodle and then strive to be a better consumer. Again.
I know what you’re thinking. “So what DO you eat, little miss smarty-pants?”
Well, I’m glad you asked. Actually, I get asked this question a lot. Through some genetic quirk, I am slim even though all I talk about is food. And then, since everyone knows I’m a vegetarian and very few people seem to understand how I get by in life that way, I field questions about obtaining adequate protein and iron. I usually give vague answers to this query, mostly because vague answers are my forte no matter the topic, but I’ve decided to lay it all out on the table now.
For the next week, I’m going to chronicle all my meals here. So far today, I have dutifully written down each and every snack, meal, and fig, and tomorrow I will post that ridiculous list here. I will admit it if I break down and go to Dairy Queen, and I won’t sugarcoat things if I eat virtuously for every single meal. I’m nothing if not brutally honest, and I have no qualms about making myself look bad (I do it all the time). I will not, though, under any circumstances, get into serving sizes or calorie counts. That takes all the fun out of eating. And if it isn’t any fun, well, what’s the point?
I hope I don’t regret this…

4 comments:

Maia said...

That sounds really interesting. Looking forward to seeing what you eat! I've been focusing on simplifying/localizing/vegetarianizing my own eating lately and I have to say that I ENJOY my food so much more now! Thanks for all of the great recipes.

Beth said...

I love you miss smarty pants. Now that I live here let's be real friends.
xoxoxo
Beth

Sarah Beam said...

Now, ya'll know I'm going to embarass myself, right?

Maia, I think its awesome that you're being mindful about your food. It can be life-changing.

Beth, some real friends are just what I need.

Michele said...

Sarah!!
I am so excited! I can't wait to see how my food heroine actually eats! I predict it's probably different then when we were in youth group???
Love you!