Nestle and Hershey are going to quit using artificial ingredients in their chocolates. Read about that here. Processed food makers are reporting slowing or negative growth, perhaps because people are eating more and more real food. I hope it’s not because people don’t have enough money to eat. California is calling for warning labels on sweetened drinks. Minimum wages are going up across the country, without any help from the Federal government, which will help people be able to purchase higher quality food and escape from processed foods. School districts are demanding chicken grown without using antibiotics, joining McDonalds in this demand. Kellogg is having a whale of a time adapting to the changing times.
The current experiment I am conducting, eating nothing but meat for the month of March, will not allow me to eat any cereals, grains, vegetables or fruits. This will be my fifth day doing it. But I have no desire to do anything different. By that, I mean that even when I am around other people that are eating starches, like spaghetti, or treats, like ice cream cones, I don’t find myself wishing I were doing something else.
Yesterday when I got home for dinner we had guests over to eat with us. We served spaghetti and meatballs, garlic toast, and basil pesto to dip the toast in. The pesto is the only reason I wished I could eat some toast. I didn’t miss the bread at all except as a pesto delivery vehicle. I ate meatballs on a bed of spinach, which was really very satisfying. After dinner there was an ice cream snack that I watched the kids eat, but I had no desire to have one myself.
We talked about diet and carbohydrates, we talked about the books I have been reading. There were questions about eating a lot of red meat, whether that is bad for your health, (its not), about vitamins and getting enough nutrients without vegetables (its possible), we talked about whether other people less fortunate than I am can afford to eat just meats.
If people knew how little meat and fat you can eat and have that satisfy your hunger, they would know that it doesn’t take much to live. I literally eat two eggs, a slice of ham, a half pound of breakfast sausage and, on my expensive day, a twelve ounce KC Strip steak, and that is food for a grown man for a day. I am not dying of hunger all day and night doing this. I only feel hunger after about six hours between meals, during the day, nothing like that at night. That’s 25 cents worth of eggs, 25 cents worth of ham, one dollar for the sausage and three dollars for the steak. Four dollars and fifty cents per day is all I am spending on food, worst case. Yesterday’s meatballs cost a lot less than the three dollars for a steak. But if you assume the worst case and assumed that I ate it for thirty days (and I just might) then one person costs $135 to feed. Can a person really eat for less than that at Quick Trip? If they do, what must they be getting, instead of food?
One thing that comes up all of the time in discussions of ‘radical’ diets like the experimental one that I am on this month, is sustainability. Since it is hard to find a restaurant where you can be sure the meat is up to the high quality standards demanded by having meat be the only source of nutrients for an extended period of time, your opportunities to dine out become very limited. If you want variety in your diet, you have to do a lot of research to find out how people ate way way back in the day. I have found a couple of places where people wrote down what they cooked and how, but it is like reading a foreign language. Lots of old kitchen words didn’t make it to modern english. They did eat mostly meats, though, because back then you only got vegetables when they were fresh, in season. Without world-wide commerce and refrigeration it would be difficult to get lettuce year round.
I guess if I made processed food or artificial ingredients I would not think things were getting better, but maybe those companies and people can sell those things to poor countries to keep their jobs, like the cigarette companies did. I am glad my friends and neighbors are waking up to the difference between local quality and inexpensive low quality foods. It may drive my price per month up if more people start eating like I do, but two times $135 is still not a ridiculous number. I never thought I would be able to afford four dollar a gallon gas, but I did when I had to.
By the way, I have lost one pound of weight, as of this morning. I won’t lose the five pounds per month that someone else might, because I was not a heavy Carb eater before, so the difference will not be so stark. I am not doing this to lose weight, I am doing it to see if I can eat significantly less calories and not be hungry for it. I think I can say that, since I am eating 1350 calories per day, instead of my usual 2000, which is over a 30% reduction in calories, and I am only hungry if I go for more than six hours between meals, that it’s true that if you just eat quality meats you will not experience nagging hunger. It is possible to lose weight on an all meat diet without suffering the entire time. I am going to continue the experiment to see if I have any other negative effects, but I don’t expect scurvy because you have to be eating carbohydrates to get scurvy. I won’t get any other deficiency diseases because I am getting all of those vitamins in the meats I am eating.
I am happy that I was old enough when the first calls to reduce fats and cholesterol were made. I used to eat without regard for these things. Now that the shrill warnings about them are beginning to be reversed I have no problem trusting that I will be just fine eating all the red meat and saturated fat that I want. That is an advantage over a younger person that was raised at the height of the scare. If you have only heard that eating red meat is BAD and eating fat makes you fat, then you are going to need some convincing that what you have always been told was never proven to be true. These things happen. I don’t have any trouble believing that, through the best of intentions, great harm has been done to the national health in the effort to help the national health. We were the subjects of a huge dietary beta test. Now we know that it’s time for Diet 3.0 because Diet 2.0 is too buggy to save.