Should I Eat This? Cheat Sheet

By Jane | December 8, 2012

Plate of veggies

When I first set out to write Should I Eat This? A Guide To Food In The 21st Century my goal was to create a simple guide to eating in a complex world. Looking back, I realize my simple guide is almost as complicated as the complexities it was trying to simplify.

So, taking a cue from the inimitable Inigo Montoya, who says:

Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

…here is a summary of all that we’ve learned over nearly a year of researching and writing Should I Eat This?

Should I Eat Fast Food?

Should I Eat It?
Fuck no.

Health
Are you suicidal?

Environment
Saruman is a pussycat compared to McDonalds, Subway et al.

Social
Fast food makes the world a worse place. Period.

What to Eat Instead
Anything.

More About the Evils of Fast Food

Should I Eat Junk Food?

Should I Eat It?
Rarely to never.

Health
It’s called “junk” food. What do you think?

Environmental
Remember Deepwater Horizon? A drop in the bucket compared to the damage the junk food industry causes.

Social
The Snack Food Association is on a mission to make you fat! Beware.

What to Eat Instead
Nuts, raisins, fruit, real food.

More About Junk Food

Should I Eat Fake Health Food?

Should I Eat It?
Never ever ever.

Health
Junk food that lies to you.

Environmental
Destroys rainforests, orangutans, and indigenous peoples, to name a few.

Social
The female angler fish of the food world, it pretends to be something good, and then kills you.

What to Eat Instead
If you want chips, eat chips, not some bag of baked cardboard fakeness.

More About Fake Health Food

Should I Eat Meat?

Should I Eat It?
Only if it’s sustainably raised, organic, non-GMO-fed, non-antibiotic, non-hormone-filled, non-slime, and Portlandia-approved.

Health
Slime, glue, ammonia, antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and bacteria. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease… meat has got it all.

Environmental
Poisoned waterways, desertification, fecal mist, disappearing rainforests… meat has caused it all.

Social
Factory farms make bad neighbors. The kind that give you weird diseases and never own up to it.

What to Eat Instead
Beans, grains, tofu, tempeh, seitan and anything else you see below.

More About Meat and the Environment
More About Meat and Your Health

Should I Eat Fish?

Should I Eat It?
Do you like dolphins, whales, and sea turtles? Then don’t eat fish.

Health
Mostly good for you, if you can avoid mercury, PCBs, and other dirty-ocean poisons.

Environmental
Total environmental disaster. We are waging war on sea creatures, and we are winning.

Social
Overfishing takes food from the mouths of cultures who are dependent on fish to survive.

What to Eat Instead
Beans, grains, tofu, tempeh, seitan, flax seeds, basil, walnuts, broccoli, spinach, and cantaloupe.

More About Eating Fish

Should I Eat Eggs and Dairy?

Should I Eat It?
Maybe, but only from the right sources.

Health
Pretty good, as long as cakes and cookies aren’t your main source.

Environmental
As cruel and damaging as the meat industry, maybe even more so.

Social
The milk lobby has brainwashed us to think we will die without milk. Billions of lactose intolerant people beg to differ.

What to Eat Instead
There are a plethora of tasty nut milks available and vegan baking is simple.

More About Eggs and Dairy

Should I Eat Grains?

Should I Eat It?
Yes. Whole grains. Unless they make you sick.

Health
Processed grains bad. Whole grains good.

Environmental
Not great, but not disastrous either.

Social
Grains are vilified by lots of trendy diet plans. Beware of anyone who’s trying to sell you a diet plan or product.

How to Eat More
Try a few wacky grains like amaranth, quinoa, millet, barley, oats, bulgur, and black rice.

More About Eating Grains

Should I Eat Fruits and Veggies?

Should I Eat It?
You should eat MORE.

Health
A tasty cure for so many ills. Ten thumbs up.

Environmental
OK, if you stick with organic, seasonal, and local.

Social
Veggie-hate is psychological. You can learn to love them and your body will thank you.

How to Eat More
Plan your meals around vegetables and try a million varieties to find the ones you like.

More About the Benefits of Fruits and Veggies

No more excuses, OK? Eco-conscious and healthy eating is simple, you just have to want it.

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1 comment

  1. Pingback: Should I Eat This? Part 6: Eggs & Dairy | My Five Acres

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