It’s true. I’m too damn old to vomit. Why? #1: No one cares. At 47, my mom is not gently rubbing my back and cooing that I’ll be okay, while handing me a glass of water. Chris? Snoring away in the other room. No. It’s just me, the toilet, and the cool tile floor. #2: It hurts. Regurgitation requires the use of muscles that have not seen action in decades, let alone days (and no, I’m not proud of that), and the recovery time is ridiculous! Who knew you could be so incredibly sore from vomiting? #3: It means I either have the flu or food poisoning, neither of which are welcome in my household. And neither of which I have time for.
But this time around? It was food poisoning. Business trip to Chicago, airport food court, least offensive food source that offered a “burrito bowl.” I can’t even remember the name of the place. But I remember the pain. And I won’t be eating anything resembling a burrito bowl again for quite a while. But oddly, just prior to this… er… meal, my co-worker and I had been discussing “Food, Inc.“, an incredibly educational film by Robert Kenner, and narrated by Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. And over the weekend prior, Chris and I had watched the film. Even earlier in the year, my niece, Farrah, had blogged about both the film and the book, so clearly the reawakening of my passion and understanding of food in America was already in the works before being catapulted into full comprehension by this bout with food poisoning.
I highly recommend the film. The message of the film is riveting: Wake up, America. Get back in touch with your food sources. Understand what you’re taking into your body, where it comes from, and how it was produced — and how those combined factors affect you, your health, and your environment. I definitely feel a renewed sense of responsibility not only to my own body, but to the animal and vegetable food sources I am consuming.
I’ve not read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, yet, but it’s next on my list. But on the reading front, Chris has also pushed me to some inspired newspaper reading of late that has renewed my passion — and horror — for a better knowledge of my food sources. Check out these two recent NY Times articles. Brace yourself. But read them: “Safety of Beef Processing is Questioned” and “E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection.” It’s almost overwhelming and discouraging — we’re so trained to just go to the store, grab what we want, fix a meal, and forget about it. The connection between the food source and our table is almost non-existent. I’m certainly not screaming hunger strike and free the chickens (though after viewing the film, I just might), but I’m definitely making a concerted effort to understand the sources of my food, the seasonality of my food, and all of the steps between production and digestion. And in the future? I’m hoping to leave out regurgitation.