Food choices

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I was at the Opera House on Tuesday to see a talk by Michael Pollen, who has written some books on topics like the omnivores dilemma, on the importance of eating healthy, real food and some of the ways we can make better choices.

As I looked around at the couple of thousand other people there I noticed they all seemed stereotypically healthy and fit looking.

I didn’t see one obese person there. Of course, you’re thinking who else would go to a diet book talk? The thing is, Pollen never mentions fat loss, diet or anything similar in any of his books.

There’s no low fat recipes or silly tips on cutting calories. He talks about eating healthy, non-processed food, or growing some food yourself but he never makes an issue of what weight anyone is at.

It has nothing to do with counting calories and going without treats or losing fat. It seems all these people were just ‘victims’ of a side effect of eating like this.

Afterwards I was at a table with nearly 10 other dieticians or like-minded people and we certainly weren’t counting calories before ordering our dinner.

And no one felt the need to look for ‘extra iron’ or ‘low cholesterol’. Pollen sums it up on one of his book covers with: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”. Sounds pretty common sense. But what exactly is food? Glow in the dark sports drinks or packets of an edible substance that have a shelf life of two years don’t fall into this category.

In fact walk into a supermarket and 90 per cent of what you will find wouldn’t be in the food category. Lots of them taste nice and are very convenient but if that’s what you regularly eat, your body won’t exactly be a beacon of health and vitality.

Throw some physical training in and you will quickly run your body down to a sick level.

Learn what real food is, then eat it! Read books and talk to professionals. There’s an online conference on this week at the website:

It has great free seminars and information. If you have even a square metre in the yard grow a couple of lettuce or something. Get a chook out the back if you can. Go to farmers markets and try fresh produce straight from the garden.

At the end of the day your food choices will come back to one of two questions: you asking yourself “what will make me feel great?”, or a company asking itself “what can we make the most profit off?”

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