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Nov 15, 201811:00 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Eating Well and Eating Healthy

getty

 

I read an interesting article recently that suggested the “eco-food” movement has become more about weight loss than environmentalism or ethical eating. The author reached this conclusion through her own experience and that of a former food-writer turned dietician.

The publications mentioned in the article are, with the exception of the now-defunct Gourmet, not ones I recognized. “Organic style,” for example sounds like a fashion guide for how to pair socks with Birkenstock sandals, and “women’s magazines” are not aimed at me.

The truth is that while I do read a lot about food, cooking, farming and restaurants, I don’t actively look for anything having to do with how or why some foods are “bad” for me and others are “good.” I have moderately high cholesterol, and I do keep that in mind when I decide what to eat but I also have three kids who range between “will eat anything” to “will eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Campbell’s chicken and rice soup and plain pasta and not much else.”

This limits my repertoire to some extent, but I do still cook things that are fairly healthy. Out of personal preference that means limiting portion sizes of meat-based proteins and loading the menu up with vegetables. If I can find organic produce that’s not too expensive, I’ll get it, but I’m not terribly worried if I can’t. And I usually don’t.

I sometimes cook quinoa or millet or other grains/seeds, but I do it because I like them rather than for some health benefit. I am glad that grocers like Rouse’s regularly feature locally-grown produce, but I would hardly call myself a locavore and I sure as hell don’t eat on a strictly seasonal basis.

Finally, I’ve really never had an issue with my weight apart from being unable to gain it as a teenager. I’ve weighed more than I do now, and I’m probably “overweight” by a few pounds as defined by some but I’ve never dieted to lose weight and don’t intend on starting. I recognize that is at least in part because I am a man; see also: “doesn’t read women’s magazines.”  Nobody in my home is on a diet, nor should they be.

I wonder the extent to which I’ve just never been exposed to this side of food culture? As suggested, I have my doubts about some of what’s usually described as “sustainable” food, but I’ve never associated “locavore” with “eating disorder.” Nevertheless, that’s a connection made in the article.

I do take disordered eating seriously, and I also know it can be difficult to detect. I’m curious whether any of you have noticed a trend towards going gluten-free, for example, as a weight loss or calorie counting method? Has anyone given up meat to lose inches on their waist? Anything similar?

Please take the time to leave a comment if you have answers.

 

 

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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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