Friday, October 12, 2012

My Personal Food Journey and Chicken Snobbery

I've been thinking a lot lately about my personal "food journey."  I know that sounds silly.  Go ahead, laugh.  I'll wait.  Got it all out?  Good.  Now let me explain.

The truth is, I'm pretty knee-deep into the world of food at this point in my life.  While food doesn't play a role in my professional life as it might for a chef, it has sort of become a big part of my personal life--my main hobby.  It was initially spurred by my love of tasty home-cooked meals and fueled by watching endless hours of food television, experimenting in the kitchen, a short stint working at America's Test Kitchen, starting my own food blog, and reading lots of food blogs written by others.

With all that exposure, education, and time spent thinking and talking about food with others, it's sort of natural that one might start to learn things about our food supply and the way we feed ourselves as Americans that just aren't very comfortable to think about.  It makes you question your own buying and eating habits and it's incredibly easy to get swept-up in all of the latest do's and don'ts.  It's even easier to get overwhelmed by it all and not know where to begin.  Do I buy organic?  Do I obsess over preservatives, artificial flavors, antibiotics, and possible carcinogenic ingredients?  Should I really only eat pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, and organic free-range chickens?  Do we want to go completely locavore?  Heck, how can I even afford all this?!?

And believe me, it gets worse once you're responsible for feeding others you love.  As a new-ish Dad who's the primary cook in the family, it's easy to get obsessed about offering your family the best, most wholesome, least-harmful foods you can possibly find.

I have to say that I AM overwhelmed by it all.  I'm intelligent enough to know not to just hop on the bandwagon because "someone said such and such was bad for you."  I know you need to research and make your own decisions one by one because there are a lot of alarmists out there who don't do their own homework.  Nevertheless, I honestly don't know how to prioritize all the information coming at me to figure out where to begin.  There's no one right answer.  It's a personal thing.

There's a good friend and colleague of mine, who also happens to be an active food blogger, who seems to have all the answers for her family.  She'd tell you that's not true--they are making new choices every day, but regardless, they're way further down the path than I am.  They've established their baseline food convictions as a family.  They know what's important to them and they've more or less figured out how to pay for it all.  I admire and envy them (and gosh darn-it, I pick her brain every chance I get).

So where do I begin?  That brings me to the subject of Chicken Snobbery™.  But this post is getting too long, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.  Sorry!  :-)

To Be Continued...

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