18 April 2010

First post!

I must be crazy to start another blog, but I'm becoming as passionate about food as I am about literacy.

Well, almost. My interest and knowledge about food, eating and health has yet to translate into action. I don't think it will really be a passion without the action.

And I won't be healthy!

My plan here is to get family and friends to listen to what I have to say about food, correct me. Tell me what you know. Share information, books, movies... so we can all be healthy. I don't think we realize what junk we eat in this country. In the past 10 years, I've visted as many countries if not more and while in these countries, I've never NEVER found clothes that fit my ample figure. Why not? Because there is no need for plus sized clothing in countries where few to no women are plus sized.

What's the difference? Why are Americans so big?  I'll tell you what I've come to experience, but let me ask why you think Americans are so terribly obese.

We're not going to worry about being politically correct here. But we will be polite. We're trying to save lives!


  1. I don't really know why Americans are obose. Perhaps because we are always so buys, so that we don't have time to sit down and cook a healthy meal. I think we need more fast food healthy places (is that an oxymoron?) This way, Americans constantly on the run, wouldn't have to turn to the unhealthy places like Mickey Ds, wendys, etc. The North needs some more Chick fil a!

    I'm so envious of all the traveling that you do. Looking forward to following the blog :)

  2. Edi,

    I'm so excited that you're starting this blog!!!! Beyond ecstatic!

    I won't give any precise numbers here, but I did have a slim figure (from African standard, lol) all my life until I moved to the States.

    After months in the US, I gained much much weight, ridiculously fast, despite exercising regularly. It seemed out of control. I remember gaining 20 lbs in one month and, alarmed, seeing a doc to no avail.

    The reason behind? A combo of a not healthy lifestyle (skipping meals, too busy eat regularly) and consumption of processed food. (was hardly part of my diet before, because abroad it is more expensive than most fresh produce. Here, it appears to be the contrary).

    Eating out also didn't help.

    What made me mad:
    -MSG (and restaurants using it. Now the trend is changing)
    -High Fructose Corn Syrup (it does affect the metabolism)
    - Food seems fattier, and IS, in several cases (in restaurants), ridiculously rich (in same dish: sour cream, butter/dripping oil/transfats, cheese, bacon, avocado (healthy fat, though), sugar in bread buns, fried items (onions, etc...) => LDL 101

    Bad product labeling (misinforming the public).

    Sorry for the long post. :D

  3. I love this idea...I'm not a fan of blogs but I will be keeping up with this one.

    In my humble opinion I think there are a few reasons Americans are so unhealthy in general. Our ever growing appetite (pun intended) for instant gratification is the reason I'll focus on today.

    Corporations are worried about todays profits and not tomorrows costs. They feel no obligation to their customer which is really their neighbors friends and family. Consumers demand the latest and greatest today. So corners are cut, hormones are added, corn-feed is used, cheap mechanical parts are used and electrical rigs are shoddily built.

    Many families are caught in an interesting quandary a catch-22 if you will. Quality food is more expensive - why go to whole foods today when I can go to save-mart and pay a fraction of the price? We don't think about the long term costs and possible health implications.

    Our need for instant gratification has impaired our ability to weigh long term costs. We have this problem in finance, healthcare, food, spending, farming...so on and so forth. We want a solution today, when many of the problems we have need a sound well thought out approach that may take some time to be successfully implemented. Our mindset as a county is unhealthy causing they rest of our decisions to be faulty.

    We dont have enough foresight (as a nation) to look at the complete scenario. Why is the food cheaper at save-mart? What is in it? How will that affect me and my family down the road? The real question is, are we really saving money?

  4. I think part of is we are LONELY! We celebrate independence to the extreme - we rarely spend the time it take to make deep connections with others. So, we eat, because we are missing something. I also think we are spiritually hungry. It's another hole in our lives that we keep trying to fill...

  5. I'm tearing up here and I'm not a crier! You all are already giving me what you need: information, wisdom, love, support...
    BrainLair, I agree with you so much! I have got to quite seeing food as my friend and start seeing food as a source of nutrition. Roddawg (my son!) is going to keep pushing me to find activities that give me as much lift and comfort as food does.

  6. "Food is never just food. Food is love. Food is solace. It is politics..." Peggy Orenstein in NYT Mag http://nyti.ms/bGrKeG

    So glad you are doing this, Edi!

    All the best,

  7. We don't know how to eat. It's also quick, easy and cheaper to eat unhealthy.

    I love this idea. I do make an effort to watch what I eat, though I've been slipping lately, this will keep me on my toes.

    Edi - have you seen Jamie Oliver's new show? If so how is it?

  8. This is JUST the kind of blog/conversation I need to be in on...and don't forget to watch FOOD, INC. on PBS this week (4/21)...

  9. Hi Edi,

    Your journey into food is a noble one. I admire your willingness to explore the connections inherent in it. I offer you discoveries I’ve made while on my own journey.

    At 5’5”, I graduated from high school weighing 98 lbs. Most of my life I had an 18 inch waist. This developed as a consequence of self-starvation, which sprang from an unconscious desire to be both seen and not seen. As a teen, and throughout my life, I did not consciously choose to starve myself. What I chose was that marvelous moment of recognition when someone took the time to say to me, ‘You eat like a bird’. For that one glorious moment, someone knew I existed. I was more than the ugly step-child that my step-father was ‘sick and tired of raising”; more than the be-seen-and-not-heard child that tried to win back my mother’s love and attention; more than the good little mother’s helper that set the table each day, prepared dinner, washed the dishes, made sure the younger children got their homework done, their teeth brushed, baths taken, pajamas on and in bed on time, floors swept, mopped, or vacuumed and the house straightened before my mother got home at 11 PM, and long before I ever began to look after or consider my own needs. I was raised to be a selfless Catholic. Additionally, in my home, being seen could be dangerous, so most of the time I wasn’t. I was a Cinderella-like waif who literally made myself small, thin, quiet and rotebotic. My routine seldom changed. As a redhead with glasses at a time when neither were popular nor accepted, taunts and jokes such as ‘four eyes’ and ‘I’d rather be dead than red on the head’, abounded enough to make school an institute of horror where I experienced shame, humiliation, and withdrew further into my small, private selfless self. Food was the one element in my life that contained possibilities for variables. I suppose I could have channeled my energy into becoming a great cook, but we were poor folk, and bacon grease, salt, and pepper were the more notable spices in our lives. I inadvertently learned that food could be used as a tool, a weapon of unconscious control, that I could use to both make myself small so I wouldn’t be seen, and to gain attention, to be noticed, to be seen by another’s eyes, if only for a brief moment.

    Food for thought: some questions you may want to ask. (Some people find journaling helpful.) Am I using food as a tool, a weapon, or for something other than comfort? Do I need to be a specific size/weight in order to be seen (or not be seen)? Am I emulating a familial pattern in my life? Can I recall one moment in time, which more than any other, connected me to food?

    (At different times, you may want to ask these questions again varying the pronouns: Am I…, Are you…Is he…(even if you are a female), Is she…(even if you are a male), Are they…Are we…? (even though you are a single entity). There are no right or wrong responses. The goal is to accept any insight that comes.

    More later…

  10. Flame!!
    Glad you made it!
    Looking inward to solve any problem is a necessary and complicated process. My childhood seems so boringly normal, but, what is normal?? How deep do I let myself look?

    You've looked deep and really considered your past. And present.

    You give some tremendous questions to help with this process.
    Between what society has done, our families and our government it's a wonder we're not in worse shape!

  11. Hi Edi,

    I believe that it is through sharing the stories of our lives that the empty loneliness that The Brain Lair is talking about diminishes. Many of us are hungry for meaningful connections…remember sitting on the porch in the evenings after meals, just being, sometimes sharing a watermelon or an ice cream on a hot summer evening? Does anyone in the age of “The Empty Package” sit on the front porch in the evenings anymore? How often do we share family meals now? But handing ourselves over to ‘society, family, government,’ etc., assuming a victim mentality, or laying blame isn’t going to save us. We can support one another, but this is an inward journey about I…why do I buy the food that I buy? eat what I eat? cook it this way and not that? crave this? hate to eat that? eat alone? binge? horde food? starve? vomit? The I of now has its roots in our past. If we question ourselves about the choices we make, we might be surprised at what we discover.

    I have not read Food, Inc. or Food Rules, but would like to suggest two additional books, not specifically about food, but about how we can get played by society and the
    Corporatocracy…both easily translate into food.

    The Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins

    Our Looks, Our Lives by Nancy Friday (Originally published as The Power of Beauty)

    I’d also recommend these two movies:

    First Do No Harm

    Lorenzo’s Oil

    While neither are specifically about food additives, after viewing these movies, I believe one cannot help but consider that there are possible ‘side effects’ inherent in the processed foods we ingest, and that it is highly possible that the preservatives, flavor enhancers, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, dyes, artificial other things whose names, as you say, we cannot even pronounce combine to make toxic chemical cocktails that may effect each of us differently according to our genetic inheritance, brain chemistry, blood type, etc., and for which there is no possible scientific method for predicting, understand, or determining all the various combinations that are capable of occurring.

    There is also a recent article on Yahoo about:

    To Our Health!


We're not going to worry about being politcally correct here. But we will be polite. We're trying to save lives!