(photo: eat more real food like tomatoes, red onion, sardines packed in olive oil, fresh whole milk mozzarella, great bread, and red wine)
The web is on fire with talk about the recently revised dietary guidelines from the USDA. The USDA, which updates their food recommendations every five years, now suggests reducing the intake of sodium, eating less food, and consuming more fresh foods, however, and as the food pragmatist Mark Bittman
“…aside from salt, the agency buries mostly vague recommendations about what we should be eating less of: we’re admonished to drink “few or no” sodas — hooray for that — and “refined grains,” Solid Fats and Added Sugars.”
, yet another food critic whom I admire greatly, simply asserts if the government wants to regulate how we eat then why don’t they tax the mega-corporations making and selling crappy food and teach the US population how to “roast a chicken
and make pasta
My food philosophy is similar to both Ruhlman and Bittman and is centered on three important pillars:
- Make Italian (or any other simple ethnic food) from scratch (with the best ingredients you can afford) and repeat the process.
- Avoid eating out and processed/prepackaged food.
- Derive happiness and quality of life from eating high quality food and pass the tradition on to your family and children (you’ll surprised how nice life is when you eat well).
So, my advice on the revised USDA guidelines: ignore them. Eating well can never start with government intervention, rather it starts with individuals and families making a conscious decision to take ingredients and, in turn, the preparation of food seriously.
Immigrants and 1st generation Americans have a huge advantage when it comes to eating well, but all of us can, in Bittman’s words, begin to eat “real food” by trying new recipes, seeking out good ingredients, and moving away from the concept of consuming food that hasn’t been prepared by the consumer (viz., you)!