I have always been a picky eater. I have never loved veggies (ironic, huh?) and I don't like to try new foods. For a year when I was little, it seemed like I ate nothing but waffles. You know, the frozen kind that you pop in the toaster. It wasn't entirely my fault. My mom and dad didn't know better. That was before we knew anything about food, back when my parents still took us to McDonald's and drank Diet Coke every day.
When we moved to North Carolina about three years ago, we changed our eating habits. We cut out HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), trans fats and white flour. We started shopping at the farmers' markets, too. My parents liked knowing who was growing our food, and getting produce that was picked that morning. We started going to regular grocery stores less and less. Eventually, we only shopped at the Farmers' Markets, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. I hated it. No more dessert every night? No more Honey Nut O's for breakfast?
For a while, I sulked and pouted. Then, my mom gave me a library book to read called Chew on This. It's the kids' version of Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser. Chew on This was a huge eye-opener for me. The book describes how they really make fast food. I was shocked. I mean, they put crushed bugs in candy? Was that really how they slaughtered chickens for McDonald's? I started to research fast food, and eventually nutrition in general. I read books like The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Micheal Pollan, The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, by Joel Salatin, and The Vegetarian Myth, by Lierre Keith. I watched documentaries: Food, Inc. and Fat Head come to mind. I wanted to see the whole picture, not just one viewpoint.