How Then Shall We Eat?

Apr 30 2012

Been thinking a lot recently about food. I eat poorly. But what’s the standard?

'FOOD!' by galfred on Flickr

'FOOD!' by galfred on Flickr

The USDA food pyramid–once the nutritional standard–has come under fire. Research increasingly shows that foods once thought bad are actually important in certain amounts and ratios, and overall we’re finding that food is a matter of relationships.

So, to begin with, I must admit that there are no simple rules. One can’t simply brand grains or meat “unhealthy.”

What can we say? Using some of Michael Pollan’s advice, I’ve been thinking about traditional cuisines. What proportions of foods do we see in German or French or Chinese cuisine?

Let’s divide food into a few categories:

  • Grains
  • Meat
  • Beans and such
  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables

Asian food tends to focus on Grains (particularly rice), Vegetables, and Meat.

Italian food focuses on Grains (particularly pasta), Meat, Vegetables, Dairy, and Beans.

French food focuses on Grains (particularly bread), Meat, Fruit, Vegetables, and Dairy.

Mexican food focuses on Grains (particularly flour and corn), Vegetables, Beans, and Meat.

I’m seeing a pattern here. It’s not looking good for Atkins or Paleo, either.

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