Hard times

Figuring out what to eat is so tricky

April 16, 2013

Last summer, the blog Northwest Edible Life ran a post titled “The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater.” In a wry, profane, darkly satirical vein, the post complained that it was practically impossible to eat correctly, since every food is wrong in some way:

As you read more you begin to understand that grains are fine but before you eat them you must prepare them in the traditional way: by long soaking in the light of a new moon with a mix of mineral water and the strained lacto-fermented tears of a virgin.

Going gluten-free because you think it will improve your health? Please don't, pleaded a celiac sufferer recently on the website Jezebel; when people think gluten-free is a choice, not a health necessity, it makes it harder for those who are truly gluten-intolerant.

Ditching grains because you’ve heard they’re inflammatory? There’s debate over whether all grains are inflammatory, or just refined grains such as white flour and white rice.

Going vegan? You can go vegan all the time, like former president Bill Clinton, or just during the daytime, like food writer Mark Bittman. (His new book, VB6, is all about how to Eat Like Mark: vegan before 6 p.m., anything goes — within reason — at night.)

Inspired by your trendy CrossFit workout to go the opposite direction, into the all-meat-and-whole-foods land of the Inuit Diet and “eating primal” and Paleo magazine? (Yes, such a magazine exists — based here in Oregon, in the ranching country of the High Desert region.)

In other words, there are many competing schools of nutrition thought out there. Happy hunting — or foraging!

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