Thursday, July 23, 2015

American Food

My family is craving all the American food that we've been missing for a year now. Part of our plan upon returning is to eat like gluttons (or, in other words, like Americans). But we're also aware that we're currently loading our bodies up with every possible known toxin (and several currently-unknown toxins, I'd bet), and the first thing we're going to need to do when we get back to America is to do one of those aggressive cleanse diets.

I'm familiar with viewing American cuisine as unhealthful. I wasn't prepared for viewing it as clean and nutritious, too. Sure, China has fewer processed foods, but what processed and packaged foods they do have, we eat disproportionate amounts of them. This is because they tend to be the only things we can figure out exactly what they are and how to eat them. Also, with four kids who display varying levels of food pickiness, we can't just throw them into lamb treasure and congee.

What's more, the fruits and vegetables are suspect. What pesticides and fertilizers do they use? One local grocery store has a picture of a smiling woman holding just-dug potatoes, and I can't help thinking the "mud" clinging to the spuds is, in fact, the woman's own night soil. I see her face and imagine her saying, "I pooped on these potatoes special for this photo shoot! Now my poop's FAMOUS!"

"Just wash them off," you say. Using what, the water that has cadmium, nickel, and cobalt in it? We could open a battery factory using just the water that comes through our tap. My wife washes all our produce in vinegar and then rinses that off with water delivered from a bottling service. However, 20% of the bottling services in Beijing use tap water to fill the jugs....

As much as I'm really looking forward to eating a Double-Double every day for a month when we get back, I know we should take advantage of the fact that we're eliminating our taste for and our conditioning to high-fat, low-nutrient foods. I've even developed a plan to help us eat well when we return: I've been building a collection of healthful, delicious recipes on my Pinterest boards. When we get back, I'm going to take over cooking and work my way through the recipes. At first I thought I'd try to do a different one every day for six months or so, but now I'm thinking we can have a food tournament. Five new recipes each week and a vote to see what was that week's winner. Then we'll end up with monthly winners, and eventually, the Best Meal Ever.

Spoiler alert: the Best Meal Ever award is going to be won by a Double-Double.

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