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Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

There's food, and then there's "food"


It was many years ago when I first became interested in the subject of quasi-food. I was about 10 at the time. I was at the store with my family (we went every Saturday) when I picked up a yellowish-orange brick from the refrigerated dairy case. I asked my mom, "What is 'cheese food'?" She gently took the "cheese" singles from me, put them back in the case and said, "You wouldn't like it."


As usual, my mother was right. Years later, newly-made friends re-introduced me to the frighteningly uniform "cheese" slices and another odd cheese product: "cheese" in a spray can. I was a college freshman, living off the fat of the land (read: my parents money), but I was "independent." (This particular blog entry requires an inordinate amount of quotation marks.) I could eat "cheese food" if I wanted to. It was less about the "food," more about the fact that I could step out on my own. I was actually a bit disgusted by the sight (take a gander) of the smooth, bright orange swirl sitting atop the cracker. But, hungry to exercise my new independence, I tried one. Needless to say, my mother's voice rang in my head, "I told you that you wouldn't like it."


I'm nowhere close to being a member of the food police. But I don't see the point of "food" when I can buy the real deal. Here is an interesting article on MSN about faux food.


An alarming factoid from the story:

"Some processed nuggets can have almost double the calories, five times the fat, and six and a half times the sodium as an equal amount of regular skinless chicken breast."


I realize one should never say never since I can't be sure of exactly what I'll do when I'm a parent, but I can't imagine giving that to my kid when I could make a far more healthful version at home in about 25 minutes.
About the photo:
Cotswold Double Gloucester cheese with chives from Hyde Park Gourmet Food and Wine.
Photo by Leigh Patton/Cin Weekly


2 Comments:

at 10:23 AM Blogger Cin Twin1 said...

This reminds me of a quote my mother used to say "You are what you eat" If you want to eat fake processed food, then don't be surprised if you don't feel good. This serves as a good reminder that we should eat things that are natural and as close to the earth as possible.

Another favorite saying of mine about eating, "You put junk in, you get junk out"

We are some wise foodies around here!

 
at 1:48 PM Blogger Stepf said...

It's amazing the things we put it our mouth! I challenge anyone to read "Fast Food Nation" or "Chew on This" by Eric Schlosser, then eat a processed food. Ew, ew, ew.

 
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