Wow. Double triple BACK FLIP WOW! I am a happy Real Foodie right about now. Did you see it? Did you cheer throughout most of the Oprah show like I did? I can’t even write this without wanting to SQUEAL.
UPDATE: See the comments below for a great idea from Paula! Let’s keep this Real Food Revolution going! Go to the Oprah show to comment and say thank you for having Michael Pollan on, then suggest that she bring on Nina Planck next! (If you want to mention that Kelly the Kitchen Kop sent you, that would be fun to take a shot at an “Oprah mention”! Can you imagine how wild that would be?) So I found 3 places to comment about this show, and I did all 3. You do have to register first and then click on “comments”:
- The first place I found to comment on the show with Michael Pollan
- The other place I found to comment on the show with Michael Pollan
- This Q & A with Michael Pollan is interesting, and there were only a couple comments there so far when I wrote mine.
I took notes like crazy as I watched yesterday…
Right on the Oprah show I heard her say phrases like these:
- “The low fat kick made everybody fatter!” Woohooo! They’re starting to GET IT!!! (Read more about healthy fats.)
- About Food, Inc.: “It makes you think. We ALL have to start paying more attention to what we put in our bodies. Do you know where you food comes from, what’s been added, what’s been taken out, what happens before a label goes on it?”
Oprah began with a food quiz:
- What is the most consumed meat around the world: beef, pork, goat, or chicken? The answer is goat. She stressed that the question was ‘around the world.’
- Which food travels the furthest: grapes, tomatoes, or mushrooms? The answer, which most of you probably knew, is grapes.
- How much milk vs. soda do children today drink compared to ? years ago (I didn’t catch how many years ago): the same, twice as much soda, or twice as much milk? The answer is twice as much soda. No surprise there.
- Americans take in 3 million pounds of antibiotics each year, how many do livestock take in: 8 million, 11.8 million, 14 million, or 28 million? The answer is 28 million pounds. (This number blows me away. Thank God we have healthy local and online sources for our meat!)
I was freaking out when Oprah showed many clips from Food, Inc., and stressed that she thinks everyone should see it. She said that many in the food industry think the movie was biased and misleading, but urged us to see it for ourselves and decide. She actually said that not only should we all see it, but we should all own it, and Amazon is running a deal right now so you can buy Food, Inc. for $9.99!
Michael Pollan stressed these facts:
- “Yes, we need to acknowledge the achievements of making food cheaper, but we also need to acknowledge that there is a cost to this.”
- When Oprah asked, “How then do we feed America?” He responded that we’ll need to spend a little bit more money on food. “Can we do it? Yes, we figured out how to reengineer the chicken, we can figure out this.”
- “A lot of the food in a supermarket is not really food and does not deserve to be dignified with that label. It is an ‘edible food-like substance’.”
- “In other parts of the world there are populations eating a variety of different types of traditional diets who are not suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It is not about counting grams of fat or carbs, or how much meat or fish you eat. It’s about whole foods and minimally processed plants, animals and fungi that our grandmothers ate.”
- He mentioned a population (I missed from where?) that eats a diet made up of 70% fats but they have no heart disease or diabetes.
- “Avoid food products that a 3rd grader cannot pronounce. It’s not real food.”
- “Only eat food that will eventually rot.” Oprah asked, “But I thought everything rots?!” He said he knows of these little cakes stuffed with cream, golden in color that come in cellophane bags. “Two years after I got it, it was as soft and spongy as the day I bought it. Food is alive and it should die.”
- “Do you want to pay now for groceries or pay for a doctor later? When I was a kid, we spent 18% of our income on food and 5% on healthcare. Now we spend 9% on food, and 17% on healthcare.”
- “The low-fat kick made everybody fatter! People thought fat was the only thing that could make you fat. So they took the fat out and put more sugar in. A 99% fat-free yogurt has more calories than full fat because of the sugar.”
- “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. Fries, cakes, and other baked goods are kind of a pain. Don’t deprive yourself of any pleasures, but earn them by making them at home.”
- Oprah asked, “What do you eat?!” He replied (and made me squeal again), “I cook a lot, I eat real food, cooking is the only way to take back our diet from corporations who want to cook for us. Corporations don’t cook that well, and they use too much salt and sugar. It’s not that hard, a little more time, a little more thoughtfulness, a little more money. I only buy pastured dairy, it has more beta carotene, omega 3’s, and other good stuff. I buy from farmers I know. I am picky about the meat I eat, I won’t eat feedlot meat. I eat grass-fed meat, it’s a very sustainable product. When cows are fed corn they grow faster but they also get sick, because cattle were evolved to eat grass. Eat meat that has itself eaten well.” Oprah said, “You’re not worried about saying bad things about beef?” She got a good laugh from that.
- Oprah: “We need a food revolution. Now people want corporations to cook for them because it all boils down to convenience.” Michael Pollan: “But if you know what it takes to make food that cheap, you lose your appetite.”
- Oprah: “But what about those that say, ‘We can’t afford to eat healthier.” Pollan: “It’s amazing that you can feed your family fast food cheaper than you can feed your family fresh produce. It’s because of our Federal Agriculture subsidy programs! We subsidize corn, soy, and wheat, but no fresh produce. We can get 1250 calories from $1 of processed food, but only 250 calories from $1 in the produce aisle. We’ve made it rational to eat badly. We need to change way we support farmers and encourage them to grow real food.”
- Oprah: “The consumer really is the biggest voice behind whether there will be real food or not.” Pollan: “This issue is very empowering, we get 3 votes a day. You don’t have to get everyone of them right, but if you get one right a day, buying sustainable food or food that’s humanely grown, whatever is important to you, as long as you vote with consciousness, things will change.” (Yahoo! Let’s all jump up and give each other high-fives!)
A Vegan Diet???
Next actress Alicia Silverstone came on to talk about her vegan diet. There’s no denying that she was sick, lacked energy, had skin issues and other problems until she began her diet and now she feels great. That really does make a point for finding what is right for you… Although I can’t help but think that someone like that would be even more healthy if they did all the good things they’re doing now, as far as avoiding processed foods, etc., but then still kept in the good things, like pastured meat and dairy. She said prior to this diet she was on a steak and donut diet. The steak was no doubt a typical factory farmed steak, and donuts, well, of course those are bad. So just giving up those would have been a huge step toward feeling better. But I know that some people just can’t eat certain things, and everyone really does have to find their own path and what is best for their bodies.
You should have heard her talk about how great her poops are on this diet. Yep, you read that right! She said there is no more need for books in the bathroom, one minute or so and she’s done, it’s very effortless.
No processed foods?
I found it super ironic, though, that she said she gave up all processed foods, yet on the video clips of her in the supermarket, she was raving about a bag of “chicken-like chicken” in the frozen section. How much processing does it take to make soy or some other not-chicken substance into “chicken”?
The fast food chain making waves: CHIPOTLE!
The average American eats fast food 4x/week. Chipotle founder Steve Ells set out to offer fast food with a conscience. Everything but their corn is fresh, not processed. Oprah asked, “How do you keep up the standards (with so many restaurants now)?” “We only do a few things, but we do them really well.” They have more naturally raised meat than any restaurant in the country. 100% of their chicken and pork is sustainably raised, and 60% of their beef. It is better tasting this way and better for the environment. “Our first experience with pork was after reading an article about an Iowa farmer. I got samples and it was awesome, so much better.” Oprah: “But it must cost so much more.” His reply: “Yes, but I saw what confinement meant, it makes you sad, I didn’t want my success based on that kind of exploitation, so we switched to all outdoor pork.”
Oprah: “Congrats Steve Ells, we need more of you!”
In closing Michael Pollan was asked how this would work, to feed the world with animals who were all outdoors. He said, “Well, it’s a trade-off, we probably wouldn’t eat as much meat.”
(Personally, I’d be OK with eating a few meatless meals a week, we do it anyway to save money and fill in with bone broth or other nutrient-dense meals. Some traditional cultures that Weston Price wrote about only had meat for one meal a week and they thrived.)
Oprah closed by asking everyone to “Eat a little more consciously, to be kinder to ourselves and to the planet. Do it for yourselves, for your families, and for their families to come.”