Welcome to the 2013 Healthy Epicurean Q&A series with World Wise Beauty. Our first Q&A is with Marion Nestle, Ph.D and best selling author of numerous highly respected books on food and nutrition.
- Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
- Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety
- What to Eat
- Why Calories Count From Science to Politics/co-written with Malden Nesheim
Marion also has an excellent blog called Food Politics which is a great place to learn how to become a savvy food consumer as well as a healthy epicurean! You can also follow her on Twitter @marionnestle
Welcome Marion: I am so pleased you could drop in for my “Healthy Epicurean” series here at World Wise Beauty. I chose the name of the series because so often I think people think eating healthy is not pleasurable. I recently interviewed a prominent Professor of Psychology (next Q&A for this series) who conducts comparative research on various cultures and their relationship with food and pleasure. He found through his research that as Americans we believe “more is better” and we also tend to eat out of convenience rather than a social pleasurable experience. Most of what he observes I agree with but what I would like to unpack with you is how we developed this attitude “more is better”. I would say as a consumeristic society we do depend on the “more is better” value system to keep the economy churning. You wrote a great magazine article for a trade magazine entitled ” How the Food Industry Hijacked Nutrition”. Let’s start with this provocative premise…
Lauroly Q: Do you think we have been bamboozled by our food industry?
Lauroly Q: Money and politics sure are clashing these days. This was never so evident when Mayor Bloomberg of NYC mandated a law on portion size for sugary drinks. There was so much backlash from the soda industry and from libertarians who believe “we should all live and let live”. I heard this from all kinds of people I know, “If they are stupid enough to drink too much, well that’s their problem!” Same reaction happened with cigarette smoking regulations over thirty years ago. But when it comes to children and teens I don’t think mature choices are quite developed yet. How did we all buy into “it’s ok to market massive amounts of sugary drinks to kids” when we know research tell us it’s bad for their health?
Lauroly Q: When I was a kid I would go horseback riding with my Dad and after a day of exercise we would stop at my Aunt & Uncle’s house for a short visit. They would serve me a small juice size glass of coke and one Hersey kiss candy. I was in heaven and it was a total treat because I wasn’t served soda at home. Later as a teen in high school I was drinking a can of soda with lunch every day! I had soda not because my mother packed it for me but because I could buy it in the cafeteria. It became a normal thing to have with lunch. Today one soda a day would be considered moderate as many people drink more and the portion sizes have increased.
Your new book with Malden Nesheim “Why Calories Count–From Science to Politics“ really helps us to understand why calories count whether it to be too much or too little. I admit I was initially scared by your title because so many women and girls have become overly obsessed with calories the last twenty years. What are you attempting to teach us with this new book?
Lauroly Q: How do we enjoy eating when we are learning so much of our food may not be good for us or may even harm us?
Lauroly: Thank you so much for sharing your wise and enlightening thoughts with us Marion. For a country so obsessed with food and diet you would think we would teach nutrition in school? Instead of wood shop maybe we can have a nutrition elective in high school? Or maybe you can start an on-line nutrition school? This is the bright and wonderful side of our American society–we are always coming with ideas!
Great ideas and grounded wisdom from Marion Nestle we all can appreciate! How about all of you? What makes you a healthy epicurean? I add cinnamon to my oatmeal and ginger soy glaze to my salmon! Flava is what makes eating pleasurable! Share your yummy recipes and thoughts on being a healthy epicurean. I would love to hear from you!