Friday, September 17, 2010


We all need to eat. It’s built in. Calories are essential. Judging by the look of many Americans, we take this necessity a bit too seriously. However, since eating and preparing to eat are lynchpins to our existence, I have spent some considerable time thinking about food. It seems to me that food falls into certain categories, as do all of us who eat it.

SNACKS. By definition, snacks are portable small meals. People have snacks between meals to boost their energy. Snacks ought to be healthy and low calorie. However, the American food conglomerates have turned snacks into “fun sized” versions of meals. We have smaller Blizzards, for example. I have often wondered how any person can finish a normal sized Blizzard, which probably amounts to around ten thousand calories. But as a “tide me over,” the smaller Blizzard is more manageable at around two thousand calories. Other “snacks” in America that have become popular are granola bars covered in chocolate (perhaps six hundred calories), pudding cups that have no sugar, no fat, and therefore no nutritive value, little one hundred calorie bags of everything from pretzels to cookies. My mother used to hand me an apple when I needed a snack.

COMFORT FOOD. Speaking of Mothers, they are the originators of “comfort food.” Again, we all like to remember tucking in to piles of mashed potatoes and gravy, pot roast, macaroni and cheese, and things like apple pie and brownies from scratch. Apparently, we still do this. But today, the comfort food is produced by Sarah Lee, Colonel Sanders and Marie Callender, and we are so comfortable that few of us wear pants that don’t have elastic waistbands.

GOURMET FOOD. If you watch the Food Network, you see this type of food prepared daily. Ina Garten, Emeril, and Mario Batali show everyone how it’s done. Frankly, I get weary of all the mincing, sautéing, macerating and gardening that is necessary to produce this food. Any recipe with more than three steps and four ingredients is exhausting. I love to eat gourmet food in restaurants, but having it at home requires at least a Christmas tree and one daughter.

ORGANIC FOOD. I am into the whole organic movement. I am embarrassed by the size of my carbon footprint. So whenever I can, I purchase organics. We all need to remember that organic food does not look flawless, like the things we are accustomed to seeing in the produce section. The apples may be misshapen and have little holes in them. The beans may not be all the same size. But organics are much more healthful. However, and this is a BIG however, organic produce, while healthful, still must be washed. I have had the diarrhea that proves this tenet.

RAW FOOD. This is a food movement that I can’t really understand. These foodies feel that anything cooked will make you sick or even kill you. Meat is obviously out for these people. I have actually been to a “raw food” restaurant, where their approximation of pizza was, I will have to say, interesting. Beet slices may look pepperoni-ish, but the resemblance ends there. The good news for raw food lovers is that pineapple tastes great uncooked.

I applaud all those people out there who are appalled at the beer bellies and large rear ends of many Americans. I think that we should all consider joining gyms and taking the stairs. Let us all remember our New Year’s Resolutions and get ourselves in order! I plan to to do this immediately.

I have packed some snacks into the pockets of my sweat pants, and I am going out for a walk.


  1. Wait a minute - that last bit! You plan to do MORE exercise? This from the woman who said she'd avoid our blog because it involved fitness and laughter, only one of which sounded enticing (hint: not the fitness). And you are already the Spin Queen. Wait, I know. Put your indoor cycle machine on top of the exercise ball!
    I once did a comedy routine about my mom's four food groups - the "I opened the can myself" food group, the "I found this at the bottom of my purse" food group, the "If Stouffer's doesn't make it, I don't make it" food group, and the "I put it in the center section of the car and it reformed into a new food entirely" food group. I rebelled and have my own organic garden!

    (sorry, found a typo, which bugs me - A)

  2. I wish my exercise pants had pockets so I could bring along snacks!:)
    Your mom must have been nicer than mine. She gave you an apple? Wow! If we got an apple, we had to go out and steal it from the neighbor's trees. She just said, "You can wait until dinner. Now get back outside and play!"

  3. ROFL! So true--you hit the nail on the head, sister!

    And what is especially annoying, is how all those owners of the extra-large derrieres don't seem to realize how much space they occupy!!

    I've had more than one almost knock me down in the grocery store, (because in their mind, they are still thin and fit), as they barge past, bowling over old ladies and small children alike.

    Excellent read, as always!

  4. I prefer to take the stairs, but most of the buildings in New York City won't let you for security purposes...I blame my growing waistline on Homeland Security !! ;-)

  5. So wait?

    My planned dinner of Lucky Charms and a bagel?

    That's not good?

    What if I also drink a beer?

    Nothing but fabulous, that combo.


  6. We don't have blizzards here in England though the granola bars you mention are popular. What gets me is the amount of hidden fat/sugar/salt there is in even the most healthiest sounding snacks. A great post molly, thanks.

  7. As you know, we LOVE snacks! All agreed though, everything in moderation, fresh, organic and homemade! The mere mention of mashed potatoes already has us off track...

  8. Jeez ... a 2000 calorie snack is what you should eat for an entire day.

    And the whole raw food movements seems a bit too much for me.

    And as a visual eater, I do have a problem with the less appealing organic foods ... and my husband hates the prices!


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