The Good Life • Feb. 22, 2012
On Salon.com, Emma Mustich talks to Tracie McMillan, the author of “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table,” about whether we have the inalienable right to eat fresh food. While in Thomas Jefferson’s day, the poor ate less fresh food than the rich, now most American single guys spend less than one percent of their income on fresh produce, but up to half their food dollars on eating out.
Working class people get apathetic about making healthy food choices, which is why we have to make the food that is available, better than what we’ve got. If you’re in an office, chances are you have more ready access to a soft drink and a candy bar than you do to a salad. It’s not our choices that are to blame, says McMillan, but the system that allows industry to feed us in ways that are unhealthy, unregulated, andunsustainable. To fix our diets, we have to fix the system.
That doesn’t mean you have to wait for your drive-through to start serving kale to start eating better. You can control what you eat, and spend less, by cooking for yourself. Don’t know how yet? Start by learning to make just one dish that you like to eat, and expand your repertoire from there.
Need more reasons to head for the kitchen instead of the takeout menus? Here’s reason #5 you should learn to cook, from Summer Tomato’s “8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn to Cook”: “Food Network star Guy Fieri has bad hair, bad clothes and douchey sunglasses, but the dude knows how to cook. Are you going to let him upstage you like that? Of course you aren’t.”