Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is There a New Definition for “Fresh”?

When Mark and I travel, we always bring along healthy snacks—AKA real food—to keep us satisfied. Favorite snacks include raw almonds, Lara Bars, 70% dark chocolate, and dehydrated bananas (which look disgusting and taste divine).

It’s so easy, when you’re traveling, to slip into starvation mode and then devour anything in sight, no matter how unhealthy you know it is.

And the system is designed that way. Just look at the picture here. Do you consider a bag of chips to be a “fresh” snack? Well, someone does . . . actually, I imagine a lot of people do.

It's not just snacks, of course. Each of the three meals can fall victim to bad food choices. On our way to New York, Mark and I made a quick stop at a rest area. While we walked around, we couldn’t keep our eyes off the masses who were lined up for a chance to inhale some fast “food.”

And while we were in Manhattan—an island with dozens of good-for-you restaurants like Atlas Café, Pure Food and Wine, and Candle 79—I overhead a little boy whining for lunch.

“Are we going to McDonald’s?” he asked.

“Yes,” his mother answered.

There was a pause and then he said, “It’s funny. We go to McDonald’s every day for lunch.”

I wanted to tell him there was nothing funny about it, but I didn’t think he'd get it, and I honestly wasn't sure his mother would either. Sometimes it's easier to be fooled.

Question of the blog: Are you as outraged as I am over the chemicals and preservatives that pass as real food?

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