Well I was having a good time reading this CNN article, An inconvenient challenge: Eat ‘real food’ for a month. It’s decent reportage of food blogger Jennifer McGruther’s reader challenge at The Nourished Kitchen.
More than 900 people signed up for the challenge, and some were confident that it would not be difficult to avoid processed foods for 28 days.
But in the age of potato powders, cheese in a squirt can and microwaveable meals, eating only "real food" turned out to be much more difficult.
On Day One of the challenge, blogger Jennifer McGruther gave this instruction: Purge your pantry of processed foods.
This meant everything with refined oils, white flour, sugar, low- and skimmed-milk products, margarine, processed cheeses, refined salt and dried pastas had to go.
Looks to me like she’s a WAPF enthusiast, which is fine. Just understand it’s a lot harder and more involved than a more paleoesque way of doing things. Soaking, sprouting, grinding & fermenting grains has just got to be an awful chore, and for so little nutritional reward.
But hey, I’ll applaud anything that gets people thinking about better, wholesome food and getting the junk out of their lives. And it certainly is quite a shock for many.
"I thought we ate healthy," said Kassandra Mier, a challenge participant. "I didn’t think it’d be a problem. It was tougher than I thought. Trying to have a breakfast that didn’t have anything processed was time-consuming."
In the morning, she ground oats and buckwheat to make pancakes and waffles. She pan-fried eggs and made hash browns from scratch.
"The first week, I didn’t think I could continue it," said Mier, who lives in the suburbs of Toronto in Canada. "It made it extra work than it would’ve been otherwise. I felt like a slave in the kitchen."
The upside was her children had such hearty breakfasts, they rarely asked for snacks.
There’s the frustrating thing about the whole WAPF deal. Gotta have pancakes! ‘They’ll be fine if we just make ’em ourselves. Oh, and use honey for the syrup.’ Might as well serve your kids birthday cake or even candy bars. Literally.
Others got it exactly right (those closer to paleo).
Dawn Partlow of Lincoln Park, Michigan, said that throughout the challenge, she prepared simple items including steaks, baked potato and salad, or soup made with previously frozen stock.
Still others got perhaps the most valuable lesson of all, a wakeup call.
"I got rid of tons of stuff — enough stuff, that I had trouble figuring out what to feed my kids," said Maggie Towson of Bel Air, Maryland.
After the pantry purge, a trip to the grocery store stunned her.
"There’s little real food in them," she said. "That was kind of a shock to realize how limited the choices were."
There’s actually quite a bit of real food but, yes, I get the sentiment. Because unlike industrial food production were you take basically three ingredients (flour, sugar, seed oil), make thousands of derivatives and all you need are "artificial flavorings;" instead, we have to get creative.
As I was saying, I was generally enjoying and applauding all of this until this nitwit, Dawn Jackson Blatner had to open her pie hole to spew her conventional "wisdom" diarrhea.
Limiting processed foods can be rewarding because it encourages people to eat more fruits and vegetables, said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and an American Dietetic Association representative. But she warned against villainizing all processed foods.
Processed food is defined as any food that has undergone a change of character. For example, edamame would be unprocessed, and tofu would be processed.
I like the idea of less processed foods, but you can find healthy stuff in a package, too.
Blatner said another example is milk that is pasteurized for safety reasons. Some traditional food loyalists recommend drinking raw, whole milk.
"I like the idea of less processed foods, but you can find healthy stuff in a package, too," she said, pointing to low-fat milk, sliced apples and unsalted canned vegetables as examples.
"You have to put everything into perspective. With any diet, you never want to follow it to such an extreme there’s something wrong with it."
More fruits & vegetables? Low-fat milk? Unsalted canned vegetables? And where’s the meat, fish, fowl, the most crucially important foods nutritionally? Oh, yea, she has a book now, doesn’t she: The Flexitarian Diet: The Mostly Vegetarian Way to Lose Weight, Be Healthier, Prevent Disease, and Add Years to Your Life.
And oh, almost forgot; go have a look at the comments on the CNN piece and have your mind blown. That’s one whole lot of moron in one place.