We were up late last Saturday night, watching the Pitt Panthers lose in the NCAA tournament. Too wired to go right to sleep, we watched a little of the late news only to learn that the cantaloupe I had purchased earlier that day was being recalled. Apparently some of the Honduran ‘lopes were giving people who ate them salmonella, not something I wanted to pass along to the family at Easter dinner.
When I went to return the potentially diseased fruit on Monday to get my $3.99 back, the two women at the customer service counter at my grocery store had not heard word one about a recall. They gave me my money back without an argument, but it concerned me that they would not have been alerted to the fact that cantaloupes might be returned to the store. (According to its website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was recalling cantaloupes grown and shipped from one specific Honduran company. The one I had bought had a tag saying that it was from Honduras. That was reason enough for me not to take a chance.)
Either the recall was not as big a deal as we were led to believe, or we are just becoming immune to recalls, which seem to be pretty prevalent these days. I would have felt awful if I had made ten people including two little ones, sick with my favorite healthy fruit salad.
Which brings me to the newest nutrition change hitting our country: Clean Eating. I had first read about the concept of Clean Eating in an odd place. The author of a creativity book I was reading mentioned that she had been advised to eat this way for health reasons. Shortly thereafter I found the new magazine “Clean Eating” at the newsstand and picked up a copy.
Boasting a fad free life, the magazine’s description of the new (old?) way of eating is that to eat clean, we should consume food in its most natural state -- or as close as possible to it. It’s not a diet, the dreaded “d” word, but rather a lifestyle choice. In other words, stay away from overly-processed food, flour and sugar, saturated and trans fats, anything fried, sugar-laden colas and juices and alcohol.
Sounds a lot like the many other diets we have heard about that are finally, for the last time, for once and for all, definitely, going to make us healthy and happy.
I wish it were so. Clean eating sounds like a sensible way to approach what we eat. But it doesn’t explain how to deal day in and day out with the high-caloric way food is prepared, then served in huge portions and advertised so well that we are tempted to EAT all the time. It would be great if someone would come up with a way to clean that up for us!
By Teresa K. Flatley